NFL Countdown #15: Drew Lock and Carson Wentz had eerily similar stats in 2020,
both sitting near the bottom of the league and tying for the most interceptions.
In preparing for this series of blogs, I combed through a ton of data from the 2020 NFL season to find stats that fit the numbers 1-30. Some of the ones I’ve put out so far have been fun: 21 touchdowns for Alvin Kamara, the Browns’ 28-point quarter of football in the playoffs, and Alex Smith coming back after 17 surgeries. The number 15 was hard to find anything positive for, so I’m going to try my best to write some nice things about the players with the most interceptions in 2020.
I hate to dunk on NFL players for quite a few reasons. First off, I like to think I’m a nice dude and I genuinely want the best for almost everyone. Secondly, most of these guys work harder at their craft than I’ve ever worked on anything. And thirdly, it’s just more fun to talk about positive things in the NFL than all of the bad stuff. I hate to do it, but I have to write about two of the worst quarterbacks from 2020.
Just three seasons removed from dragging the Eagles to the playoffs in an almost-MVP season, Carson Wentz was shipped out of Philadelphia for a couple draft picks. If he had been the one to cross the finish line with his team and not his backup, Nick Foles, maybe the Eagles could have forgiven Wentz’s 2020 season. He was really, really bad last season, but I don’t think it was totally his fault. Carson Wentz was sacked 50 times over his 12 starts, averaging out to a sack every 10 times he dropped back to pass. Wentz plays tough but has been plagued by constant back issues, so I’m sure he was playing through quite a bit of pain throughout the 2020 season before he was benched in Week 13 in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. Sure, he ranked 33rd in yards per attempt and 34th in quarterback rating in a league with only 32 teams, but I think there’s some optimism for how he will perform in Indianapolis once he’s back from his foot injury.
Before the 2016 draft, the Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich took a trip to North Dakota to have a sit-down with Carson Wentz. In a video released by the Colts organization, Reich told the story of his first meeting with Wentz. When Reich began quoting a bible verse to the quarterback, Wentz apparently pulled out his phone to show that exact verse was his phone background. Carson Wentz was eventually selected second overall in the draft, and quickly reinforced his connection with his offensive coordinator through their commitment to faith. Wentz played his best football in his sophomore season before he was injured and Nick Foles brought the Lombardi Trophy back to Philadelphia, but their success led to the Colts poaching Frank Reich and naming him their head coach. In the following two seasons, Wentz was inconsistent but flashed in moments where you could squint and see a great franchise quarterback. Wentz was just bad in 2020, but for this upcoming season he will be back with his former OC and current head coach of the Colts, Frank Reich. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Wentz as a top-12 QB in Indianapolis.
Carson Wentz PFF Grades
Denver Broncos fans are all over the place with their evaluation of Drew Lock, and I don’t really blame either side for either wanting Lock on the bench or thinking he still has a chance to develop into a solid quarterback. Picked 42nd overall in the 2019 draft, Lock has played in just 18 games so far. He’s been near the bottom of the league in most passing categories, but has given some fans in Denver just enough to believe he will be the solution to the teams’ stretch of bad quarterback play since Peyton Manning retired. In Week 14, Lock led his team to a solid 32-27 win over the Panthers, throwing 21 for 27 with 4 touchdowns . On the other side of the coin, Lock threw 4 interceptions against Raiders’ terrible secondary in Week 10.
The Broncos brought in veteran bridge quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to light a fire under Lock before the 2021 season. Bridgewater is a competent NFL quarterback who has been a solid last option for teams over the past few seasons, but we know his ceiling at this point. If named the starter in Denver, Bridgewater will land somewhere between fine and pretty good for a team with little chance of making the playoffs. Drew Lock is a wildcard, but we haven’t seen his ceiling yet. Lock is a confident football player who is not afraid to throw deep – he averaged 8.8 air yards per passing attempt in 2020, which was higher than Russell Wilson (8.6), Josh Allen (8.5), and Patrick Mahomes (8.4). Lock’s first two seasons have been similar in some ways to Josh Allen, who just took one of the greatest 3rd year leaps in NFL history. It would be foolish to expect anyone to make the kind of jump that Josh Allen did, but I’m just saying there’s a chance.
Drew Lock PFF Grades
Josh Allen PFF Grades