Go ahead and mark down Dec. 10 on the calendar. That’s when Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, and Carson Wentz, who went one spot later, are scheduled to face each other for the first time in the NFL.
By the looks of things, it should be quite a quarterback matchup between a pair of guys playing at an elite level. On Sunday, they became the first QBs drafted Nos. 1 and 2 in the same year to each throw four TD passes on the same day.
What’s more, neither was intercepted. And each led his team to precisely 51 points. Goff’s Los Angeles Rams beat the New York Giants 51-17 , and Wentz’s Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Denver Broncos 51-23 .
”The No. 1 thing you can judge a quarterback on is wins and losses,” Goff said, ”and right now we’re 6-2, so I feel good.”
Whether or not that truly is the best statistical measure of the position, he and Wentz – they share an agent and are pals who trade texts – have their clubs at the top of the NFC. While the Rams lead the West division, the Eagles not only are atop the East, they are pacing the entire league at 8-1 heading into their bye week.
”We feel like we have some momentum,” said Wentz, who leads the NFL with 23 TD passes and is probably the front-runner for MVP.
He likes to talk about being able to ”spread the love” in his offense to various receivers and runners, and that’s what Philadelphia did against Von Miller and a top-ranked Denver defense that was made to look downright ordinary. On one noteworthy play, Wentz ran a zone-read option, kept the ball instead of handing it off, then saw that cornerback Aqib Talib was fooled, so tossed a short pass to Alshon Jeffery that turned into a 32-yard TD.
As Eagles coach Doug Pederson said about his quarterback: ”He improves every single week.”
Two highlights stood out for Goff: Leading by only three points and facing third-and-33 in the second quarter, he threw a receiver screen to Robert Woods that turned into a 52-yard score; less than 2+ minutes later, there was a 67-yard TD pass to Sammy Watkins.
”Jared was the one running the show today,” Rams rookie coach Sean McVay said, ”and he showed great command and great poise in a road atmosphere.”
Given what we’ve seen this season, the Week 14 matchup between Goff and Wentz in LA could be just the start of a long rivalry.
In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season’s ninth Sunday:
At the other end of the NFL’s QB spectrum are teams such as the Houston Texans, whose season is going down the drain if they need to stick with Tom Savage as the starter in place of injured rookie Deshaun Watson. Savage completed only 43 percent of his passes in a 20-14 loss to the downtrodden Indianapolis Colts, didn’t appear to be game-ready on a final goal-to-go series and fumbled the ball on his last play. The Texans are just one of a handful of clubs that should – but most likely won’t – try to sign Colin Kaepernick, who has started a Super Bowl but is currently unemployed. Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL, saying owners colluded to keep him out of the league because he initiated the practice of kneeling during the pregame national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The Broncos, similarly, are going nowhere with Brock Osweiler or Trevor Siemian. And the Giants might even want to think about moving on from Eli Manning.
The league office might want to think about how to cut down on brawls during games after no fewer than three broke out. Bengals receiver A.J. Green and Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey were ejected after a shove led to a headlock and punches in Jacksonville’s 23-7 victory. San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde and Arizona’s Frostee Rucker and Haason Reddick were kicked out after a hit on 49ers QB C.J. Beathard led to a scuffle during the Cardinals’ 20-10 win. Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans was allowed to stay in the Bucs’ 30-10 loss to the Saints after slamming into New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore between plays.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Tyreek Hill was in all of his open-field glory at the end of the first half of Kansas City’s 28-17 loss at Dallas.
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