Eagles

Against Saints, Eagles see a Carson Wentz we've never seen before

Against Saints, Eagles see a Carson Wentz we've never seen before

NEW ORLEANS — This was a Carson Wentz we’ve never seen before.

Throwing balls up for grabs. Making poor decisions. Unable to get into a rhythm. Making mistake after mistake.

And never being able to fix it.

Wentz stumbled through the worst game of his three-year NFL career Sunday against the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense.

The 48 part of 48-7 wasn’t that surprising. The Saints have been doing this to everybody.

The 7 part was shocking, considering the Saints had been allowing nearly 30 points a game.

“I’ve played a lot of football games in my career and this is one of the worst losses I’ve ever been a part of, and yes, it’s frustrating,” Wentz said. “It’s frustrating all the way around. Offensively, defensively, special teams. We just got beat. We have to be better, and it starts with me.”

Until Sunday, Wentz had been able to overcome his slow starts with big finishes.

Against a Saints defense that had given up 19 touchdowns and had just six interceptions while allowing a monstrous 108.8 passer rating through nine games, Wentz was 19 for 33 for 156 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

“The last couple weeks, it’s (been) frustrating,” Wentz said. “I definitely take a lot of it on my plate, on my shoulders. I have to come out better.”

How bad was Wentz?

• He became the first Eagle to throw three interceptions and no touchdowns in a game since Matt Barkley against the Cowboys in 2013, the first starting QB to do it since Donovan McNabb against the Panthers in the 2003 playoffs and the first in a regular-season game since Ty Detmer against the Colts in 1996.

• Wentz’s 31.9 passer rating is lowest by an Eagles starting quarterback in 11 years, since A.J. Feeley had a 30.0 rating against the Seahawks in a 28-24 loss at the Linc.

• It’s also worst against the Saints since Mark Sanchez had a 27.0 rating in a 24-10 win over the Jets in 2009.

• Wentz saw his NFL-record streak of games with at least one TD pass and one or fewer interceptions end at 22.

• Wentz also saw his streak of consecutive games with a passer rating of at least 83 end at 21, three short of Peyton Manning’s record streak of 24.

The Eagles have now lost five of their last seven games after a 2-1 start, and Wentz, like everybody else, has no answers.

“We know what we’re capable of,” he said. “I know. The product that we’re putting out there is not up to our standards. I’m not playing up to my standards. I think you go down the list and everybody is saying that.

“But we know the guys we have. We know the talent we have. We know the chemistry we have. It just hasn’t clicked out there all together. At the end of the day, all that really matters is the guys in that building. The guys in that locker room. We all believe. That belief is never going to go anywhere. You’ll never see us quit.”

Wentz’s numbers until Sunday were exceptional, but the Eagles are a 4-6 team that’s won two games since Week 3.

Wentz needs to be better. He needs to start better. He needs to finish better. He needs to be more consistent. He needs to raise the level of the people around him.

Without Wentz playing at an elite level, this team has no chance.

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One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

It’s “easier than ever” to attend the Super Bowl, according to a Stub Hub press release.

It may also be easier than ever to go into debt doing it.

StubHub this week announced a program that allows fans to finance ticket purchases — including Super Bowl tickets — and pay for them over a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.

All at the bargain-basement price of up to 30 percent interest.

Stub Hub, in conjunction with financial firm Affirm, introduced a program this week that allows consumers to use Stub Hub to purchase tickets and during the check-out process elect to finance the purchase through Affirm. 

Although ticket buyers can use Affirm for most Stub Hub purchase, the company is rolling out this program as a way to encourage fans who can’t afford Super Bowl tickets to buy them at potentially exorbitant interest rates.

According to financial web site The Balance, the average credit card interest rate as of December was 21.26 percent.

“Just in time for the Super Bowl, consumers can purchase event tickets now and pay over time,” reads a joint press release from Affirm and Stub Hub. 

The StubHub-Affirm joint press release makes it sound like paying 30 percent interest is a financially sound idea: “With U.S. credit card debt at an all-time high and many consumers looking to kick off the new year with better financial habits, they’re demanding more transparent financial products that align with their interests.”

According to a CBS News story that examined the Stub Hub program, two lower-level end-zone tickets selling on Stub Hub for $15,760 on a 12-month, 30-percent loan would cost the buyer an additional $2,676 in interest.

The story also said that unlike credit cards, there’s no financial benefit for consumers to pay this sort of loan off early. 

Ted Rossman of creditcards.com appeared on CBS MoneyWatch and warned consumers against using this sort of financial plan to pay for tickets makes no financial sense.

"It is a huge risk to make any type of discretionary purchase with something that carries a rate of 10 percent to 30 percent,” Rossman said on the show, according to the CBS News story. "It's risky to buy it now and think you are going to pay it later."

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After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

Earlier this month, Jason Kelce called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.” 

Turns out, ProFootballFocus agrees.

On Thursday, PFF named Brooks the winner of its annual Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL. The Eagles were also named the best overall offensive line in the league. 

It’s an honor Brooks deserves after he was egregiously snubbed by voters for the Associated Press All-Pro team earlier this month. It was an absolute joke that Brooks wasn’t even named to the second team. No disrespect to Zack Martin or Marshal Yanda but Brooks was better than both of them this year. 

There’s no doubt that Brooks is the best right guard in the NFL. PFF thinks he’s the best overall OL in the league too. 

Here’s what they said about him:

“Brooks has been a perennially underrated player throughout his NFL career, whether it was playing in Houston or Philadelphia. Aside from a rookie season in which he played just 173 snaps, he has earned overall PFF grades of at least 74.0 every season since. Four of those six seasons before this one saw him top 80.0 overall, but this year he took his game to another level, earning an overall grade of 92.9. For years we have been making the case that he deserves Pro Bowl, and then All-Pro, recognition, and now he deserves to be acknowledged as the best offensive linemen in the game.”

While opinions are split on ProFootballFocus, their evaluations for offensive linemen are incredibly valuable. PFF has been able to give stats to a position that was previously stat-less. No, they don’t necessarily know assignments or the exact designs of plays, but they grade each and every play and that detailed analysis can take some of the human element out of giving these awards. 

When the All-Pro voters made their selections, they picked two guys at right guard in Martin and Yanda who have a longer history of playing at an elite level. PFF doesn’t care about that. They did their game-by-game, play-by-play evaluations and came to the conclusion that no other offensive lineman was better than Brooks this season. 

According to PFF, Brooks gave up just one sack and and 19 pressures on 647 pass snaps. That’s pretty impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Brooks was that dominant eight months after suffering a torn Achilles. 

For the start of next season, Brooks will be coming off a shoulder surgery, but there’s no doubt he should be able to return to his dominant form in 2020. 

The Eagles know what they have in Brooks. They signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a four-year extension during the season that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philadelphia through 2024.

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