Mr. Wentz Goes Off in Washington (Jaguars-Commanders; 09.11.22)

Yusuf Abdullah/Howard Athletics


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief


LANDOVER, MARYLAND — In an area of the country starving for a franchise quarterback, new Washington Commanders starting quarterback Carson Wentz officially took his turn in allaying the fears DC football fans have had in not having a franchise quarterback since the days of Sonny Jurgensen and even Slingin’ Sammy Baugh. Like many who had succeeded the paucity of great signal-callers with the franchise, Wentz had his share of struggles on Sunday, throwing two fourth-quarter interceptions that directly led to his team facing a deficit for the first time in the game and threatening to have a comfortable season-opening victory turn into a sense of “Here we go again!”

The story of the game did not end with those mistakes, and Wentz bounced back from them with aplomb in leading the team to victory. Washington fans hope that winning with Wentz becomes much more of a trend than blips on the radar screen they’re used to from the quarterback position.

Wentz three four touchdowns, including two in the final 10 minutes of the game to lead the newly-named Commanders to a 28-22 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField on Sunday afternoon. Wentz’s 47-yard scoring pass to Terry McLaurin got Washington within two points after a missed two-point conversion, and on the Commanders’ final drive, Wentz hit rookie Jahan Dotson for a 24-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-8 right after the two-minute warning to complete the comeback.

The Commanders defense had Trevor Lawrence (16) on the run all day, hitting the Jaguars signal-caller 10 times, sacking him twice and forcing an interception. (Yusuf Abdullah/Howard Athletics)

“You make a couple bad plays, it’s time to go fix it,” Wentz said after the game. “It’s a tough stretch there to bounce back from, but guys did a good job. Everybody was rallying around each other, and obviously we got it done.”

The Jaguars moved the ball close to midfield on the game’s final drive, but Darrick Forrest tip-toed the left sideline to intercept a deep Trevor Lawrence pass with just over a minute remaining to seal the victory.

For Wentz, it was his first four-touchdown performance since December 10, 2017, the day in which he tore his ACL in a game in Los Angeles against the Rams while playing for the Eagles, who eventually won the Super Bowl at the end of the season.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by DC-Area photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 22 pictures in total.

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