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. 

5 reasons Eagles are keeping expensive Jason Peters

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5 reasons Eagles are keeping expensive Jason Peters

When the offseason began, there was definitely a sense of unknown regarding Jason Peters.

The Eagles faced an offseason that presented tremendous salary cap challenges, Peters had just turned 36, carried a $10.7 salary cap hit in 2018 and was coming off another injury.

And his replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, was much cheaper and had played very well down the stretch and during the Eagles’ Super Bowl run.

It wouldn’t have been a shock to anybody if the Eagles moved on from Peters.

Yet here we are almost two months later, and Peters remains an Eagle and at this point will almost certainly be an Eagle in 2018.

Why is Peters still here? Let’s consider some of the reasons:

1. Affect in the locker room
Peters is so respected and even beloved in the locker room. It’s no coincidence photos showed him holding the Lombardi Trophy as he slept on the flight back from Minneapolis after the Super Bowl.  

The Eagles have already lost several veterans from the Super Bowl team. LeGarrette Blount and Brent Celek were tremendous leaders, and Donnie Jones, Trey Burton, Torrey Smith, Vinny Curry and Beau Allen were all important parts.

The response in the locker room if Peters’ name was added to the list would have been monumental. There wouldn’t be a revolt, but there would be a lot of unhappy Eagles.

2. He’s really not that expensive
Peters isn’t a bargain, but he’s not that expensive. His $10.667 million cap figure is 12th highest in the league among offensive tackles, and his $6.75 million 2018 base salary is 14th highest in the league among tackles.

The Eagles would save $3,916,666 under the cap if they released him and carry $10,666,666 in dead money in 2018. That’s a significant cap saving, but not an astronomical one.

3. Reggie and Dawk
Jeff Lurie bought the Eagles just two years after Norman Braman let Reggie White leave, and Lurie has regretted the way Brian Dawkins was allowed to leave after the 2008 season.

Lurie and Peters have a strong relationship, and there is no way Lurie wants to be the owner of a franchise that cut ties with White, Dawkins and Peters, three Hall of Famers.

4. Quick healer
Peters is coming off a serious knee injury. He tore his ACL and MCL in late October vs. the Redskins.

But nobody can doubt Peters’ work ethic when it comes to rehabbing. This is a guy who suffered two torn Achilles injuries in 2012 — one that March and a second in May — leading some to speculate that his career was over.

But he was 100 percent by opening day and played that entire 2013 season, making the Pro Bowl and being named first-team All-Pro.

5. What do we really know about Big V?
Vaitai played better and better and was very good in the postseason, but he’s still a 24-year-old former fifth-round pick with 16 career starts — only nine at left tackle.

Vaitai has been good, but have we seen enough of him to feel confident that he can replace a legend?

Peters is not like other human beings who inhabit the planet Earth. Even at 35 years old, he was as dominating as ever before he got hurt, and he’s made the Pro Bowl nine straight years he’s been healthy.

He’s shown no sign of slowing down, and the Eagles clearly don’t expect him to anytime soon.

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have found their replacement for Torrey Smith. 

Heck, they found an upgrade. 

On Thursday, the Birds agreed to terms with veteran speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

This signing makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, especially if they weren’t ready to hand Mack Hollins the starting spot Smith left. Hollins can now split time with Wallace. Even if the Eagles didn’t trade Smith, they weren’t going to keep him at his price tag, so adding Wallace gives the Eagles a veteran with speed at a cheaper cost. 

Wallace, 31, is coming off a season in which he caught 52 passes for 748 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. For comparison, in 2017, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards (11.9) and two touchdowns. And Smith dropped seven passes, while Wallace dropped just three, according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, Wallace's numbers weren't far off from Alshon Jeffery's stats last year (57 receptions, 789 yards, 9 touchdowns). 

While Wallace isn’t coming off his best season in 2017, he went over 1,000 yards in 2016 and has averaged 15.0 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. The Eagles hope he'll be the deep threat they thought they were getting in Smith. 

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Wallace is second in the league in 40-yard receptions and in 50-yard receptions. He has 43 receptions of 40-plus yards (behind DeSean Jackson's 56) and 26 receptions of 50-plus yards (behind Jackson's 36). 

If that's not recent enough for you, the Eagles had seven pass plays of 50-plus yards in 2017; Wallace had three on his own. He can still stretch the field. 

The Eagles can now start Alshon Jeffery and Wallace on the outside, which will allow them to keep Nelson Agholor in the slot, where he was great last season. Then they’ll still have Hollins and Shelton Gibson (both draft picks from 2017) off the bench. Not bad. 

Wallace will turn 32 before the season starts, so the Eagles have added another veteran player, something they’ve done plenty this season. They already added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. It’s pretty clear the Eagles see the need to maximize their window of opportunity and getting players to join them is probably easier coming off a Super Bowl win. 

Signing veterans on one-year deals certainly worked well for the Eagles last season and if this one works out too, they will have found a good fit for the 2018 season.