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With no picks in first two games, Wentz makes NFL rookie history

CHICAGO-Carson Wentz made a small bit of NFL history with the Philadelphia Eagles here Monday night.The former North Dakota State quarterback became the first rookie quarterback to start and win his first two games of the season with no turnovers...

Wentz in Chicago
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) looks on during the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Monday night, Sept. 19. Philadelphia won 29-14. Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO-Carson Wentz made a small bit of NFL history with the Philadelphia Eagles here Monday night.

The former North Dakota State quarterback became the first rookie quarterback to start and win his first two games of the season with no turnovers.

It's been that kind of two weeks for Wentz.

The Eagles defeated the Bears 29-14 on Monday Night Football and Wentz became the story of the game with a second straight solid performance and a cool demeanor.

Wentz completed 21 of 34 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception.

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Through two games, Wentz is 43 of 71 passing for 468 yards and three TDs.

His quarterback rating through two games is 94.1.

And to repeat: No interceptions.

"It's something I pride myself on, the offense prides itself on," Wentz said. "Control the ball. Protect the football. Make smart decisions. Being aggressive but being calculated with it. Knowing when to take your chances."

The Bears, meanwhile, disintegrated in the second half with three turnovers. That included a fumble and interception by veteran quarterback Jay Cutler, who left the game with an apparent hand injury. Through their first two games, the Eagles have forced two interceptions and two fumbles.

"It's something we don't talk a bunch about. We don't talk about turnovers," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "We talk about ball security. It's their jobs. Offensively it's our jobs to protect the football. Defensively, to get takeaways. For two games now not having a turnover, it's something to be said. It's a pride factor for our guys."

Pederson, a former NFL quarterback, praised Wentz's performance, but didn't go over the top.

"I thought he played well. Obviously, well enough to win," Pederson said. "He took care of the football and stood in there and made some nice throws. Was it perfect? It was by no means perfect. At the same time, he's seeing it very well and he's commanding the huddle. It's something that a nine-, 10-year veteran would do. It's showing his maturity and the ability that he has to play quarterback."

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Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who caught six passes for 71 yards, said Wentz's poise stands out. When told Wentz had not thrown an interception in his first two NFL games, Matthews said:

"It's crazy. That's a huge accomplishment. If you try to make a bid to Carson, he would just kind of brush it off. That's the type of guy he is. That's the best thing you can actually take from him, just the fact the game is not too big for him. He's not going to put too much on it. Whether it's Monday Night Football or Thursday morning practice, it's going to be the same thing to him. He's going to come out. He's going to be poised."

Philadelphia's confidence in Wentz could be seen on the team's first possession. The Eagles came out in a no-huddle, empty-backfield set out of a shotgun formation. Wentz threw passes on the first six plays as the Eagles moved from their 46 yard line to Chicago's 19.

Included was a fourth down and 2 from the Bears' 28. No problem. Wentz zipped a pass to Dorial Green-Beckham for 9 yards and a first down.

The Eagles eventually stalled and had to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Caleb Sturgis, but the tone was set.

"We talked about it early on. If we get a pass completion early on we're just going to stay with it. We are going to keep going no-huddle," Wentz said. "It was a lot of fun. We had some really good execution. It gave me confidence throughout the game."

No stage too big

Wentz said the Monday Night Football stage, with a prime-time kickoff and a national television audience on ESPN, was not overwhelming.

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"It was cool. At the same time for me, I try to not make it bigger than it needs to be. I recognized there's a lot of things going on. There were a lot of eyes on us tonight but, again, it's a football game," Wentz said. "You only get so many of these, you got to take advantage. It was a lot of fun."

Chicago coach John Fox was impressed the Eagles started the game in a no-huddle formation.

"He obviously has a lot of great football ahead of him," Fox said. "They're giving him a lot. They gave him no-huddle to start the game and I thought he handled that pretty well. They went right down the field and kicked a field goal. I thought he was very good."

Wentz watches Bison

Wentz was asked whether he watched NDSU beat 11th-ranked Iowa 23-21 on Saturday, a game that made national headlines in college football.

"I watched that. I had it recorded and got home and watched the whole thing," he said. "I was pretty excited for those guys. Some of those guys are my best friends, so I was real excited for those guys. At the same time, I wasn't real surprised."

Sweet home Chicago

The last time Wentz was in Chicago, it was a pretty important day. He was selected No. 2 overall by the Eagles in April's NFL Draft and walked across a stage to be greeted by league commissioner Roger Goodell.

A return to Chicago was not lost on Wentz.

"Throughout the week I realized I'm going back to where my life changed, so to speak. It was cool to be back here, especially to come out of here with a win," he said.

All about the victories

When asked about accomplishments, Wentz gives the same answers he did while playing for NDSU. It's all about the team. A reporter asked Wentz late Monday night what was the coolest feeling through his first two NFL games. Wentz was quick to respond:

"Two and oh," he said. "No doubt, we're two and oh."

Leftover tidbits

The Eagles provided a couple of items to put Wentz's first two games as a rookie into perspective.

• Wentz joined Mark Sanchez (2009, New York Jets), Joe Flacco (2008, Baltimore), Ryan Leaf (1998, San Diego) and John Elway (1983, Denver) as the only rookie QBs to win the first two game of the season since the 1970 NFL merger.

• Wentz also become the first NFL rookie QB to win his first Monday Night Football start since Tampa Bay's Mike Glennon on Nov. 11, 2013. He is just the second NFL rookie QB since 1988 to win a MNF game on the road. Prior to Monday, rookie QBs had a 1-15 record in such games.

Related Topics: CARSON WENTZ
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