The Eagles lost again, this time to the Green Bay Packers. Philadelphia now stands at a 3-8-1 record.
But, this week, their fourth consecutive loss wasn’t the most discussed topic; Carson Wentz taking the bench for back-up quaterback Jalen Hurts was.
THAT HAD TO HURT(S) WENTZ’S EGO
For the first time since Carson Wentz was drafted in 2016, Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson benched Philly’s starting quarterback. After playing two and half quarters during Sunday’s game against the Packers, back-up Jalen Hurts took his place.
“I didn’t know what the plan was fully. I was just told he [Hurts] was going in for the next play and the next series, so I didn’t really know what was going on there, Wentz said. Obviously, that’s frustrating as a competitor and just the personality that I have; I want to be the guy out there. But it is what it is. They made the call today. At the end of the day we lost, as a team, we lost, and that’s what I think for me I’m most frustrated about. I don’t like where we’re at this season record-wise and I know I can play better, and we can all be better going forward.”
Before his departure, Carson Wentz went 6 for 15 for 79 yards, and had four sacks.
Over the last few weeks, there’s been loads of chatter about if and when Jalen Hurts would see playing time. He’s often been seen on the field with Wentz for dual-quarterback plays, but scored some solo action during Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks. Hurts entered in the second quarter — for one snap — a six-yard pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Then the Eagles visited Lambeau Field in Week 13. Hurts took the field in the third quarter, finishing 5 for 12 for 109 yards. He also threw his first career touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to wide receiver Greg Ward.
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/TuRPDyFU0k
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 6, 2020
Hurts followed with an interception, sending the Eagles home with a 30-16 loss, but there was definitely some spark in the offense.
Hurts felt the same, stating, “Any experience and any opportunity to touch the field, it only kind of raises the value of that player. It kind of has been that way all year, and today Coach gave me that opportunity. With all my heart, I had every intention of coming in and getting it done and winning the game, but we came up short, and that only lights a fire in everybody moving forward.”
W.W.D.D. [WHAT WOULD DOUG DO?]
Now what? The Eagles are currently third in the NFC East behind both the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team. Both teams hold a 5-7 record.
Unfortunately, for the Eagles, their schedule still doesn’t get any easier. Finishing out the regular season, they await the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington.
As of Monday, Doug Pederson had not decided which quarterback would start during Week 14, and for a good reason. Two weeks ago, after the Eagles lost to the Cleveland Browns, he stated that Wentz would continue as the team’s quarterback, as pulling him would be “sending the wrong message to your football team.”
So, does Pederson go back on his word? His best decision may be to start Wentz and integrate Hurts back into the game. Keeping Wentz as the starter shows Pederson is a man of his word and increases Wentz’s conviction. Integrating Hurts allows Wentz to reflect, decreases Wentz’s injury risk, and gives the team an idea of Hurts’ gameplay and how the Eagles should ultimately pursue things next season.
Pederson stated, “I’ve got to get through injuries, I’ve got to get through the tape, there’s a lot of things that I’m going to consider and evaluate before anything is decided.”
Whether the Eagles like it or not, there’s now a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Any move now, no matter what move it is, could mean big, big changes in the next year.
“At the end of the day, it’s outside of my control. That’s not for me [to decide], Wentz said. I know what I’m capable of. I know I can play better. I have never doubted myself or lost my confidence in my abilities. But a lot of these things are out of my control.”
Only time will tell. The Eagles host the Saints on Sunday at 4:25 pm, who are 10-2 and have already locked in a playoff spot.