The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the early disappointments in the NFL two weeks into the season. After they survived a rash of injuries and squeaked into the playoffs last year atop a terrible NFC East, the basic thinking was a healthy Eagles team would compete with a loaded Dallas Cowboys squad for the division title again.
But injury luck has once again gone south for Philly. Two starting members of their offensive line went down with season-ending injuries before Week 1. Starting RB Miles Sanders missed the first game of the season. The Eagles are still winless after losing to the Rams in Week 2, and various ailments to key players can certainly be blamed.
At least in part. Because right now, the Eagles are winless partly because of the play of Carson Wentz, their franchise quarterback. Wentz has dealt with his own injury issues in the past, but so far has managed to stay healthy even with a patchwork offensive line. But that's the only positive takeaway from his 2020 campaign thus far.
Wentz has just been bad. He was tortured in Week 1 by Washington's blue-chip defensive line before he and his compatriots were stomped by the Los Angeles Rams in their own stadium this past Sunday. Through two games, Wentz has been responsible for five turnovers (four interceptions, one lost fumble) and has thrown only two touchdown passes and ran for another. He's completed only 50-of-95 pass attempts. Wentz simply has not looked at all like the championship-caliber QB everyone believes he is, nor the guy who signed an extension that guaranteed him over $100 million.
So what's all this, then? What is going on with Wentz right now? His receiving corps is made up of a rookie, DeSean Jackson, and spare parts, but he has two of the better receiving tight ends in the league and a great all-around back in Sanders. He is not in a perfect situation to succeed, but he has weapons. Wentz' salary suggests he is a great quarterback, and great quarterbacks find a way to get the job done. Thus far, he's failed. Speaking to media today, head coach Doug Pederson was as confused as the rest of us.
Not exactly encouraging soundbites for Wentz. And Pederson keeps harping on the whole lack of preparation, but literally every other team in the NFL was in the same position as Philly. Is it hard to create chemistry and get on the same page in a two-week span? Of course it is. But everyone else figured it out, especially Jared Goff, who tore up Philly's secondary all day yesterday.
Wentz has always been a relatively streaky player. The good parts are so good that it's easy to ignore the bad parts. But to open up the 2020 season, it's been all bad and no good. Pederson doesn't know why. Nobody does except Wentz, really. The why doesn't matter, anyhow. Wentz will need to elevate his play significantly if he doesn't want to keep getting booed by fake fans.