Success and stardom and all of the accolades that come with those things can be fleeting.
Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are Exhibit A examples.
Goff, the first-overall pick in the 2016 draft, led the Rams to the Super Bowl last season, losing to the Patriots.
Wentz, the second-overall pick in that 2016 draft, was having an MVP-caliber season in 2017 before being sidelined late in the year for what became a Super Bowl-winning team.
The Rams and Eagles are underachieving this season, so both quarterbacks are facing questions with their respective performances below expectations.
Goff’s Rams enter Sunday’s game at the Cardinals 6-5 after being routed by the Ravens on Monday night and are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
Goff has struggled, completing just 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,995 yards with 11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a pedestrian 80.3 passer rating.
The Eagles are 5-6 and fortunate that they’re still in the mix for a division title in a weak NFC East, trailing the first-place Cowboys by only a half-game after Dallas’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Bills.
The Eagles play at 2-9 Miami on Sunday with Wentz performing below his career standards. He has completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 2,530 yards with 17 TDs, six INTs and a passer rating of 89.6.
During the current stretch, which includes four losses in six games, Wentz is 22nd in passer rating, 27th in yards per pass attempt and has fumbled eight times (losing five).
This has many of the notoriously angry Eagles fans turning against their franchise quarterback, who not long ago could do no wrong in their eyes.
“They have a right to be frustrated,” Wentz told reporters of the fans. “When they’re frustrated, I’m frustrated, too.”
Those who come to Wentz’s defense will point out that the Eagles’ offensive line has deteriorated, with injuries and personnel changes, and his top receivers have battled injuries.
In the Eagles’ 17-9 loss to the Seahawks last week, Wentz turned the ball over four times, but was missing his top three receivers — Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor. Their leading rusher, Jordan Howard, and two starting offensive linemen, Lane Johnson and Bandon Brooks, were also out.
But when you sign to a four-year, $128 million contract extension, which Wentz did before this season, expectations rise to levels sometimes unattainable.
Those same lofty expectations — along with a massive contract extension — are swallowing up Goff as well.
When asked if he has found himself thinking of living up to the $134 million extension he signed, which includes an NFL-record $110 million guaranteed, Goff told reporters, “I need to make sure that is never the case.’’
The 25-year-old Goff, who threw 60 TD passes the past two seasons, is in the throes of the worst TD-passing drought of his career. He has gone three games without throwing a TD pass — while the Rams have gone 1-2 against the Steelers, Bears and Ravens. His five lost fumbles are third-most in the league this season, tied with Wentz.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, and definitely something that made you sick,” Goff told reporters in the wake of the Rams’ 45-6 home loss to the Ravens. “[It’s] something you never want to relive or have to go through. Our offense has not been where it needs to be the last few weeks, and I need to bring up the standard a little bit.”
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