Lamar Jackson? Russell Wilson? How about Carson Wentz for NFL MVP?
Look, no one is edging Jackson for the league’s top honor. The things the Ravens quarterback has been able to accomplish this year have been mind-blowing, head-scratching feats of strength (Happy Festivus).
However, this one amazingly ridiculous stat should at least get the most passionate Wentz haters back on the Wentz wagon. The Eagles quarterback sits just 250 yards away from becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards while having no wide receiver over 500 yards.
It was a number first pointed out by Victor Williams of the Philly Special Podcast (Editor’s note: Williams is a great Twitter follow). In fact, no Eagles signal-caller has ever thrown for 4,000 yards in a single season. The closest was Donovan McNabb’s 2008 season where he passed for 3,916 yards.
Back to Wentz. The kid, built North Dakota tough, hasn’t once whined or complained about a lack of weapons at the skill positions. When Alshon Jeffery went down, he embraced J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. When Nelson Agholor missed a game, he featured Greg Ward.
He’s thrown to more practice-squad members than scout-team quarterback Kyle Lauletta. Wentz will be without his top target, Zach Ertz, this week against the Giants. The Pro-Bowl tight end leads the team with 88 catches for 916 yards. Ertz isn’t a wide receiver, though.
Eagles Receivers Don’t Inspire Confidence
It’s been a problem since Week 2. The Eagles just lack a ton of options, especially speed threats, at wide receiver.
Instead of going out and getting a playmaker, the front office decided to keep the status quo. Philadelphia has scoured their practice-squad roster and patched the unit together with misfit parts. Surprisingly, the plan has worked.
Alshon Jeffery (49 receptions for 490 yards) is their leading pass-catcher but he went on IR on Dec. 12. Nelson Agholor (39 catches for 363 yards) is their second-best receiver but he hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 1. Newcomer Greg Ward (22 receptions for 211 yards) has already vaulted into third-place.
Credit Carson Wentz for never hanging his head, and for spreading the ball around. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (10 catches for 169 yards) and castaway Mack Hollins (10 catches for 125 yards) were both forced into extra snaps. DeSean Jackson (nine catches for 159 yards) still ranks fourth-best on the team — and he hasn’t played since Sept. 15.
Throw utility running back Boston Scott (20 receptions for 120 yards) and tight end-wide receiver hybrid Joshua Perkins (five catches for 37 yards) into the mix and that’s what Wentz has been dealing with all year.
The Eagles have five skill players that were recently promoted from the practice squad: Scott, Perkins, Ward, along with Robert Davis and Deontay Burnett. All five players have been thrust into meaningful roles.
“You get here for a reason, so when we have new guys in, I want to learn what do they do best,” Wentz told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “How do they run a route and what do they do that’s most effective so that I can understand how they’re going to get open. I don’t want to tell them how to get open, that’s their job. That’s what they’re paid for. So just having those conversations and working through it, those conversations go a long way.”
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