2020 is the appropriate backdrop for a “SNAFU” in the Eagles’ master plan…
Suddenly our franchise QB is no longer the Prince or Heir Apparent… but just another guy.
This sort of fall from grace happens a lot in the NFL, just not usually a mere two-and-a-half years after you’ve won a Super Bowl. The most recent comparison is Joe Flacco’s fall from grace in Baltimore after Joe basically willed his team to the title in 2012. A lot of parallels exist in that reference— an offensive line which collapsed due to injuries, a quarterback whose physical attributes required a solid protection scheme, a go-to running game which evaporated, healthy and dependable tight ends lost in battle, and at least a semblance of a deep threat among the wide receivers which dissolved.
Unless your QB is Thor or Johnny Unitas, the position is going to struggle passing the ball accurately in this very fast game with those handicaps. You have about 2 seconds to figure out what’s happening in adjusted coverages. You are getting bombarded with incoming flack. You can’t go through your progressions (usually three on every play design) because you don’t have time to read beyond your first target.
This is Carson Wentz’ current reality. The legs don’t ensure escape anymore (another parallel to Flacco’s demise after knee surgery) so beatdowns ensue in the backfield.
In other words, the BIG PLAYS are not happening anymore. And despite all the Wentz hate right now, if you really look at it, the Eagles offense despite all its struggles is just a few big plays short of changing the outcome in a bunch of their losses in 2020.
So who gets the blame? The QB and the head coach, of course, but mostly the QB because that is the guy you see getting slammed to the ground on TV.
Seattle is up next on Monday night. Doug Pederson is sticking with Wentz. But already the local and global media are demanding a change at QB.
EYE say bring in the “Flacco Factor” and give Wentz what he needs— an extra blocking back and a Kubiak-type focus on dual running-back attack with up-tempo screens and slants to tight ends and wideouts.
It worked for Flacco until he got hurt again. It will work for Wentz until he (hopefully not) gets hurt again.
Sadly the NFL world is piling on Wentz, joining many of our local scribes.
This is the worst of it:
While Doug Pederson and the Eagles continue to say Carson Wentz is their guy, the media and the public continue to speculate about a potential QB change over to rookie Jalen Hurts.
The external noise is one thing, but according to former NFL star Deion Sanders, some Eagles players do not believe in Wentz.
“What I have been telling you all year from Day 1, honestly,” Sanders said on the latest episode of the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take. “And this is not a ‘I told you so’ situation, this is an athlete knowing another athlete, and an athlete like myself talking to other athletes that I know that are there, this is not the guy. This is not the guy.”
Should the Eagles make the switch to Hurts?
“If you think he could possibly be that guy, what you are going to get if you stay with Wentz, you going to get a division — pretty much what you already have,” Sanders said. “You have some guys in the locker room saying ‘Hey man, this ain’t working partner. You could at least give the other kid a shot, because this ain’t working.’ He is not the guy. You can’t just try to justify it because you made a mistake and paid him a ton of money, which you are going to get out of that contract as soon as you can. But you got to be able to salvage that team in a horrific division that you can probably still win, you got to get away from that kid.”
Yeah, sounds simple… Get away from Wentz. Give Hurts a chance. Problem is, you would miss the whole point. Even if Hurts is the incarnation of Lamar Jackson, which he isn’t, the rest of the offense is still badly broken. You have got to put the onus on coaching here. Something is wildly off in the design department.