If the Philadelphia Eagles are going to make a push at the playoffs, Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz are going to need to step up big time.
There are a handful of excuses you could use to justify why the Eagles offense looked inept for the majority of Sunday’s contest against the New England Patriots. The starting running back was out, the top two receivers were sidelined. Lane Johnson went down early and didn’t return, and the list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, these kinds of excuses are getting old, and quite frankly, the game was winnable up until the final play even with a few of their key offensive players missing. The offense’s inability to muster up anything after their lone touchdown drive falls squarely on Doug Pederson’s and Carson Wentz’s shoulders.
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We’ve seen this kind of game out of this duo time and time again. Wentz made some ridiculously athletic highlight plays, yet, he missed on some routine throws and continued to hold onto the ball for way too long in the pocket. Coach Pederson started off the game with a some solid play calling, taking what the defense was giving him and controlling the clock. Miles Sanders had six touches on the team’s only touchdown drive, but he only toted the rock four times after that. Why Pederson would stray away from an effective running game and elect to pass the ball 40 times against the best pass defense in the NFL is just mind-boggling.
Week 11’s game was there for the taking, and it shouldn’t have come down to a prayer on fourth down to Nelson Agholor in the back of the end zone. Wentz missed two open passes to Zach Ertz on the two previous plays before that one, both of which probably would have gotten the Eagles a first down. Not to mention the offense failed to score on ten straight drives that yielded 22 yards after they went up 10-0 in the first quarter. That’s just flat out unacceptable.
Wentz’s inconsistencies and Pederson’s head-scratching decisions are starting to become a trend, a trend that must be remedied if the Eagles hope to win the NFC East or reach the postseason.
It’s easy to cite all the injuries or how bad the receiving corp has been this year as the reason for the offensive struggles, but no one on this team used those kinds of excuses when they won the Super Bowl two years ago, and that team dealt with their fair share of adversity as well.
Excuses are for losers. Winners don’t use excuses as justification, they use them as motivation. We’ll see what this team is truly made of down the stretch, and it all starts next week when Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks come to town.