WTS: Wentz’s Mechanics Being Noticed By Teams

Plus: How much have the Eagles spent since 2013?
Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

After the Eagles fell to the Cincinnati Bengals, 32-14, let’s take a look at what the national media are saying about the team.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports says NFL teams are noticing something’s wrong with Carson Wentz‘s throwing motion, and it’s catching on.

One NFC East source likened Wentz’s arm positioning to something from a baseball pitcher. Another evaluator said the rookie displayed “bountiful bad arm angles” during his throwing motion.

“[The] ball is dropped down, turned out, then looped back around,” one evaluator said. “With his long arms and that motion, [it’s] very hard to be accurate. Especially on the move. … [The] inability to get the ball out quick and on time is key.”

The motion was also something that concerned the Cleveland Browns in their scouting evaluations of Wentz, prior to their trading of the No. 2 overall pick to the Eagles. A Browns source told Yahoo Sports Wentz’s motion was noted in draft evaluations – though he also maintained trading the No. 2 pick was more about netting draft picks than not liking Wentz.

Interestingly, a league source told Yahoo Sports that restyling Wentz’s throwing motion was an important bullet point on the Eagles’ offseason docket, but that the team was able to make only marginal progress before the start of the regular season. According to the source, those efforts were spearheaded by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, both former NFL quarterbacks.

With hopes of making the playoffs all but bleak, the focus has shifted to keeping the players healthy, writes Tim McManus of ESPN.com.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor, back from a one-game break to deal with confidence issues, is heartened by what he has seen from his quarterback, despite the group’s struggles. He pointed to a play down the stretch on which, after Wentz was intercepted by Vontaze Burfict, the quarterback ran the linebacker down and threw his shoulder into him to knock him out of bounds.

“That’s my quarterback,” Agholor said. “You have a lot of respect for someone [who does that]. In fact, I was disappointed in myself because I was gassed. And I don’t want him doing that. But the fact that he is that passionate, he still found a way to do that, I have a lot of respect for him.”

Playoff hope has left this team. With a quarter of a season remaining, it’s now about evaluating the head coach and supporting cast and the development of the rookie quarterback — though any kind of substantial growth is nearly impossible in these conditions.

More realistically, it’s about trying to ensure that Wentz is not further damaged between now and when the season wraps up Jan. 1.

Whereas Carson Wentz had his worst performance of his young career, NFL.com’s Max Meyer notes undrafted rookie free agent Paul Turner emerged as a top target for Wentz.

2. This contest was one of Carson Wentz’s worst performances in an up-and-down rookie campaign. He was picked off three times (a career-high) and was fortunate that the Cincinnati defense didn’t have more. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict had two of the picks, his first career multi-interception game. Quite a few of Wentz’s throws were too high for his wideouts, and his deep throws have sailed, a troubling trend of late for the rookie. Wentz has three touchdown passes versus eight interceptions over his past five games.

3. One week after he was a healthy scratch, Nelson Agholor bounced back as he tied a season-high with four receptions. Two of those catches were fourth-down conversions, and he didn’t have a single drop. Unfortunately for Agholor, undrafted rookie wideout Paul Turner emerged Sunday as a favorite target of Wentz’s. He finished with six catches and 80 yards, or more catches and yards than Agholor has had in any game in his career.

With recent reports that he could return to Philadelphia, DeSean Jackson could be what the Eagles just need, opines Robert Molnar of Yahoo Sports.

Of the team’s three starting receivers, Jordan Matthews is not the biggest or most talented, but he is the most consistent. Working in the slot area, Matthews is a reliable pass catcher that can deliver first downs when he is on the field. If I could clear the roster of players I didn’t like, Matthews would be one of the few I retain.

With the inconsistency running rampant outside the numbers, the Philadelphia Eagles would do themselves a lot of good to make a run at a talented receiver this offseason. That player could just be former Philly receiver DeSean Jackson, who despite a awkward exit a few years ago, could be tempted to rejoin the Eagles.

A free agent this offseason, DeSean Jackson is the just the type of receiver needed in Philly right now. Though his health has become a concern the last couple of years, Jackson still possesses the speed and acceleration to burn almost every corner and safety in the NFL. Giving Carson Wentz a receiver like Jackson could be just what the doctor ordered.

Will such a move occur, it really is too early to tell. This time of year, rumors usually begin to run rampant due to impending offseason. Whether or not there is any basis to this rumor, who knows, but the simple fact that it could be true should excite members of the Eagles fanbase.

Dieter Kurtenbach of FoxSports.com rips on the wide receivers and offensive line.

Carson Wentz is going to get a lot of flack for Sunday’s game, but it’s pretty hard to quarterback when all of your receivers were born without depth perception and your offensive line has decided that pushing those guys in front of them is going to be a lot of work, so let’s take this play and the next 40 or so off.

If the formula for beating the Eagles is as simple as “blitz the hell out of the rookie quarterback, and even if he gets the ball off and makes a perfect throw to a receiver, no one will catch it” it’s pretty easy to win.

At over $600 million, the Eagles have spent the most amount of salary cap money since 2013.

Rookie running back Wendell Smallwood is a low-end fantasy football waiver wire option, opines Pat Fitzmaurice of SI.com.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (37% owned)

Smallwood has been a fantasy disappointment the last two weeks, but blame it largely on negative game scripts. With the Eagles quickly falling into big holes against the Packers and Bengals in Weeks 12-13, they had to abandon the running game, and a reliance on the pass means more snaps for Darren Sproles, fewer for Smallwood. The rookie played only 22 of 59 snaps in the lopsided loss to Cincinnati, rushing eight times for 19 yards and failing to catch any of his three targets. A home matchup against Washington this week could lead to a bigger snap total for Smallwood, but the potential return of Ryan Mathews could throw a wrench into things.

(Talent: B- | Opportunity: C | Schedule: C | OVERALL: C+)

Just because the Eagles have fallen apart in their last few games, Peter King of the MMQB thinks the future is still bright.

5. I think nobody knows anything. I left Lincoln Financial Field in Week 3, after the Eagles’ 34-3 win over Pittsburgh, and was convinced I’d just seen an NFC Championship Game team, with the rookie quarterback who’d be the story of the year. Since that afternoon, Philly’s 2-7, and the 32-14 rout at Cincinnati left the Eagles 0-6 on the road since I saw them. The loss at Cincinnati ended the Eagles’ faint playoff chances, but it shouldn’t make Eagles fans skeptical about the future. For Carson Wentz to go from FCS in the state of North Dakota to beating the best two levels up was totally unrealistic. He’s got the demeanor and the tools to win, and to win big. I would be very bullish on his long-term chances.