Could have cost the Eagles the game.
Because Carson wouldn’t let it.
“I was definitely frustrated with myself,” Wentz said. “I have to protect the ball, especially given the situation we were in. Putting the defense in a tough spot. But guys just kept believing. I didn’t lose faith or confidence at all. I just wanted one more chance to go down and the defense gave that to us.”
The fumbles are a problem. Wentz had three more Sunday. One was negated by a booth review. One was recovered by the Eagles. The other? It gave the Redskins a 1st-and-10 inside the Eagles’ 35-yard-line with 6½ minutes left and led to the go-ahead field goal.
“They made a good play and I have to protect the ball,” he said. “I was trying to make a play and improvise.”
The fumble was terrible.
What happened after was pretty amazing.
“No one panicked, everyone stayed the course,” Zach Ertz said. “Everything’s not going to be perfect.”
After the fumble, Wentz went 8-for-8 for 69 yards and gave the Eagles the lead for good with a floating thing of beauty to Greg Ward, a 4-yard touchdown that clinched the Eagles’ win over the Redskins Sunday with 32 seconds left.
Wentz completed his final 14 passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles’ 37-27 win at FedEx Field.
“I kept going up to the guys and saying, ‘Hey, that’s on me, we’ll be better,' and they said, ‘Hey, we believe in you, we got this,'" Wentz said. "And the guys kept staying upbeat and positive on the sidelines from players, to coaches, the defense, when I talked to those guys. That’s just the camaraderie and the bond that we have as a team and for us to come together and keep believing in each other, that’s what it’s all about.”
Whether it’s an interception, a fumble or a misfire on a key third down, what’s really important is how Wentz responds.
And he responded beautifully on Sunday.
“There’s not a lot that really just bothers him or the team or the offense,” Doug Pederson said. “We know that bad things and negative plays are going to happen. You saw today we overcome and we hang together and we hang tough, and in Carson’s case that’s exactly who he is. That’s what we know he is as our quarterback and our leader. It’s really great to see from his standpoint that stuff doesn’t bother him. If he gets mad he goes the other way, as far as, ‘Put it back in my hands, I want to win the game,’ so that’s the confidence he has.”
This is the first time in his career Wentz is playing meaningful games this late in the season, and he’s showing signs of becoming the player he was down the stretch in 2017.
And he’s doing it with a dramatically different cast than the one that started the season.
“The dude is playing great football,” Ertz said.
Wentz has 8 TDs and 1 INT in three December games. Only Lamar Jackson has thrown more December touchdowns than Wentz, and only Jameis Winston and Jared Goff have thrown for more yards this month.
“It’s been an interesting offensive season for us — ups and downs — and we struggled finding a rhythm and being consistent for a while,” Wentz said. “But I think our confidence is in a really good place.”
A couple more weeks of “ups” instead of “downs” and Wentz will find himself in the playoffs for the first time in his four-year career.
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