The Eagles franchise quarterback returned to form against Detroit after having a down performance (at least in the first half) against the Falcons last week.
Wentz tried to lead an error-prone team to victory in the second half of that game, but was ultimately thwarted by a misfiring offense. To make things worse, the loss to Detroit saw more of the same. A 7-drop performance from his receiving core, including yet another potential game-winner from Arcega-Whiteside, derailed another second-half comeback attempt, captained by a relentless Carson Wentz.
Wentz finished the day completing 58.6 % of his passes for 259 yards and 2 TDs. 13.9 % of his passes were dropped. Although at first glance it’s easy to call this performance ‘average’, he earned an elite 81.1 passer rating from PFF and the film only backs that up further.
A master of 3rd down
In the first half, Wentz did a phenomenal job identifying coverages, especially man schemes by the Lions. He constantly adjusted the route schemes, and found the open guy. Like the competitor he is, the face of the franchise displayed some smooth movement in the first quarter for a first down, despite arguably having JJ open over the middle too.
Timing was a thing of beauty for Wentz, and you can tell the week of preparation leading up to the game with Mack Hollins paid off as well.
In the second half, we saw a mixed bag of plays from the General. Again, he had some really good reads on the defense, throwing to relevant guys in favorable matchups, but in there are some head scratchers as well.
On the big 4th down from their own 20-yard line, Wentz decided to run for the first down himself, although having Agholor running wide open against man coverage on the outside. You have to wonder if the drops were in his head sometimes:
Pocket awareness and movement looks healthy
Outside of his performance on crucial downs, Wentz looked comfortable moving around the pocket. On one play, he buys himself enough time to find Ertz over the middle by stepping up in the pocket, avoiding the rush from Lane Johnson’s side. Then, there was the long Sanders catch early in the game, where he scrambled outside of the pocket and made a good toss on the run.
On the other long Sanders catch, the play is made because Wentz looks off the single-high safety playing deep, hence creating a one-on-one between Sanders a linebacker – a matchup you take 10 out of 10 times!
Things to work on
Early in the game, Wentz clearly had to settle in, missing a wide open Sanders on a curl route against a LB (again, you want that matchup), as well as choosing the option to throw to Hollins while the other options being an outside zone or pass to Mack Hollins were probably better.
On one throw, Carson misses Sproles high and wide and is consequently almost intercepted – something we see sometimes with Wentz. The problem has been lessened over the years, which is an obvious improvement.
In Green Bay – biggest career game?
Wentz is leading the squad into Green Bay, on a short week, still missing DeSean Jackson, to face the undefeated Packers. Considering Wentz wasn’t part of the 2017 playoff run, an argument can be made this is the biggest game of his career.
Going 1-3 would be a huge loss for the Eagles, especially trailing the Cowboys, who could go 4-0 with a win over the Bress-less Saints.
However, 2-2, going into New York to face the Jets, with Desean Jackson returning, and on a long week, sounds much more encouraging in terms of righting the 2019 ship.
Let’s get it done.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports