Eagles have a Wentz and defense problem on their hands

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) walks off the field after throwing an interception during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Lincoln Financial Field.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

How could the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 2 outing against the Los Angeles Rams be summed up?

The virtual fans piped in by the FOX telecast within an empty Lincoln Financial Field booed Carson Wentz on multiple occasions. That’s how bad it went.

The Eagles are 0-2 after a 37-19 loss to the Rams on Sunday afternoon where two major problems within Philadelphia’s ranks took centerstage: Wentz and the defense.

For a second-straight week, Wentz threw up a pair of interceptions while posting just 242 yards and a quarterback rating of just 56.5.

He has five turnovers through his first two games of the season and a 64.4 passer rating that’s the second-worst in the NFL. He helped to blow a 17-0 Week 1 lead against Washington and was the main culprit as to why the Eagles weren’t able to come back against the Rams.

Down by just five points midway through the third quarter after trailing by as many as three possessions, the Eagles marched down to the Rams’ 21-yard-line with a chance to take their first lead of the day. Instead, Wentz threw into double coverage toward JJ Arcega-Whiteside and was picked off by Darius Williams.

“They made a great play,” Wentz said after the game. “I got out on the naked there to the left, and they had us covered pretty well. I got pretty aggressive, tried to force one in there. Guy made a great play, so I gotta be smarter than that in that situation.”

His carelessness while throwing the ball brings a new dimension of concern for the fifth-year pro, whose interception rate this season is at 4.7% compared to his career mark of just 1.7%.

That’s not the kind of growth the Eagles and their fans were looking for when the 27-year-old had a healthy offseason.

Yet his performance might not have been the worst by an Eagle — or group of Eagles — on Sunday.

The defense was run over by the Rams, allowing 449 yards of offense, including 191 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Jared Goff was given all day to stand in the pocket and pick apart the Eagles’ defense, putting together an efficient day while getting sacked just once.

Goff completed 20-of-27 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions in the Rams’ win, making the Eagles defense look like sieves rather than a competent attack-stopping unit.

Los Angeles scored on four of five red-zone trips and put together four 75-plus-yard scoring drives to run roughshod over Philadelphia in their stadium.

Jalen Mills is in a position to fail as the Eagles’ leader of the secondary, Nickell Roby-Coleman looks like a liability, Avonte Maddox looks too small to guard the outside, the pass rush is non-existent, and the duo of Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson on the interior was a no-show as well.

So while we’re here trying to parse what the Eagles’ larger problem is, the overarching theme of this team’s difficult start to the 2020 season is that all these predictions of another NFC East title look ridiculous given the product that has been put together on the field.

 

 

 

 

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