Being an unabashed Carson Wentz fan and defender has gotten much more difficult over the last few games. His play has been inconsistent at best as of late. There is plenty of blame to go around, and Wentz deserves his fair share of it.
Both Eagles fans and haters alike know that Carson’s supporting cast is one of the worst in the NFL, and is decimated by injuries. The deck is clearly not stacked in his favor, but if Wentz is the guy we all thought he was in 2017, he should still be able to elevate his teammates and make it work, especially when the defense has finally decided to show up. When the defense holds Tom Brady and Russell Wilson under 20, you have to win those games. This last game against Seattle may have been rock bottom for Wentz and the Eagles offense. Hopefully that’s the case.
Every time Wentz plays poorly, the “should’ve kept Foles” crowd comes out (most of which are not Eagles fans, by the way). Continuing to compare Carson Wentz and Nick Foles is pointless. The Eagles picked Wentz, and they have to make it work.
Wentz has to take what the defense gives him.
If I can distill all of Wentz’s struggles into 1 sentence, it’s this. This guy is a competitor. He’s wired to want to make the big play. It is on him and the coaching staff to make sure that he plays within the confines of the offense. This is why Foles, while not as talented of a quarterback, was able to succeed in Philly. While the wide receivers aren’t helping, Miles Sanders has shown that he can be a solid option out of the backfield. It has to be frustrating for a quarterback when his receivers can’t win on their routes, but an elite quarterback that got over $100 million has to make due with what he has.
It’s not to say that the Wentz shouldn’t use his athletic ability to make plays and to help his receivers get open, but he has to be smarter and more decisive. The tendency to hold the ball for a long time in the pocket has led to fumbles. Way too many of them.
That is Carson Wentz's 38th career fumble. Since he entered the league, just two players have fumbled more. #Eagles
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) November 24, 2019
Not ideal. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good when you have a QB with Wentz’s athletic ability, but this is a surefire way to lose games. Win the turnover battle, win football games. I would like to see Carson throw it away or check down, even if it means punting. Live to fight another day.
Wide receiver ineptitude
This is something we in the Wentz defender camp have been saying for a long time. Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky breaks it down in 2 tweets. Dan’s video is very informative. As a fan, it’s easy to look at an incompletion and chalk it up to an inaccurate throw. We don’t know all the details of route running, and this video shows just how important the details are. “Doing the little things right” is a very commonly used cliche in sports, and for a very good reason.
Rewatched the @Eagles vs Seattle game. That’s the single worst game I have ever seen at the WR position when it comes to details/being where you’re supposed to be when your supposed to be there/& not fooling the QB. I try to be positive-BUT THAT WAS AWFUL. They hung their QB out
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 25, 2019
It’s all over the tape-yall asked-here it is from the @Eagles WR and the lack of detail and the effect it has on the QB play… pic.twitter.com/vYdHREMlze
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 25, 2019
Sure, the Eagles could afford to get more talented at the wide receiver position, but talent is the least of their worries. The mistakes shown above are all mental. Fans have been very critical of offensive coordinator Mike Groh, and this video validates that criticism. Details and “little things” come down to coaching. Frank Reich isn’t walking through the door anytime soon. Groh, Pederson, and other coaches need to figure some things out soon. While the Eagles obviously should pursue some game changing wide receivers in the draft and in free agency, the current receivers need to step their game from a mental standpoint. I believe that they’re capable of doing that. JJ Arcega-Whiteside was highly thought of for a reason. One would expect a Stanford guy to grasp the mental aspects of the game much more quickly.
This team is underachieving, and I blame that on injuries and coaching. Now that the secondary is nearly fully healthy, the defense is once again capable of keeping what should be a potent Eagles offense in games. The offense is the issue right now, and for many reasons. People blaming Wentz and calling him overrated don’t see the whole story, just as the people who refuse to give Wentz any blame are delusional. Wentz needs his receivers to help him out, and he also has to be willing to make the smart play even if that means throwing it away. Coaching has been subpar, but we also would be insane to expect Greg Ward and JJ Arcega-Whiteside to be 100% on the same page with the quarterback given how little they have played. Still, we’re talking about professional athletes here.
Like with all discussions, sports, politics, whatever they may be, there is always more than 1 variable at play. Wentz has to be better and his supporting cast is really bad. Both things can be true at the same time. Call me crazy, but I’m optimistic. These things can be fixed with more repetition and better coaching. Hopefully Alshon Jeffery heals up soon and plays to his capability. This team still, believe it or not, has a really strong chance of making the playoffs. No point in giving up now, right?