Gunslinger Reputation Isn’t Holding Up with Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz was the most accurate quarterback in the NFL through Sunday of this week with an adjusted completion percentage of 90.5 percent against Dallas, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
That’s not all peaches and cream, however, as Wentz did not even attempt a pass that traveled 20-or-more yards in the air, a sharp indication that Philadelphia is not threatening defenses over the top as we had surmised.
Over the past two weeks, the rookie starter is the only quarterback in the NFL who did not complete a pass that traveled over 20 yards.
Part of that, of course, is the troubles at wide receiver and the Eagles pass catchers as a whole dropped six more passes against Dallas, bringing their total to 16 on the season, seven percent of Wentz’s passes.
In the running game, Darren Sproles had his most effective performance in years, forcing seven missed tackles in the game.
The offensive line, other than Brandon Brooks, struggled in pass protection against one of the league’s weaker front fours. Center Jason Kelce, who continues to battle through a foot injury, was the lowest-graded pass protector, according to PFF, while right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai allowed the most pressures (one hit, three hurries).
Defensively, Brandon Graham continues his stellar season, leading the entire NFL in pressures in Week 8 with 11. He also had the defensive line’s top run-support grade and is now PFF’s No. 1 rated edge defender on the season.
Conversely, Connor Barwin continues to struggle, particularly in run support and he just doesn’t seem to be a fit as a 4-3 right end.
Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks continues to excel in coverage with the big interception in the end zone and is now allowing a 63.3 passer rating on balls thrown his way this season,
As a group, the biggest problem on defense for Philadelphia against the Cowboys was missed tackles, as Jim Schwartz’s unit piled up 12 altogether, including four from safety Rodney McLeod.
.-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen