Carson Wentz and the Eagles to Battle the Undefeated Vikings: A Fan Base Test
Midway through the 2016 NFL preseason, it would've been impossible to see what was coming in Week 7 when the Vikings invade Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.
At the time, Carson Wentz was nursing a rib injury, while reports circled around the idea that he may not dress for the Eagles at all this season, with Sam Bradford in line to be the starter and veteran backup quarterback Chase Daniel signed for a sizeable amount of money to be just that, a backup quarterback.
That's when everything changed.
Vikings starting quarterback Terry Bridgewater would suffer a horrible leg injury, ending his season, and potentially changing the future of two NFL franchises, along with at least part of their respective fan bases.
The Vikings would send a first-round and fourth-round pick to the Eagles for Sam Bradford. Two days later, Carson Wentz is named the starting quarterback for the Eagles.
For many North Dakota football fans, there are two main fan bases: the North Dakota State Bison and the Minnesota Vikings. From the Bison fan base, there is obvious loyalty to Carson Wentz, and not only that, but a "Wentz and the Eagles" fan base has grown, while the Vikings, as of right now, are the hottest and only remaining undefeated team left in the league at 6-0.
Both quarterbacks, Wentz and Bradford, are off to hot starts. Despite the fact that the Eagles have dropped their last two games, the Eagles are 3-2 and Wentz has completed 65 percent of his passes, while throwing for 7 touchdowns to only one interception, and compiling a quarterback rating of 99.9, which is no slouch for any quarterback in the league, let alone a rookie.
On the other hand, the Vikings have what is considered by many to be the best defense in the league to this point. Not only that, but the Sam Bradford trade is paying dividends. Bradford has completed 70.4 percent of his passes, with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions, on his way to a 109.8 quarterback rating, which is currently second overall in the league. Oh wait, did we overlook the fact that he's facing his former team this week?
And now comes Week 7, Vikings @ Eagles at noon on Sunday.
Each week of the season this year, I've had the pleasure of watching football games at local establishments in Bismarck where the biggest draw for fans has typically been from Vikings fans and Eagles fans alike. Obviously, we all know why such a sudden fandom in North Dakota for a team in Philadelphia, PA. I'm eager to see what the atmosphere will be like when these teams kickoff on Sunday, and what percentage of each team's fans there are.
Whatever happens, it's sure to potentially be the most anticipated game for both fan bases up to this point in the season.