Eagles

Eagles Film Review: Carson Wentz's interceptions are coming on overthrows

Eagles Film Review: Carson Wentz's interceptions are coming on overthrows

What made Carson Wentz so good early in his rookie season was that he wasn't giving away the football. 

Over the last several weeks, that's changed. 

Through three games, Wentz didn't have a single interception and was facing off against Dak Prescott for the most attempts to start a rookie season without one. That seems like a long time ago. 

Wentz now has eight in the last eight games. The Eagles are 1-4 in games where Wentz throws an interception and 4-2 in games where he doesn't. 

His interception against the Packers on Monday was a big one. The Eagles were driving down the field to start the third quarter down just four points. They had a chance to take a lead early in the second half, but Wentz overthrew Zach Ertz across the middle of the field and the Packers kicked a field goal to go up 17-10 on their next possession. 

His interception against Green Bay is something we've seen a few times this year from the rookie. Dating back to training camp, when Wentz misses, he often misses high. 

Four of his eight interceptions this season – and three of his last five – have come on overthrows. 

Here's a look at those picks: 

We'll start with the one on Monday against the Packers. It came on 2nd-and-10 from the Green Bay 45. Wentz is in empty backfield and Ertz is running a deep skinny post. 

Ertz doesn't create much separation early and Wentz is feeling the pressure allowed by right tackle Allen Barbre and right guard Isaac Seumalo. Wentz doesn't have much of a pocket, which doesn't allow him to step into the throw. 

Wentz overshoots Ertz by over five yards and the safety moves over to pick it off. 

Wentz started off the game against the Giants a few weeks ago with another high interception forced by pressure in his face. He comes out in shotgun with one running back. 

On this play, Wentz again feels pressure coming from his right side. He has Nelson Agholor dragging across the field and actually has him open. But the pressure forces him to throw off his back foot, and he again sails it for an easy interception. 

The defender who had Ertz covered on the play released once he saw the ball soaring and had an easy pick. 

Here's the reverse angle of when Wentz releases the ball. He obviously wasn't able to set his feet, which leads to the poor throw. 

Just a few minutes after Wentz's first interception against the Giants, he threw another one. And again, he soared the pass, this time over Dorial Green-Beckham. 

Again, Wentz finds himself in a collapsing pocket, but this time he has at least enough time to stand in and deliver the throw from that collapsing pocket. There's some pressure, but at least this time, he doesn't have to throw off his back foot. 

After showing blitz, a Giants linebacker has dropped into zone coverage, so Wentz has to at least be aware of him. It's likely Wentz wanted to make sure he got the pass over him. 

Because of that linebacker and because of the tight coverage on DGB, the throw has to be perfect. It isn't, DGB doesn't get very far off the ground, and it's basically a fair catch for the free safety. 

This interception is the first of two Wentz threw against the Vikings in a win. This is the only game the Eagles have won where Wentz threw an interception. 

It's 2nd-and-long on the Eagles' second possession of the game. Wentz is going to target Brent Celek on a quick out. 

On this pass, Wentz tries to get rid of the ball quickly, but he has a nice pocket to throw from. 

The ball soars, while it looks like Celek might have been interfered with by the linebacker covering him. But it doesn't get called and it's an easy interception for the safety, who probably anticipated making a tackle but instead found the ball coming right to him. Even if Celek was held, this was still a bad pass from Wentz, especially considering how clean his pocket was. 

The Eagles were able to tackle Andrew Sendejo short of the end zone. The defense then came up with an interception of its own and the Eagles went on to win the game. 

The Eagles were able to overcome two interceptions from Wentz in the win to the Vikings, but that's outlier. They've lost the other four games where he has thrown a pick. And often, the problem has been high throws. 

Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

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Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win Sunday afternoon over the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium:

QUARTERBACK
Nick Foles: 24/38, 237 YDS, 4 TD

Foles was far from perfect, missing his share of open receivers. He also wasn't afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit or push the ball downfield. Foles threw a touchdown pass on four of the Eagles' six trips inside the red zone. Perhaps most importantly, he avoided the negative plays, taking only one sack and finishing the game without a turnover. You can't ask for much more from a backup.

Grade: A

RUNNING BACKS
Jay Ajayi: 12 ATT, 49 YDS, 2 REC, 40 YDS

The Eagles went with a running back by committee approach in the first half to only middling results. In the second half, they turned the reins over to Ajayi, who quickly racked up the offense's long gains of the day — a 22-yard rush and a 32-yard reception. Not sensational production by any means, but at least there weren't any fumbles.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS
Nelson Agholor: 9 TAR, 7 REC, 59 YDS, 1 TD

The performance of these receivers with the backup quarterback at the helm is deserving of some respect. Agholor led the team in receptions and receiving yards, and Alshon Jeffery added four receptions for 49 and a score. Torrey Smith drew a pass interference penalty to set up six for the Eagles as well. With or without Carson Wentz under center, this is still a dangerous bunch (see Roob's observations).

Grade: A-

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz: 9 TAR, 6 REC, 56 YDS, 1 TD

Another week, another stellar game for Eagles tight ends. Ertz picked up right where he left off with a big day after missing the previous week, while Trey Burton tacked on two receptions for 15 yards and a score as well.

Grade: A

OFFENSIVE LINE
Chance Warmack: Started at left guard

Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled with the speed of All-Pro defensive end Olivier Vernon off the edge, allowing four quarterback hits and a sack. Warmack had trouble keeping his feet and reaching his landmarks is the running game. Of course, you can only expect so much when the left side of the O-line consists of backups. Vaitai and Warmack were adequate, even very good at times, and settled in as the game went along to the point where protection was actually solid in the second half.

Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE LINE
Brandon Graham: 4 TKL, 2 TFL, 1.0 SK

The Giants rely on quick passes, negating the Eagles' pass rush to some extent, but the defense was able to generate some mild pressure. Vinny Curry had a sack erased by a penalty in the secondary, and Fletcher Cox got to the quarterback on a two-point conversion attempt. Otherwise, it was a quiet day up front, though the Giants were limited to 75 yards rushing on 3.3 yards per carry.

Grade: B

LINEBACKERS
Nigel Bradham: 11 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 PD

Both Bradham and Mychal Kendricks with nine tackles were extremely active, as the Giants worked the middle of the field hard with their power running game and short slants. Bradham had a chance to put the game on ice late in the fourth quarter but dropped what could've been an easy interception.

Grade: B

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Ronald Darby: 5 TKL, 3 PD, 1 INT

The secondary got off to a horrendous start, allowing 14th-year veteran Eli Manning to set a career high with 252 yards passing in the first half of a game. Darby's interception and 37-yard return while trailing 20-7 in the second quarter flipped the momentum a bit. The coverage was perfect, and Darby's run to the Giants' 20-yard line was even better. Manning went back to work in the second half, racking up 427 yards and three touchdowns. This was supposed to be the 31st-ranked passing offense in the NFL. Not good.

Grade: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS
Eagles: 3 blocked kicks

Derek Barnett blocked an extra point attempt in the first quarter, which turned out to be a huge play. Kamu Grugier-Hill followed up Darby's pick with a blocked punt on the following possession. Malcolm Jenkins blocked a field goal, too. And Jake Elliott was perfect on field goals and extra points. Yet, Najee Goode nearly undid all of it. Goode's totally unnecessary neutral zone infraction on a Giants punt in the third quarter extended a failed drive, eventually resulting in a touchdown. The rest of the unit bailed him out.

Grade: A-

COACHING
Eagles' record: 12-2

This was not Jim Schwartz's best work. The Eagles' defense seemed wholly unprepared for the exact same offense the Giants ran against them in Week 3 — the same offense they run every week. There's no reason for Manning to go over 400 yards. None. Some of the issues were the poor play on the part of the defensive backs, but the game plan was questionable as well.

Otherwise, great job by Doug Pederson to rally the troops after falling behind by 13 in the first half. It didn't look like the offense dialed anything back at all with Foles under center, which was the right call, too. When the team scores 34 with the backup quarterback, the coach is doing something right.

Grade: B-