WATCH: Jon Dorenbos’ Final AGT Magic Trick
A roundup of the best Eagles stories from around the web, but first, here’s Jon Dorenbos’ magic trick from last night’s America’s Got Talent finale:
The Eagles are still the worst team in the NFC East, according to ESPN’s Week 2 power rankings.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
2016 record: 1-0
Week 1 ranking: No. 25
Poise counts! Carson Wentz went 8-of-8 against the blitz in his NFL debut and led the Eagles to one of the most lopsided victories of Week 1. Will Wentz continue to shine brightly in Week 2’s Monday night game against Chicago?
NFL.com also has the Eagles at the bottom of the division, coming in at No. 23 overall.
Nice jump here for Philly, though I’m holding steady (for now) on overreacting. Coordinator Jim Schwartz’s defense displayed its facelift from 2015. Without much tape on Carson Wentz, the Browns’ defense struggled. We’ll see if Wentz can play within himself in Week 2. Love that the running game plowed for a buck and change. The Eagles definitely look ready to soar. Oh boy, that was cheesy. It brings back memories of the old Dick Stockton intros for the CBS Game of the Week. Ron Jaworski has an eagle eye for Mike Quick … as the fourth-place Eagles look to soar past Neil Lomax’s Cardinals, todddaaaaaay on CBSSSSSSS! Maybe it was Dan Jiggetts or Jim Hill, not Stockton. It was pure greatness, either way.
“Carson Wentz is the next great quarterback” is the No. 1 overreaction from Week 1, says Cameron DaSilva of FOX Sports.
Wentz had a terrific debut. It went about as well it could have with the No. 2 overall pick completing 22 of 37 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns without committing a single turnover. He did, however, fumble it twice and make a few ill-advised throws, but those minor mistakes weren’t enough to turn his great outing into a poor one. Yet, for as solid as he was, we need to tap the brakes on the Wentz hype a bit. Yes, he was impressive. And yes, he has all the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL.
But it was against Cleveland, and it was one game. The Browns have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and it showed on Sunday. Wentz won’t face a worse secondary this season than the one he just saw, which could lead to some issues. He still needs to speed up his motion and processing of coverages, but it was a solid start. Just don’t go calling him the second coming of Joe Montana.
The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth breaks down Wentz’s film. Here’s one good and one bad observation:
He locked his eyes on to one receiver. Combined with the above critique, you have a recipe for a potential turnover machine. Holding the ball too long will lead to sack fumbles, and staring at your receiver will result in interceptions against zone defenses. In Sunday’s game, Wentz seldom read through his progression to find a secondary receiver. And he was unwilling to abort well-defended plays and check it down to a running back or throw the ball away. But, that is to be expected from a young quarterback. Some quarterbacks never develop the ability to read through their progression. But that isn’t necessarily a problem.
It’s OK for the quarterback to know where he is going to throw the ball before the play starts, as long as he doesn’t tell the defense by staring at the receiver for the entire play. Wentz needs to master the art of the look-off. For a few games when I played for the Denver Broncos, I had to move from cornerback to safety. In one of those games, we played against Brett Farve. He manipulated me with his eyes the entire game. I’d go sprinting to help cover the receiver at whom he’d been looking, and just as I was getting there to intercept the ball, he would whip his head and shoulders to the other side of the field and take advantage of the isolated defender.
He did a nice job getting his pre-snap reads. Maybe he held the ball too long and stared down his receiver. But he was always staring in the right place. It was clear that he understood where the weakness in the coverage should be. I would guess the coaching staff didn’t give Carson a lot of autonomy to audible plays at the line of scrimmage, but the adjustments he did make were smart. In the first quarter, he flipped a running play that was going to the strong side of the formation to attack the weak side. In the second quarter, he checked from a run to a pass when he saw a favorable matchup.
Keep the Eagles’ offensive players on your fantasy team and don’t sell high after Wentz’s impressive debut, writes ESPN In$ider’s KC Joyner.
The avoidance of safe throws did not lead to errors, however. According to my game tracking, Wentz did not make a single bad decision in this contest (a bad decision being defined as a mental error that leads to a turnover opportunity for the opposing team). That is a feather in the cap when facing a Browns defense that ranked tied for the league lead in forced bad decision rate (BDR) last season (2.4 percent).
Wentz almost certainly won’t keep up a 19-point-per-game pace, but if he can stay anywhere near this level, it should help players like Jordan Matthews (17 points in Week 1) and Ryan Mathews (13 points) continue to post their upper-tier scoring levels. This means it isn’t necessary to sell high on any Philadelphia players and it could be time to buy low on them if a single-game drop-off in the near future brings their price down.
Wentz has the top-selling jersey across the NFL since Sunday, writes ESPN’s Tim McManus.
According to Fanatics, which runs NFL Shop (the league’s official merchandise website) and powers over 300 stores for all the major sports leagues, Wentz’s jersey has been the top seller across the company’s platform of e-commerce sites since this weekend, thanks in large part to a 278-yard, two-touchdown performance against Cleveland.
Wentz was the top-selling Eagles player during the offseason as well, according to Fanatics.
Here is a look at the top-selling NFL players for Fanatics since Sunday:
1. Carson Wentz
2. Odell Beckham Jr.
3. Tom Brady
4. Dak Prescott
5. Antonio Brown
Connor Barwin talked to GQ’s Jeff Vrabel about his eating and weight lifting habits.