Eagles Lose Wentz and Their Season
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Carson Wentz made it through all 17 weeks of the regular season but the star-crossed Eagles quarterback didn't make it out of the first quarter Sunday during Philadelphia's 17-9 Wild Card Weekend loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Wentz was hit in the helmet by Seattle defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on the first play of the Eagles' second possession of the game. The force of Clowney's controversial hit drove Wentz into the ground but Wentz was able to stay in the game for the rest of that offensive series before being taken to the blue medical tent.
The independent neurologist on hand sent Wentz to the locker room for further evaluation and he was ultimately ruled out at the start of the third quarter.
"I didn't see anything," Clowney recalled. "I was just playing fast and he turned like he was running the ball, so I was trying to get him down. It was a bang-bang play. I don't intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I've been down the injury road; it's not fun. My intention was not to hurt him. I was just playing fast."
Referee Shawn Smith and crew saw incidental contact.
"[Wentz] was a runner and he did not give himself up," Smith told a pool reporter. "We saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgment, we didn't rule that to be a foul."
Philadelphia's 40-year-old backup Josh McCown took over for the Eagles and did some nice things, completing 18-of-24 passes for 174 yards but a late gasp on a 4th-and-7 at the Seahawks' 10 came up empty with McCown trying to climb the pocket to give receivers not generating separation some extra time. Clowney was the culprit again, pulling down McCown and essentially ending the Eagles season.
"We had two plays called, and we alerted -- we got to the second play, actually," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "... I guess not everybody got the alert, so we had a couple of busted assignments on that play. It's just unfortunante."
Seattle will go on to play at Green Bay next weekend in the divisional round.
The 17-9 setback was the same exact score Seattle beat the Eagles by at Lincoln Financial Field back in November.
Miles Sanders fought through an ankle injury to pace the rushing attack with 69 yards on 14 carries while Zach Ertz returned from a kidney injury to snare two receptions for 44 yards. Dallas Goedert was the top receiver with seven catches for 73 yards.
"We were still in the game. We can't really feel bad for each other," Sanders said. "I hope [Wentz] is alright but it's next man up. It's the playoffs. I appreciate how Josh came in and fought. It shows a lot."
DK Metcalf tortured the Philadelphia cornerbacks with seven receptions for 160 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown when he blew by Avonte Maddox and a 39-yard gain that sealed the game for Seattle when he sailed by Marcus Epps.
"They made some splash plays here and there," cornerback Jalen Mills acknowledged.
Russell Wilson finished 18-for-30 for 325 yards for the Seahawks and dominated on third downs where Seattle went a gaudy 8-for-15 in the game.
"At the end of the day we have to get off [the field]." Mills said. "That's been the identity of this team the past four weeks; the defense getting off on third-down and putting our offense on the field. Wilson converted on a couple of runs. ... we missed a couple tackles and they converted."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen