Carson Wentz played poorly. The offense lacked creativity. The supporting cast failed to make plays. In the rush to point a finger squarely on one thing or player, it’s easy to forget how all things play their role. Essentially, nothing was sunny for the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense last Sunday.
What percentage of blame is laid on the many culprits is a messy game, but the need for answers still exists. The quarterback is usually - and rightfully - the first one to have rotten heads of lettuce thrown at him by the angry mob, so we’ll start there.
Diving into the film, it was apparent very early that Wentz was locking onto reads and displaying a maddening level of indecisiveness. One example was a play that he audibled into, as Benjamin Solak has already broken down. It was easy to see that early the Patriots were invested in making sure Miles Sanders didn’t hurt them with explosive plays in the passing game.
Patriots did a bang-up job taking away RB Miles Sanders as a pass-catcher for Philadelphia: HOW/WHY?— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 19, 2019
▪️How the Eagles try to get Miles Sanders downfield
▪️Where the Patriots saw this on film before
▪️How they defended the Sanders wheel route
Great defensive coaching/execution! pic.twitter.com/uMT8WxSjOb
Beyond the film of this one game, there’s obvious concerns about what went wrong and how or if that can be fixed within a week. Without much in the way of definitive answers other than health, a lot of it relies on Wentz. I offered my thoughts on the matter which you can read below in a loosely transcribed segment from the show.
“Tasked with warding off the great cloud that was the historically great New England Patriots defense, Wentz visibly felt the constant and perhaps fatal pressure of rowing a boat with no oars. In a game that would offer few opportunities for his usual heroics, he’d try to force them anyway, slipping back into old and brutal habits that we have talked about on this show and that we highlighted specifically in the Dallas game which I think was the only game this year that was worse than this.
Wentz has remarkable talent for imaginative improvisation, and he knows it, and as such his play is more hair-raising adventure than well-oiled machine. With the Eagles needing an ounce of new blood on offense, that play style has led to a glaring contradiction. Wentz is a Bugatti being asked to run a Kia offense… It’s an offense that requires a surgeon, not a butcher.
That’s where my main concern comes for this season with Wentz. The games where he’s going to struggle are becoming too predictable, and there are very good reasons behind it, but as you work through this film it’s not all on the design, it’s not all on the receivers, it’s not all on the drops or lack of a run game in this one.
There were plays to be made throughout the game by Wentz, he didn’t make them. He double clutched, he was indecisive, and to play amateur psychologist for a moment I thought there was clear evidence, as we’ve talked about before, that there are receivers he does not trust and perhaps for good cause, but ultimately he needs to put the onus on them, because at a certain point you’re just handcuffing yourself.
Look, this is one game, and important one no doubt. When I talk about these things, I take solace in the fact that the supporting cast around him for this game is an aberration, hopefully, because of not only the players that couldn’t play but the players that got injured in-game too.
I think we know what Wentz and this offense is without a supporting cast and it’s mostly untenable. I think we know what Wentz and this offense can be with a supporting cast, and it can be great. Wentz isn’t going to consistently put a low ceiling on the offense, we have enough evidence to say that, and he can even raise that ceiling a bit. He didn’t do that against the Patriots, but he’s done it before.
So hell yeah I’m frustrated and concerned that Wentz is in his own head a little bit. You could see it coming. Sunday wasn’t good enough, this season has been a mess. Right now the most you can hope for is a bounce back game from Wentz, which so far this season he has done in these spots.
Hopefully you get some weapons back and Wentz doesn’t need to feel that internalized pressure to the point where it cripples his game. Hopefully you get the Wentz that has played anywhere from solid-to-above average for the other eight games when you take into consideration what he’s being asked to do and the big plays not being made around him.
I’m saying hopefully a lot, but that’s where I’m at right now, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable and I think I have a pretty realistic understanding of what the Eagles have at quarterback… This is a horizontal offense with a vertical quarterback, until one or both of those factors change, this is not going to be an above average offense capable of making a serious run. End rant.”
You can listen to the rest of our thoughts on Wentz, the offense, and the surprising defensive performance by checking out The Kist & Solak Show #147! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load! New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!
FILM REVIEW— BGN Radio (@BGN_Radio) November 20, 2019
The Kist & Solak Show #147 w/@MichaelKistNFL & @BenjaminSolak!
The gang analyzes Wentz's poor game & how/why it came about, plus thoughts an encouraging performance from the defense & much more!