Carson Wentz and Brandon Brooks. (Jeff Fusco)
After an impressive start to his NFL career featuring several records and even more comparisons to Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Carson Wentz is beginning to come back down to Earth. In his last two games, the 24-year-old North Dakota State product has recorded his lowest marks of the season in completion percentage, yards per pass and passer rating, among several other categories.
Against the Vikings, Wentz turned the ball over three times to the NFL’s first-ranked defense. But while Doug Pederson explains how his quarterback needs to improve, he’s also quick to point to the only statistic that truly matters.
“Well, he’s still winning football games. That’s obviously the ultimate stat,” Pederson said. “He missed some throws yesterday and this is something that now as we get deeper into the season — he is a first-time starter; he’s a rookie. And just the longevity now of the season, I’ve got to make sure that we’re keeping things very familiar for him where he can just execute and play.
“There were, again, a couple opportunities to make catches and we didn’t. [We] had a couple drops, so it would have helped in those situations. But he continues to manage the game extremely well and puts our team in good situations, and the run game specifically.” Read more »
Rodney McLeod. (Jeff Fusco)
Jalen Mills stood in the middle of a circle made up of the Eagles’ defensive backs before their game against the Vikings. Located in the tunnel just before running out onto Lincoln Financial Field, the rookie raised his voice.
“How the f-ck they going to say they’re the best defense in this f-cking league, and we sitting right here?” Mills said. “How the f-ck they going say that?”
Perhaps Minnesota said that because they visited Philadelphia ranked first in the NFL in points per game allowed. Or perhaps Minnesota said that because it was a practically unanimous view point among those who followed football. But regardless of the reason, the Eagles’ defense dismissed it as they staked a claim of their own Sunday by dominating in their 21-10 win over the Vikings. Read more »
Josh Huff. (Jeff Fusco)
The Eagles beat the previously undefeated Vikings, 21-10, as Philadelphia’s defense and special teams dominated. Here’s what we saw: Read more »
Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)
Ron Brooks, Bennie Logan, Leodis McKelvin and Mychal Kendricks are “questionable” for the Eagles-Vikings game on Sunday as Sam Bradford returns to Philadelphia with an undefeated Minnesota squad. Meanwhile, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Jordan Matthews, Rodney McLeod and Marcus Smith will be available to play. Read more »
Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)
In this week’s installment of Opposition Research, we talked to the (Minnesota) Star Tribune’s Mark Craig. We discussed Sam Bradford’s return to Philadelphia, a key matchup and who will win, among several other topics. Read more »
Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)
Carson Wentz completed just 11 passes in the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to Washington. He misread coverages at times, he held onto the ball for too long — twice resulting in sacks — and he over-threw his targets on several plays.
It was the first game he truly looked like a rookie throughout four quarters, yet he continued to show promise while making plays not many other quarterbacks can make. That’s why Doug Pederson, for one, isn’t worried about Wentz.
“It’s not a concern just because I know Carson and how he handles that and how tough he is on his himself. It is part of a learning process,” Pederson said. “That’s the great thing about Carson is how well he is able to just remember something, fix it, move on and then not do that again.” Read more »
Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)
Sam Bradford had just woken up around 8 a.m. on September 3 when Doug Pederson called to say the Eagles were trading him to the Vikings. Bradford was in Oklahoma with his wife, Emma, as the two planned to hang out at home and watch the Sooners open their season against Houston.
But by that afternoon, Bradford was on a plane to Minnesota to join the Vikings and learn his sixth offense in seven years.
“It was completely off my radar. It just wasn’t something I was even thinking about. When I got that phone call on Saturday morning, I did a little double take and I was like, ‘What?'” Bradford said on a conference call with Eagles reporters Wednesday afternoon. “It happened so fast that I didn’t really have time to process it. I honestly still haven’t sat down and thought it all the way through. Read more »
Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)
Sam Bradford spent nearly nine months with Doug Pederson as his head coach learning the playbook and even longer with his teammates learning their tendencies, but that time won’t give Minnesota a notable advantage in Philadelphia this week, according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say we asked him stuff, but honestly, I think that stuff’s all overrated. People have left stuff in locker rooms when they’ve played us before and I’ve looked at it and I can’t even decipher it,” Zimmer said. “He wasn’t there all that long [under Pederson]. I just think you go off the tape and you go do the best you can.” Read more »
Zach Ertz. (USA Today Sports)
Carson Wentz only threw the ball 21 times in the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to Washington, but when you have a tight end you agreed to pay a reported $42.5 million over five years just nine months prior, you’d expect him to produce more than Zach Ertz did on Sunday.
Ertz recorded just one catch (his worst mark since Week 13 of 2014) for 22 yards on three targets (his lowest total since Week 4 of 2015) as the Birds struggled to get one of the main focal points of their offense involved.
“There were plays where Carson, based on the progression and the read, could have thrown him the ball a couple of times,” Doug Pederson said. “You’ve got one football and we ask Carson to go through his reads. If (Ertz) is the guy, he’s the guy. But (Ertz) is a big part of the offense and we’ve got to continue and I’ve got to continue with [offensive coordinator] Frank [Reich] and the guys to still figure out and find ways to get him open and get him the ball.” Read more »
Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz. (Jeff Fusco)
Before the season started, Doug Pederson referred to how he would give Jim Schwartz free rein over the defense. The rookie head coach didn’t want to micromanage and he trusted Schwartz, so he’s largely stayed out of the defensive coordinator’s way since.
Despite a pair of rough outings recently in which the Eagles allowed 21 first-half points in back-to-back games, Pederson hasn’t seen something he dislikes to the point of intervening.
“No. There’s no panic; no panic whatsoever. I talked to Jim this morning. We kind of went through it and I watched the defensive side of the ball. Listen, it just comes down to players making plays,” Pederson said. “The guys are disappointed. The players are disappointed. They know. They know how they played and they felt it after the game and the guys that have been here already this morning, [they] know. And it’s just ownership. But by no means have I or will I at this point, make any decisions on that side of the ball right now.” Read more »