The hype was well-deserved and Carson Wentz is putting his stamp on the NFL in just his second season while making NFL analysts aware of the fact that he's the real deal.

As Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles prepare for a Thursday Night Football matchup on-the-road against the Carolina Panthers, ESPN's NFL Live discussed the possibility of Carson Wentz being a 'Top 5' quarterback in the NFL.

ESPN's Staff Writer, Bill Barnwell, also wrote about how Wentz is making the 'second-year leap.'

Wentz has shown tremendous strides in his first five games of 2017, including a drop in his interception rate from last season (which was relatively low, especially for a rookie in 2016) as he threw 14 picks on 607 attempts (2.3 percent). This season, Wentz has thrown just 3 interceptions in 177 attempts (1.7 percent).

Another noted improvement is the number of big plays downfield that Wentz is creating offensively. Last season, statistics show that Wentz's passes traveled only 7.3 yards in the air. That number has increased to 9.6 yards in the air per pass, which is good for 3rd in the league among quarterbacks.

In his rookie season against the blitz, Wentz posted just a 76.2 passer rating. In 2017, his passer rating against the blitz is 94.3.

Maybe the most incredible statistic so far is how great Wentz has been on 3rd down. So far this year, Wentz is 37 of 52 for 574 yards with 6 touchdowns and just one interception on 3rd down. Those numbers on third down give him 137.8 passer rating through the first 5 games. Since 1994, when began keeping track of 3rd down statistics, only Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Brett Favre have posted a better passer rating on 3rd down through their first five games of the season. That's a pretty solid group of quarterbacks to be mentioned with.

With these improvements and several others, Carson Wentz has the Eagles flying high in 1st place in the NFC East after the first 5 games with at 4-1. It'll be exciting to see what Wentz and Eagles bring to the table tonight in their primetime matchup against the Panthers in Carolina. Game-time is 7:25 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS and NFL Network.

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