Carson Wentz wrapped up his first NFL season on Sunday with a win over the Cowboys and a feather in his cap (see Instant Replay). He had just set an NFL rookie record with 379 completions.
Yet making history and winning a meaningless Week 17 game weren't enough to appease Wentz (see breakdown of Wentz's day vs. Cowboys). The Eagles' season is over, and far sooner than anybody hoped or would've liked.
"It's cool," Wentz said of making history, "but at the end of the day, we were still 7-9 and we're going home, so that's really all that matters."
Wentz was still on the the fact that he wouldn't be playing in his first NFL playoff game next week, but it wasn't all doom and gloom (see Roob's 10 observations from the loss). The 24-year-old was already focusing on the future, even before he took the field one final time as a rookie.
"Ultimately, we wanted to be playing still in January," Wentz said. "Looking back now that it's over... we're just building something special. We truly believe that in that locker room.
"The guys that will be here next year, I kept saying it to all the guys that I saw, 'It's time to go.' It'll be time to go when we all come back, so I'm excited for the future."
Less than an hour after closing the book on the 2016 campaign, Wentz hadn't really been afforded an opportunity to step back and appreciate everything he accomplished. Between his senior season at North Dakota State, a seemingly endless slew of pre-draft workouts and interviews, then jumping right into his first NFL camp with the Eagles, he essentially hasn't had a break from football in over a year.
And this break is one Wentz doesn't seem quite ready for.
"It's been non-stop for a long time, both mentally and physically," Wentz said. "I haven't had a lot of time to truly reflect on what's all happened this season, so it will be big for me for peace of mind to just get away. Obviously, we still wish we were playing, but that's not the case right now."
So here's a reminder. Wentz completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns. He guided the Eagles to seven wins, as many as they had a season ago under veteran quarterback Sam Bradford, and Wentz did so with a depleted supporting cast on offense.
Perhaps most important of all, Wentz became the first Eagles quarterback to start all 16 games regular-season games since Donovan McNabb in 2009, taking nearly every snap along the way.
"Physically, I'm very blessed," Wentz said. "I'm very fortunate that I am healthy and made it through the whole year that way. My arm feels good. Probably threw about as much this year as I threw in college my whole career, which is kind of crazy, but I'm very thankful that I'm healthy."
Wentz didn't merely survive his rookie season. He gained valuable experience, and at times, even excelled.
"His progression from the start of the year to today is night and day," said Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
"He's really seeing the field. He's surveying the field. He's using his legs. He's a gifted runner. He knows where everybody is going to be. He's got great dialogue and communication on the sideline, on the football field. His leadership ability.
"He's an exciting player to watch and coach, and it's a pleasure having him this year. In his rookie season, to do the things he's done is just amazing, and really looking forward to the offseason and building for next year."
Now that he'll have some time off, Wentz says he plans to get more acclimated to the area, maybe take in a Sixers or Phillies game this offseason. A little time away and a chance to get settled can only add to the comfort level with the Eagles.
But there's no doubt football will never be too far from Wentz's mind, and it won't be long before he's getting the itch to get back to work with his teammates.
"It's a kids' game that they're paying us way too much to play," Wentz said. "It's a beautiful thing. I've always loved the game and I'm just very fortunate, that's for sure."
Wentz wasn't ready for this season to end, but at the same time, he sounds genuinely excited about the next chapter. This year didn't go exactly as planned, with the Eagles missing the playoffs for a third straight year. There were ups and downs, and the rookie signal-caller was far from perfect.
Considering where Wentz came from, suddenly being elevated to starting quarterback after an abbreviated preseason, having just come to the NFL from a Division I-AA program, it was a pretty special beginning.
"This whole season, I learned a ton," Wentz said. "I learned a ton about different guys, about myself, about the game, and going into the offseason, it's full speed ahead. It's not taking reps with the threes and trying to learn a new playbook. It's we're all in this together."
"We've had a full season under our belt, so it'll be a fun offseason."