We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season and the Eagles are somehow leading the NFC East with a record of 3-4-1. The sky isn’t falling just yet, but just how loud are the rumbles in the clouds? It’s time to get our markers out once more!
There’s no easy way to say this, but Carson Wentz has been dreadful through the opening half of the season. No matter how you slice it, a couple of average games against great defenses don’t negate the endless terrible decisions that often result in fumbles, league-leading 12 interceptions, 4.5 yards per pass, or any other metric that just screams regression.
Wentz hasn’t been helped by an offensive line carousel or a total lack of offensive playmakers outside of Travis Fulgham, but they don’t directly impact his fundamentals or processing, which have been a roulette wheel of bad luck all season long.
He’s had his big moments. A gorgeous pass to Boston Scott in the clutch won them a tight game over New York and he kept his offense kicking and screaming against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. But if Wentz had played at that level consistently, we’d be looking at a very different record right now.
The running backs aren’t really the problem here. The team are still averaging 118 rushing yards per game and have averaged 136.3 in their last 3, even without Miles Sanders.
It doesn’t help that Carson Wentz struggles to throw screen passes on target. It doesn’t help that the offensive line really struggle in getting to the second level (Jason Kelce exempt), or that Doug Pederson will suddenly stop running the ball despite the team leading or being within one score early on.
Boston Scott has showcased what he can do when afforded the opportunity in recent weeks, including making game-breaking receptions and using that stirdy base and slippery size to fly past defenders in the open field. However, it is safe to say Corey Clement has been underwhelming again, amassing 63 yards on 18 carries this year.
The team bitterly miss Miles Sanders, who averaged 6.1 yards per carry and had two huge breakaway scores before picking up an injury. Getting him back in week 10 will be a huge boost to an offense that needs as much speed and playmaking potential as it can get its hands on.
Where do we even start? Zach Ertz looked beyond disinterested and disengaged during the opening stanza. 178 receiving yards on 24 catches do not scream ‘elite’ and it’s safe to say that Ertz was clearly dealing with some extra baggage, be it off-the-field contract/trade weight, or an injury that eventually sent him to IR. Will the Eagles trade him this offseason? Only time will tell.
Dallas Goedert missing time after an early breakout stung, but he saw the ball thrown his way just once upon last week’s return. That will have to change if this offense is to have any chance of hanging with some of the faster-scoring offenses in the NFL.
Richard Rodgers has actually been a pleasant surprise this season. He actually has 184 yards on 15 catches…which is better than Zach Ertz. Ah.
Rodgers really stepped up and filled a void that everybody assumed would be nearly impossible to do. All he’s really done is further paint the writing on the wall for Ertz, but Rodgers helped give the offense an unexpected lift on several occasions.
Side note: Jason Croom is a Philadelphia legend with a 100% TD rate when targeted. We will always miss you.
It’s unfair to be overly harsh on a group that seems to have a new lineup every week and has been running on the fumes of third-stringers all season long. Jason Kelce has been the glue holding the Eagles offensive line together, and Jordan Mailata’s surge to supremacy has been really encouraging to watch, but the guard-play has been terrible at times and Wentz is constantly facing pressure, even when tasked with play-action looks and rolling out of the pocket.
Wentz has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL and running the ball can seem like an almighty mission at times. Overall, it’s deeply upsetting…but considering the circumstances, I’m not sure if many other teams would fare better in similar situations.
Travis Fulgham leads the NFL in receiving yards since week 4, Greg Ward Jr. has proven he will likely have a long and fruitful NFL career as a slot receiver, and um…John Hightower caught two huge passes (and dropped about 289).
Another position plagued by injuries this season, the rise of Travis Fulgham has masked just how bad the receiving picture is. No DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor was missing for 5 games, and Alshon Jeffery is yet to play a snap.
Somehow, the receiving group has been arguably the strongest offensive position for the Eagles this year, which is crazy when you remember that everyone listed as a starting wideout in the offseason has missed significant time.
Fulgham has been a sight for sore eyes and has finally given Carson Wentz and the Eagles a #1 receiver who can make magic happen. He already has 435 yards to his name. The problem is that the one time Wentz gets this kind of weapon, there are now a million other problems weighing the team down…including himself.
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