Eagles vs. Browns recap: Carson Wentz impresses in first career start

Carson Wentz impresses in Eagles’ win over the Browns.

First half review

Offense:

  • Carson Wentz’s first NFL pass is a drop by Jordan Matthews. Surprise, surprise.
  • Immediately following the drop, Wentz throws one to Zach Ertz, who reels it in with one hand. Beautiful catch and throw.
  • Wentz hits Ertz for 13 yards on a throw to the flats. Ertz and Wentz seem to have instant chemistry early on.
  • Touchdown! Wentz’s throws a beauty to Jordan Matthews in the end zone for his first ever scoring pass. Matthews makes him for his drop earlier in the drive.

Defense:

  • Eagles completely shut down the Browns. Three and out for Cleveland.

Offense:

  • Second play of the series, Wentz feels pressure, roles out and throws ball away. A little later than it should’ve been. Took a hit in the process, but hops right back up.
  • Third and long for the Eagles, Wentz goes for a screen, but the pass is tipped by a Cleveland defensive lineman. Could’ve been a lot worse.

Defense:

  • Once again, the Eagles defense causes another three and out. Robert Griffin III not getting any help from his receivers.

Special Teams:

  • Darren Sproles returns a punt 40 yards, gives the Eagles awesome field position. He’s still got it even at 33 years old.

Offense:

  • Eagles are unable to get into the end zone after the big Sproles punt return. Have to settle for a field goal, which Caleb Sturgis misses just to the right of the post. One official, however, called the field goal good. Maybe the Eagles should have been awarded 1.5 points?

Defense:

  • You guessed it. The Eagles stop the Browns once again. This time, the Browns go for it on fourth down in their own territory. Eagles stop them, get great field position.

Offense:

  • Wentz hits Jordan Matthews for a big gain on his first throw of the series. Beautiful throw from Carson “Can’t Miss” Wentz.
  • Third and goal, Wentz throws a ball up for Matthews in the end zone, but it’s too high. Eagles settle for a field goal. Sturgis makes this one! Eagles up 10-0.

Defense:

  • Browns get into a rhythm. Robert Griffin III finds Terrelle Pryor deep, who jumped high above Nolan Carroll to reel in the catch. Unbelievable play.
  • Third down, Malcolm Jenkins breaks up a pass intended for Duke Johnson in the end zone, but gets called for pass interference. Very questionable call. First down for the Browns.
  • Isaiah Crowell runs it in for an easy two-yard touchdown. Eagles still ahead 10-7.

Offense:

  • Nelson Agholor caught a ball! This alone deserves a shoutout. On the same play, however, Wentz took a pretty big hit right into his chest. Got up just fine, but a little scary considering his rib injury from earlier this summer.
  • Eagles fail to convert for a first down. Wentz took a couple hits on this short drive. Not ideal for the rookie.

Defense:

  • Browns get a first down. RG3 throws a short pass to his receiver out wide. Nolan Carroll missed a tackle that would have forced a Cleveland punt.
  • Interception! Rodney McLeod picks off a tipped ball and puts a hault to a Cleveland drive that was initially looking very promising.

Offense:

  • Second play after the McLeod interception, Kenjon Barner make a nice run for a first down. Good to see him getting a healthy amount of snaps.
  • After the two-minute warning, Wentz makes a couple nice throws to Jordan Matthews and Agholor. Both of which led to a first down.
  • Wentz finds Sproles on a screen pass for a nice gain. Sproles really is incredible with the ball in his hands.
  • On third down, Wentz looks for Sproles on a crossing route, but he’s unable to reel in the pass. would’ve been a first down. Eagles settle for another field goal. Eagles go into the half ahead 13-7.

Overall, it was a good half for the Eagles. Wentz is still dealing with some jitters, but he’s also showing some very good signs. Though the defense began to let up a bit after the first quarter, it was stout for the most part. Look for Doug Pederson to get the Eagles’ offensive line a little more focused on protecting Wentz in the second half.

Second half review

Defense:

  • First play of the half was possibly the worst play of the game for the Eagles’ defense. RG3 launched a pass 58 yards deep to Corey Coleman, who was in triple coverage. Somehow, the Eagles defensive backs were unable to locate the ball, allowing Coleman to make his first career reception. Ugly, ugly play from the defense there.
  • Following the deep pass, the Eagles held the Browns to a field goal, but they’re lucky they didn’t allow a touchdown on the drive. RG3 had a couple receivers open near the end zone but was unable to hit either of them. Eagles still ahead 13-10.

Offense:

  • Third and long, Carson Wentz shows off his strong arm and hits Jordan Matthews for a first down and more. Beautiful throw from Wentz. He and Matthews seem to be developing good chemistry.
  • Third and long, Wentz does his best Sam Bradford impression and throws a short dinky pass far short of the sticks. To his defense, however, this play made it a little easier for Donnie Jones to pin the Browns deeper in their own territory.

Defense:

  • Safety! On the very first play of the Browns’ drive, Cleveland’s center snaps the ball far over RG3’s head and out of the end zone. Eagles get an easy two points, up 15-10.

Offense:

  • Eagles got the ball after the safety. On the first play of the drive, Wentz took a deep shot to Jordan Matthews, but it fell incomplete. Joe Haden may have gotten away with a hold on the play.
  • Wendell Smallwood sighting! The first carry of Smallwood’s career goes for one yard. Womp.
  • Third down, Wentz finds Matthews in the middle of the field, but, I’ll be damned, Matthews drops it!
  • Eagles go for it on fourth down. A Browns defender gets an open lane and hits Wentz, but not before Wentz throws a bullet to Zach Ertz to convert. Very impressive play.
  • Touchdown! Wentz goes deep and finds Nelson Agholor for the score. Really nice seeing Agholor rebound after a horrible summer. Eagles extend their lead, 22-10.

Defense:

  • Sack! After a nice run from Isaiah Crowell, Fletcher Cox takes down RG3 for the Eagles’ first sack of the season!
  • Third down. RG3 finds Corey Coleman for a nice gain, but not enough for a first down. Jalen Mills was there to knock Coleman out of bounds. Good play by the rookie corner.

Offense:

  • First play of the new drive, Wentz finds Ertz for a nice gain. It’s pretty clear who Wentz’s favorite targets are.
  • Kenjon Barner had a nice 19-yard run. Good to see his explosiveness has carried over into the regular season.
  • Fumble. Wentz has trouble handing the ball off to Darren Sproles in the backfield, but Sproles was able to jump on the ball for a minimal loss. Eagles punt.

Special Teams:

  • Donnie Jones pins the Browns on their own one yard line. Good play by the Eagles’ special teams unit to race down the field and keep the ball from bouncing into the end zone.

Defense:

  • Eagles force a three and out. Browns were going after Ron Brooks after Leodis McKelvin left the game with an injury. More on that later. Brown punt and Eagles get great field position.

Offense:

  • Carson Vick! Wentz runs for a couple yards. Not a lot, but showed off his athleticism when under duress.
  • Eagles are unable to move the ball far downfield on the drive. Donnie Jones punts and almost pins the Browns in deep once again, but the Eagles’ gunners were unable to bring the ball in before it bounced into the end zone.

Defense:

  • Sack! Connor Barwin takes down RG3 and nearly forces a fumble. Eagles hold Cleveland to yet another three and out.

Offense:

  • Wentz makes another beautiful throw to Jordan Matthews for a first down. Wentz had to fit the ball into a small window and Matthews made a diving effort to reel in the pass. Very pretty play.
  • Cool thing: Wentz looks to Josh Huff, who tips the ball high into the air. Nelson Agholor comes up with the ball and gets a few yards out of it. Could’ve been much worse.
  • After a couple penalties on the Eagles, they are unable to convert for a first down. Donnie Jones comes back out to punt and once again pins Cleveland depp in their own territory.

Defense:

  • Another sack! Brandon Graham takes down RG3 and forces a fumble in the process. Griffin recovers the fumble, however.
  • RG3 tries to run for a first down on third and long, but runs to the sideline where he took a big hit from Jalen Mills. Mills showing some good physicality.
  • Browns go for it on fourth down. RG3’s throw is way too high for his receiver to bring in. Griffin seemed to be favoring his arm when the play was over, which may have been due to the hit he took from Mills.

Offense:

  • With terrific field position, Ryan Mathews leads the Eagles down the field into the end zone for six. Mathews deserved to get himself a score. Really good day from him. Eagles up 29-10.

Defense:

  • Browns rush the ball to run out the clock. Eagles win the game with a final score of 29-10.

Overview

The Eagles looked good against the Browns. Then again, it is the Browns, so take it with a grain of salt, but enjoy it nevertheless. Carson Wentz looked terrific in his first career start, but did show some consistency issues. Once he got comfortable, however, it was evident that he was a step ahead of the competition. The defense was solid most of the day, but did allow a couple of big plays. Those need to be minimized, especially against an inferior team like the Browns. Overall, though, it was a good performance for the Eagles.

Additional notes

Leodis McKelvin left the game with an apparent hamstring injury. The Eagles’ cornerback depth is questionable, so it would be less than ideal if he misses an extended period of time.

It’s pretty evident who Carson Wentz’s favorite targets are. He connected with Jordan Matthews seven times and Zach Ertz six times. Without a doubt, Wentz has built some good rapport with those playmakers.

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