Carson Wentz to blame for Eagles' loss in Seattle

Carson Wentz to blame for Eagles' loss in Seattle

Seemingly everything that could go wrong for the Eagles did in Seattle, but don’t let the blown calls and bad bounces distract you from the truth.

Carson Wentz cost the Eagles the game.

Not Doug Pederson. Not the officials. The Seahawks didn’t even beat the Eagles – not as much as Wentz lost it, anyway.

It feels as though the autopsy of Sunday night’s 24-10 defeat is focusing on all of the glancing blows instead of the very obvious mortal wound. Wentz left three touchdowns on the field.

The Eagles should’ve won, perhaps with ease. But Wentz overthrew Nelson Agholor on a likely touchdown, underthrew Agholor for another likely score, and fumbled one yard away from the goal line – one of his two turnovers in the contest.

Instead of coming away with 21 points on those three possessions, the Eagles came away with zero.

We can all count. Those points would’ve helped.

Did Pederson exacerbate the situation by calling the game too conservatively? Perhaps. The Eagles chose to punt and flip the field in situations where they often might go for it on fourth down. Pederson decided against throwing the challenge flag on a pivotal play in the fourth quarter – an illegal forward pass, as it turns out, that would’ve erased a third-down conversion on a scoring drive. In general, the Eagles looked hesitant to throw the ball down the field in the first half against a beleaguered Seattle secondary.

Yet, Pederson’s coaching job would’ve been enough to deliver an Eagles victory, had Wentz executed.

Did the officials play too heavy a hand in the outcome? Let’s be clear, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot on many if not all of the seven assessed penalties for 64 yards. Alshon Jeffery wiped away a touchdown with an unnecessary holding penalty, forcing the Eagles to settle for three instead, while the secondary helped the Seahawks move the ball up and down the field with numerous legitimate infractions. And, sure, the refs missed the illegal pass, but it’s not as if the game came down to one call.

Despite all the flags against the Eagles, and even the ones the zebras missed, Wentz could’ve had his team in position to win.

Russell Wilson was phenomenal, with a move for every would-be tackler that came his way, while Seattle’s receiving corps caught just about everything in sight. The Seahawks defense limited the Eagles ground attack to 3.8 yards per rushing attempt and put decent pressure on Wentz, registering 12 quarterback hits in the contest. Seattle was also limited to 310 yards of total offense, while the Eagles failed to take advantage on either of their two trips deep inside the red zone, coming away with three points.

The Seahawks are a quality football team, but were far from dominant. Wentz’s missed opportunities would’ve been the difference.

There is enough blame and bad luck to go around. Wentz’s fumble going out of the back of the end zone for a touchback was a ridiculously unfortunate bounce. Pederson’s game plan and inconsistent approach to fourth downs was curious, to say the least. The officials missed a close call that should’ve gone the Eagles’ way.

An ill-timed zero blitz by Jim Schwartz on 3rd-and-9 resulted in a 47-yard pass and set up the Seahawks for six. Jeffery’s penalty. Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s struggles at left tackle. The grabby, overmatched secondary getting burned repeatedly. The injury to Zach Ertz. The imposing atmosphere playing at Seattle.

Any way we dissect it, wherever we choose to point the finger, Wentz still missed those throws, still coughed up the football twice, and likely cost the Eagles no fewer than 21 points as a result.

Despite everything that went wrong, the Eagles probably would’ve won the game.

The Eagles, as a team, weren’t ready for primetime. Every player inside that locker room could do a better job. But if the Eagles are going to do real damage in the playoffs come January, Wentz can’t leave that many plays out there. That much was clear against a perennial Super Bowl contender in Seattle.

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

SB Nation/Twitter

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

Updated at 12:50 a.m.

Early Sunday, a video surfaced on social media that appeared to put Sixers’ guard JJ Redick in an extremely poor light. Redick has since responded to clear up the situation.

Here’s what happened:

At about 8 a.m., a post appeared on Reddit showing a screenshot and caption alleging that Redick said a racial slur during a video from NBA players wishing Chinese fans a Happy New Year. The video caused a huge uproar on social media. If you wish to see the video, it is located here, at the top.

On the surface, without a response, it looked odd from the start. Redick, who we have come to know as a well-spoken individual who is typically very appreciative of basketball fans, isn’t someone you’d expect this from, let alone with a camera pointing directly at his face with an NBA microphone in front of his lips.

He offered this response on his official Twitter account, saying he was tongue-tied and had no intentions of saying what he did on the video.

Fans reacted on both sides of the issue, some still asking for an apology and others taking Redick for his word. 

On Sunday night, Redick followed up with a longer statement on his Twitter and Instagram, where he further explained himself and indeed issued an apology.

Please read. Thank you.

A post shared by JJ Redick (@jjredick) on

Early Monday, Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin tweeted a statement saying that he spoke with Redick and believes the Sixers' guard didn't say a racial slur.

With the All-Star Break going on, Redick won’t be available for a few more days for the media to ask him about this. There’s a chance this story will continue into next week.

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game — we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers — I mean, Team World — won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup — no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available — and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here — they've certainly earned it — and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will.