Carson Wentz stepped to the postgame podium on Sunday night in an outfit begging to be the butt of jokes and it was.
That might not be a bad thing for Wentz.
Because if that takes any attention away from his play, it’s a welcome diversion. The 27-year-old franchise quarterback has floundered all year and on Sunday night, the Eagles won 23-9 in spite of him.
Wentz, who has struggled with ball control all season, turned the ball over four times against the Cowboys.
“I’m not good enough,” Wentz said. “I’m pumped we got the win, but I’m going to have to watch the tape and I’m a little frustrated with how I played and how we’ve left some plays out there, left some points out there, and missed some big opportunities. I can be better. I know I will be.
“I would say the same thing for this far in the season. I’m pumped that we’re at the top of our division, that we’re heading into this bye week. But halfway through the year I know I can play better and a lot of it’s just coming down to taking care of the football. I feel like I’m still the same aggressive guy that’s going to pull the trigger and I never want to change that. But [it’s about] being smart and putting it in the right spot.”
Through eight games, Wentz is right. He has simply not been good enough. Wentz has completed just 58.4% of his passes for 1,883 yards, with 12 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 4 lost fumbles.
Wentz in the previous three years threw just 21 total interceptions, so he has shown the ability to not be a turnover-prone QB. But this year, he leads the league in INTs.
He’s at least accountable and self-aware after games. But the corrections haven’t been made either.
Wentz’s passer rating of 73.2 ranks him t-29th in the NFL out of 32 starting quarterbacks.
That doesn’t mean Wentz hasn’t had good moments — because he has. But they’ve been too few and far between. Wentz already has three fourth quarter comebacks and two game-winning drives in 2020 but the Eagles have been in those comeback positions largely because of his errors. The Eagles can live with Wentz not playing at a Pro Bowl level, but they simply can’t continue to live with these turnovers.
Before Sunday’s game, the Cowboys had just three takeaways all season. Wentz turned it over four times on his own in Week 8.
“I have to be better,” Wentz said, echoing the sentiment we’ve heard plenty from him this year. “There’s mistakes out there — some of it’s maybe not on the same page, some of it I have to, you know, the first fumble I should've thrown the ball away. That stuff I can keep cleaning up, and obviously it’s stuff that, individually, I can get better at.”
During his weekly WIP call, Doug Pederson on Monday brought up the 2017 version of Wentz, the guy who nearly won the NFL MVP. Pederson said the difference between that guy and this guy is the collection of talent around him. Pederson pointed at the injuries in 2020 as a reason the offense, in general, has sputtered.
But Wentz was the No. 2 pick in the draft. He’s the $100 million man. He’s supposed to be good enough to cover up some of those other deficiencies. Instead, he’s been one of their bigger problems far too often this year.
Wentz and the Eagles will use this bye week to self-scout and try to figure out ways to eliminate these costly mistakes from their offense. But Wentz might also want to pick out a few more distracting outfit choices. The way his season is going, they might come in handy.