The Philadephia Eagles head coach is making it known to all that he doesn’t exactly trust Carson Wentz.
This offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles made moves to ensure they’d be in playoff contention this year. But it’s a well-known fact that an NFL team will go as far as their quarterback can take him. The Eagles selected Carson Wentz in 2016 to be their quarterback of the future. He had a strong second season before he tore his knee.
Flash forward to the 2020 season, and many are wondering how Wentz fell off the proverbial cliff so quickly. Through the first two weeks of this season, the former second-overall pick has been brutal. So bad, in fact, that he was booed by the piped-in crowd noise at Lincoln Financial Field last week. Wentz did no better in Philadelphia’s Week 3 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. In fact, head coach Doug Pederson showed his hand: he’s lost faith in Wentz. That means that Jalen Hurts could be starting in the very near future.
Hurts took his first NFL snap in Week 3
The Eagles entered Sunday with an extremely favorable matchup against the Bengals. Yes, Wentz didn’t have the likes of Jalen Reagor or Alshon Jeffery available to him, but he still had a great chance to win. But his decision-making was atrocious. Wentz threw two interceptions against Cincinnati, and brought his total to six on the year so far. That’s not ideal for a quarterback who signed a $128 million contract last year.
Sure, Wentz did help send the game into overtime with his rushing score late in the fourth quarter, but he was still far from superb. His best play in overtime came on a beautiful dime pass from Wentz to tight end Zack Ertz for a 30-yard gain, but it was all for naught, as they punted five plays later.
The Eagles had the chance to either convert a fourth-and-12 with 19 seconds remaining in overtime or attempt a 64-yard field goal. Instead, the head coach punted it, figuratively and literally. It was blatantly obvious that Pederson wanted the tie instead of taking the gamble for the win, in fear of a pick-six or a missed field goal returned for a touchdown.
Back in April, football fans were stunned to see the Eagles select Hurts in the second-round of the draft, but after thinking about it, the decision made sense. After Wentz’s season-ending knee injury in 2017, he picked up numerous injuries these past two seasons. Having a contingency plan in place is never a bad thing, but everyone thought Hurts would be available in case Wentz was hurt, not because his play has diminished.
The Eagles were only able to muster 23 points against a Bengals defense that surrendered 35 points last week to the Cleveland Browns. Pederson did bring in Hurts for his first professional snap, where he rushed for a first down on second-and-seven in the third quarter. Now, Philadelphia’s 0-2-1 in an extremely winnable NFC East division. If Wentz can’t fix what ails him soon, you can fully expect Pederson to turn to Hurts to start under center for the remainder of the season. At this rate, nothing can be ruled out.