Ten games into the 2020 Eagles season shows something is rotten in the state of Wentzsylvania. Quarterback Carson Wentz threw two more interceptions in a 22-17 loss to the Browns to bring his season giveaway total to 18. The internet has demanded Wentz be benched, but head coach Doug Pederson isn’t convinced. In fact, he has thrown more support behind Wentz’s PR campaign.
Pederson doubled down on his commitment to the former MVP candidate on Sunday when asked specifically about sitting Wentz for rookie Jalen Hurts. That would send the wrong message, per Pederson, and indicate the team had given up on the season. Remember, the Eagles (3-6-1) are technically still in first place in the laughable NFC East.
“If you get to that spot, whether you don’t start him or bench him, you are sending the wrong message to your football team that your season is over and that is a bad message,” Pederson told reporters after Sunday’s loss. “We have to work through this. When times get tough, sometimes that might be the easy thing to do. This business is about work, it’s about detail and having ownership, things I talk about with the team and that’s what we have to do. It’s not about one guy.”
It wasn’t just coach-speak. Pederson made it clear that there is no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.
“No questions about it,” Pederson said. “He is our starter.”
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Eagles Injuries Continue to Pile Up
Meanwhile, the Eagles continue to be hammered by injuries all over the field. Lane Johnson, Jason Peters, Cre’Von LeBlanc all left Sunday’s game with significant injuries, plus Jason Kelce and Derek Barnett sat out multiple snaps after coming up lame.
The team threw out their 10th different offensive line to start the day, one that likely is reshuffled again depending on the injury updates to Johnson, Peters and Kelce. The Eagles put Jordan Mailata at left tackle, Jack Driscoll at right tackle and Luke Juriga at center in the absence of their veteran starters,
The Eagles talked all week about “policing themselves” and fixing the mistakes on offense. Instead, they turned the ball over three times — two Wentz interceptions, plus a fumble by Miles Sanders — and committed five penalties for 33 yards. Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki took an errant Wentz throw back 50 yards for a pick-six touchdown. It was that kind of day for Philly.
“We have to coach better. We have to play better,” Pederson said. “These games come down to three or four plays and that’s kind of what this game today came down to, about four plays that were mistakes by us — the turnovers, costly penalties — so we have to fix it.”
Eagles Fans Calling for Jalen Hurts
Eagles fans have spoken on Wentz’s fate judging by the reactions on social media. They want to see what rookie Jalen Hurts can do out there — under center, as a quarterback, not a gadget-paly specialist. Hurts was on the field for a handful of plays on Sunday, none of them overly explosive.
However, Hurts did fool the defense on a read-option play that netted six yards. It seemed to give the Eagles a small spark, only to watch it fade on the next play when Hurts returned to the sideline. Wentz was back in. He’s not leaving anytime soon.
“I did not consider that,” Pederson said of benching Wentz. “With the way the game was going and the elements, we were just really a score (away) from putting ourselves back into this football game.”
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