PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Carson Wentz had 278 yards passing and two touchdowns in a stellar NFL debut and the Philadelphia Eagles beat Robert Griffin III and the Cleveland Browns 29-10 on Sunday.
Promoted from No. 3 quarterback to starter just eight days ago, the No. 2 overall pick from North Dakota State looked like a franchise player. Wentz played mistake-free football despite missing the last three preseason games with injured ribs. He finished 22 of 37 with a 101.0 passer rating.
A new quarterback (Griffin) and new coach (Hue Jackson) couldn’t help the Browns (0-1) avoid losing their opener for the 12th straight season.
Wentz threw a 19-yard TD pass to Jordan Matthews on the opening drive and tossed a perfect 35-yard TD pass down the right side to Nelson Agholor for a 22-10 lead in the third quarter.
Wentz was slated to be inactive until the Eagles (1-0) traded Sam Bradford to Minnesota on Sept. 3. He leapfrogged backup Chase Daniel on the depth chart, a bold move by rookie coach Doug Pederson that paid off in Week 1.
Matthews dropped Wentz’s first pass, but the rookie completed the next four for 57 yards. Zach Ertz made an outstanding, one-handed grab for a 14-yard gain on Wentz’s second pass. Wentz went back to Matthews for a TD and a 7-0 lead.
The Browns finally got going in the second quarter. Terrelle Pryor made a leaping catch for a 44-yard gain to Philadelphia’s 9. After a pass interference call against Malcolm Jenkins negated a stop on third down, Isaiah Crowell ran in from the 2 to cut it to 10-7.
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