Column: Wentz injury deflating for everyone

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

When Carson Wentz went down in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, I, like most football fans, held my breath, hoping it wasn’t anything serious.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia sports fans know this song and dance all too well. Wentz, of course, has a torn ACL and is out for the rest of the season. Not only is this a blow to the Eagles, their fans and their Super Bowl chances, it’s also a blow to the NFL in general.

Wentz is one of the game’s bright young stars, a quarterback who, barring any more injuries, will have the Eagles in Super Bowl contention every year for at least the next decade.

The Eagles’ loss is our loss. There are still plenty of great storylines as we get toward the end of the regular season and into the playoffs, but let’s call Wentz’s injury for what it is … it sucks, plain and simple.

I wouldn’t write the Eagles off just yet, however, as Nick Foles has proved to be a quality NFL quarterback under anyone not named Jeff Fisher, whose offensive incompetence has been well-documented. That being said, the Eagles’ road just got a whole lot more difficult.

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Speaking of difficult roads, the one to the Super Bowl in the AFC will almost assuredly be decided this Sunday when New England travels to Pittsburgh.

And while I’ll admit the AFC looks more interesting than it did a month ago (thank you Chargers, Ravens and Jags), this is THE game in the conference, and there’s a good chance it will be the first of two.

Can the Steelers figure out Tom Brady, who has thrown for 22 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions in the last decade against Steeler defenses?

Can Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offensive attack, which has seemingly found its rhythm, continue to do so against a Patriots defense that, barring Monday’s setback to Miami, has seemingly started to figure things out?

You know what you don’t hear much of lately? Roethlisberger retirement talk. That’s what happens when you set the league on fire after maybe the worst performance of your career and remind everyone why you’re a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Seriously, I cannot wait for this game.

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Speaking of fun games, how about the one in Buffalo on Sunday?

That took me back to the days of being a little kid playing in the back yard. The snow kept following and Shady McCoy kept running, all the way to an overtime game-winner that kept the Bills squarely in the AFC playoff picture (they would be in if the season ended today).

And what’s more, you could tell the players were genuinely enjoying it as well. While we were all taken back to our childhood, they played like it, and it was a joy to witness.

Despite all the ‘issues’ the NFL has dealt with this season, it’s moments like we had in Buffalo that remind us all of why we love this game in the first place.