Under More Pressure: Matthew Stafford Or Carson Wentz?
Under More Pressure: Matthew Stafford Or Carson Wentz? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The NFL landscape was changed this offseason when two quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Carson Wentz were traded. Stafford joined the competitive NFC West once he was traded to the LA Rams, and Wentz changed conferences when he was sent to the Indianapolis Colts. As both players are part of playoff caliber rosters the question is simple: Who is under more pressure as the 2021 season approaches: Matthew Stafford or Carson Wentz?
As part of their rebuilding program, the Detroit Lions gave Matthew Stafford a chance to do something Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson never had the opportunity to do, play for a winning team. Now part of the Los Angeles Rams, Stafford will no longer be able to use being part of a losing culture as a reason for his lack of winning.
For Carson Wentz, who suffered the agony of watching the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl after he was injured, his career was never the same and the time came for him to leave. Luckily for him his former offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, is now the head coach of the Colts and believed in him enough to trade for him, giving Wentz a second chance to be a solid NFL QB.
The pressure is on for both Stafford and Wentz this season as each is expected to make a run at winning their division title, with both the Rams and Colts giving their fans hope that if things break right, a trip to Miami and Super Bowl LVI could be in their future come February.
Carson Wentz might be going to a new team, but he does have the benefit of being around a familiar face in Frank Reich. This factor alone is why Wentz might have the biggest upside of any quarterback in the AFC South this season, and why his team opened as a favorite in 12 of their games this season.
Meanwhile, Stafford is going to a new team with a new system and is also joining a coach in Sean McVay who, for all intends and purposes, failed Jared Goff by not living up to his “offensive genius” label. From failing to put up a touchdown in their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots to completely losing faith in his quarterback, it was McVay as much as Goff who failed with the Rams, and now the head coach needs to prove himself even more than his new quarterback does.
When I look at that along with the number of injuries Matthew Stafford had dealt with in recent years, it is easy for me to say that it is the former Lions quarterback who is under more pressure.
There’s a difference between being the reason a team wins and just being part of the winning formula. Both Stafford and Wentz are now with teams that have solid defenses; but unlike Wentz who won’t be asked to do more than his coach knows he can, Stafford will be asked to elevate his team’s offense as well as his coach’s ego back to the heights they were before. Each a tall task for a quarterback who may only have a few more seasons left to earn playoff glory.
When you also consider how good the NFC West is with Arizona, San Francisco, and Seattle, getting to 10 or 11 wins in that division could prove difficult, and it is likely Stafford who will be the one to take the blame if the team falters, since he was supposed to be the final piece in the puzzle.
While it’s true that Wentz would take some major heat if the Colts are not battling for a division title, he will at least have the easier division to win while he faces Houston and Jacksonville this season. That’s why, for me, it is clear that Matthew Stafford is under more pressure and faces a much tougher road in 2021 to find success.
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