Salesianum Review

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Will the Ginger Snap?

Nicholas Reichert ‘20, Staff Writer

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Most football fans have heard of the Sophomore Slump, when standout rookie QBs hit a brick wall in terms of production in their second season. We have seen this trend for many quarterbacks, most notably the likes of Tim Couch, Sam Bradford, and Matt Ryan. Within the last few years, the league has seen two young and talented QBs, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, who have bucked the trend. Winston, who was drafted first overall in the 2015 draft, improved his completion rate by 1.5% and threw for 6 more touchdowns in his second year. Mariota, who was drafted one spot behind Winston, was able to stay healthier during his sophomore stint, while increasing his touchdown count by 6 and yardage by over 600.

This season acts as a proving ground for two more young studs. Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys was the 2016 Rookie of the Year; putting together a combination of huge stats and a winning record, he looked unstoppable. With the help of rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dak led the ‘Boys to an NFC East title and playoff berth, where they lost to the Packers in heartbreaking fashion. Despite the stunning display he put on in 2016, Dak’s 2017 season thus far is not what one would call progress. Although he has added 5 to his touchdown total from the same time last season, Dak has doubled his interception rate and slightly decreased his yardage. These signs point towards a sophomore slump for Dak, but there is another quarterback whose fate has yet to be sealed: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia fan favorite.

Drafted 2nd out of North Dakota State, the 6’5” redhead has shown great skill through the halfway point this season. He is currently on pace for over 4,000 yards and 38 touchdowns, both significant increases from last season. Also, he has led the Eagles to a 7-1 record, the current best in the NFL. His stats look great, but he passes the eye test as well. Every time he steps out onto the field, he shows toughness and tenacity, and has a strong will to win. One could make the argument that his success is in part due to the support staff he has around him – the Eagles acquired many offensive pieces over the offseason – but only time will tell whether he is the real deal.

Despite the looming possibility of suffering from the Sophomore Slump, Wentz seems to be living up to and exceeding all expectations surrounding him, hopefully meaning the Bird Gang will not be seeing a lapse in production any time soon.

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Will the Ginger Snap?