Another week, another terrible performance from Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz.
One week after falling to Washington in humiliating fashion, and one week after promising to clean up the mistakes, Wentz turned in another miserable effort, committing two more turnovers, and finishing with a quarterback rating below 60.
The Eagles started the game slow, falling behind by multiple scores. After a Cooper Kupp fumble set the team up with an easy score, the Eagles had momentum on their side. Down 21-19, the Birds had a chance to take their first lead of the day.
But it was not to be.
Instead, Wentz forced an incredibly ill-advised pass into double coverage that was easily intercepted. The way this play developed was troubling on multiple levels. First, Wentz was protected well on the play. He had time to go through his progressions, but instead just locked on to his target on the play, and forced the ball into traffic even though J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had absolutely no chance to make the play.
Wentz was like this all game. Many passes were wildly off-target. Wentz missed Dallas Goedert breaking open in the second half, throwing a ball behind his man.
When you look at Wentz’s body of work since 2017, it just isn’t good.
He’s been below .500, and there honestly just hasn’t been a lot of good moments.
Even last year’s run to “save the season” should be looked at in a different light. The common narrative is that that Carson put the team on his back and got into the playoffs with a bunch of no-names.
The reality of that four game stretch is that Wentz and the Eagles defeated three absolute garbage teams. Three teams that all fired their coaching staffs at the season’s end. Washington, the Giants (twice) and a Dallas Cowboy team that had quit on Jason Garrett in early November.
Should we really have been all that impressed Wentz during that stretch?
If things don’t turn around soon, the Eagles are going to be faced with some very tough questions about their quarterback. 2017 was a long time ago. That version of Carson Wentz is gone, and it’s time to acknowledge that it may not come back.
Since 2017, Wentz has had the benefit of a lot of Sam Bradfordish excuses. He doesn’t have weapons. He doesn’t have an offensive line. He’s been dealing with injury.
Slowly, more and more people are going to ask questions about the quarterback. And it could get a lot uglier over the next four weeks.
- Miles Sanders gave the offense a major boost with his return to the lineup, picking up over 100 total yards and scoring a touchdown, but his fumble on the opening drive was a back-breaker that really put the team behind the eight ball early.
- The offensive line was much better this week. The unit got some badly needed help in the form of Lane Johnson’s return, but I thought Nate Herbig also played exceptionally well at right guard.
- The Eagles couldn’t get the tight ends going this week. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert were both quiet on the stat sheet.
- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is terrible. He’s been utterly useless through two weeks as the team’s only big-bodied receiver.
- Looking for good news? DeSean Jackson has made it through two full games healthy.
- Jalen Hurts was active today, and got in the game for a handful of plays. The offense seemed to have the most success with him in the game. The Rams didn’t know what to expect, and keyed in on Hurts. Hurts didn’t touch the ball at all, but the unpredictability of the formations helped give the Eagles a little spark when they fell behind early.
- Jim Schwartz had no answers for Sean McVay’s offense, with the defense offering little resistance throughout the game.
- Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson combined to run for over 100 yards on the defense. Tyler Higbee scored three touchdowns. It just wasn’t pretty on all kinds of levels.
- The Eagles defensive line is one of the most expensive in football, and yet continues to produce underwhelming returns.
- Look at all of the money the Eagles have dumped into the defensive tackle position. Have they gotten any kind of positive return on it? Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson have done little through two games. Javon Hargrave was active today, but was also invisible.
- Derek Barnett? Still waiting on the breakout year.
- The Eagles may have invested about a billion dollars in the defensive tackles, and about 50 cents in the linebacking positions, and the linebackers were also particularly bad. Nate Gerry should be a backup or special teamer, at best, in the NFL. He’s constantly flailing around, missing tackles, or getting beat in coverage.
After the game, Wentz spoke again about “cleaning up” the mistakes, that the sky wasn’t falling, and that the Eagles would be fine.
Well, Carson, the team is already 0-2. The Dallas Cowboys pulled out a miraculous victory against Atlanta, and have officially stepped ahead of the Eagles. Meanwhile, after next week’s game against Cincinnati, difficult matchups with the 49ers, Ravens, and Steelers loom large.
The Eagles were supposed to start this season fast with three favorable early season matchups.
If they don’t develop a real sense of urgency and get things corrected, 1-5 or even 0-6 is a very real possibility.