Simply Put, the Eagles Need Carson Wentz to be Better
Simply stated, Carson Wentz needs to be better.
Forget just making the playoffs and winning a horrible NFC East. If this franchise is going to be a consistent Super Bowl contender, they will need Wentz to play much better then we have seen in the 2020 season.
Wentz had one of his worst outings of the season, completing 15-of-27 passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns in the Eagles' Week 8 win over the Cowboys, but also threw two picks and fumbled twice.
Right before the half with the Eagles on the move, Wentz forced his first interception into double coverage, missing receiver Jalen Reagor in the end zone.
"We can't turn the ball over. We understand that. He knows that," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. "We're in a position to put points on the board and just can't do that."
"I thought Reagor had a step, so I was out of the pocket and I pulled the trigger quick," added Wentz. "I was trying to give Reagor a chance but Diggs beat him to the spot. So I’ll have to back and critique that one and look harder at it."
He opened the second half with another pick, throwing the ball deep downfield for John Hightower.
“We weren’t on the same page with the angle of the throw there," Wentz explained. "The coverage definitely dictated that was where to go with the ball and Hightower and I just weren’t on the same page.”
The two picks were just part of the story.
Wentz had missed throws, bad reads and took four sacks in the game, holding on to the ball to long, instead of just throwing it away. He also added two fumbles, contributing to all four Eagles turnovers in the game.
"We can't turn the ball over, bottom line," Pederson stated. "We can't turn the ball over. We're too good. We have got too much responsibility for everybody, me included, that we've just got to take ownership of it. We can't do the things that we're doing in order to really survive in this league.
“I’m not good enough," Wentz admitted. "I’m pumped we got the win, but I’m going to have to watch the tape and I’m a little frustrated with how I played and how we’ve left some plays out there, left some points out there, and missed some big opportunities. I can be better. I know I will be. I would say the same thing for this far in the season."
It's the same message we've heard for much of the season from both Pederson and Wentz, but the message isn't changing the result. Wentz now has 12 total picks on the season, after throwing just seven in each of the past three seasons. He has also fumbled the ball seven times, losing four.
“I know it’s something I can do better at," Wentz explained. "The first one tonight, I was about to throw it and it was a mistake. The other one was on fourth down, trying to get the ball out to make a play. That one happens, we were hot and [I] didn’t get it out in time. That one’s unfortunate, but I can keep learning how to be better with the ball and we will be.”
The Eagles drafted rookie Jalen Hurts in the second-round, forcing some speculation that the Eagles might not be totally sold on Wentz, but Pederson said there was no consideration to pull his franchise quarterback on Sunday Night.
"There was never any of that conversation to pull him," Pederson said.
One has to start to wonder if that thought begins to creep into Pederson's head during the upcoming bye week, before they get ready to face the Giants.
"I think this is a good time for all of us, honestly," Pederson admitted about the upcoming bye week. "Where we are as the health of the football team, it's a chance for the coaches to go back and study the first eight games and see where we can improve in all three areas. It's a chance for the players to get rested and healthy. We got eight games left. Opportunity right in front of us still. Goals are still right in front of us."
"As I said, we get some players back and try to get back to full strength and see what happens. Just take them one at a time. This is a good time for this team to take a bye, yes."
The Eagles enter their bye week at a disappointing 3-4-1, but that's good enough for first-place in the horrific NFC East.
While its a long-shot that Wentz will be benched at any point of the season, but he needs to be better, and soon.