Eagles

Despite flaws, there's one crucial thing Carson Wentz keeps doing

Despite flaws, there's one crucial thing Carson Wentz keeps doing

OK, first of all, there’s no such thing as a jinx.

If Carson Wentz does throw an interception Sunday — even if he throws five interceptions Sunday — it’s not because of this article.

Please remember this.

Jinxes ... don't ... exist.

That said … Wentz has gone three straight games without an interception and has just two this year in 174 pass attempts.

His completion percentage is 60 percent, second-lowest in the NFL.

His yards per game is a career-low 230.

His yards per attempt is down to 6.6, well below his career average of 7.1 entering the season.

But he’s been able to make up for much of it by protecting the football. 

How big is it for Wentz to avoid picks? The Eagles are 16-7 when Wentz doesn’t throw one and 10-12 when he does. They’re 1-5 when he throws more than one.

The Eagles are making do right now without DeSean Jackson, their only real deep threat, and that’s changed the way the Eagles can attack. They have to run the ball and work the short game efficiently, and even though Wentz’s numbers might not jump off the page, as long as he takes care of the ball, they have a good chance to win.

Wentz has always been among the best in the league at getting the ball in the end zone and avoiding interceptions.

His career interception percentage — one every 54 attempts — is 5th-best in NFL history among official qualifiers (minimum 1,500 attempts), and his TD percentage of one every 20 attempts is 15th-best.

The only quarterbacks in history who have also thrown a TD every 20 passes and an INT fewer than once every 50 passes are Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady.

Decent company.

Wentz said he’s not out there trying not to throw interceptions, it’s just a product of him running the offense the way he’s supposed to run it and not forcing throws when they’re not there.

“I feel confident dropping back, going through my progressions quickly, guys making plays,” he said. “I feel really confident in the guys that we have out there, that they’re going to be where they need to be and I can play on time. So it’s not something I’m sitting here thinking, ‘I’m not going to put it in harm’s way.’ That stuff’s going to happen. But at the end of the day I feel confident in what we’re doing in the passing game.”

Wentz threw 11 interceptions and 12 touchdowns in his first 11 NFL games. 

In 34 games since then he’s thrown 19 interceptions and 68 touchdowns.

Wentz has thrown 127 consecutive passes without an INT since Desmond Trufant got him twice in the first half in Atlanta. His personal longest streak is 175 straight passes without a pick last year. The team record is 233 by Nick Foles in 2013, which broke a 224-pass streak by Michael Vick in 2010. Donovan McNabb had a 186-pass streak in 2006.

The Eagles are facing a brutal stretch on the road against three teams with winning records and defenses ranked among the top six in the NFL overall and top 10 in pass defense.

The Eagles are banged up on both sides of the ball, and striving to find consistency across the board.

Safe to say if Wentz can continue protecting the ball the way he has, they’ll at least have a chance to keep winning.

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Nick Foles gives incredible answer on his unwavering faith in god

Nick Foles gives incredible answer on his unwavering faith in god

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles has seen his share of ups and downs throughout his career in the NFL.

Fans in Philadelphia know the story of his journey well. From almost quitting football to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy with the Eagles, Nick has kept one thing constant in his life: his trust in god.

His career in Jacksonville got off to an extremely tough start when he went down with a serious collarbone injury that has kept him out most of this season.

Foles is set to take back his starting job on Sunday from Gardner Minshew and was asked at his press conference this week if he ever had any doubts creep in during Minshew Mania.

Nick's answer revolved almost entirely around his faith.

"No. Right when I felt this thing break, that's when I went into the locker room and I realized, 'god, this wasn't exactly what I was thinking. Obviously, you get here and you want to create a culture and impact people. But at the end of the day, if this is the journey you want me to go on, I'm going to glorify you in every action, good or bad.' I still could have joy in an injury. People hear that and say that's crazy, but when you believe in Jesus. You go out there and you play, that changes your heart," Foles said.

He put the high of winning the Super Bowl right along with the low of injuring his collarbone.

"Just like when I hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, the reason I'm smiling, my faith was in Christ. In that moment, I realized I didn't need that trophy to define who I was because it was already in Christ. That's my message when I played. Same thing happens when I get injured. We tend to make this so much about us as human beings. It's not about us. If you make it about yourself, you're probably going to go home at night and lay your head on your pillow and be very alone and very sad."

"Our purpose isn't football. It's impacting people. My ministry happens to be the locker room. I've still been able to get to know these guys through an injury."

"From a spiritual perspective, I've been able to grow as a human being. I feel like I'm at a better situation as a person than I was before because of the trial I just went under. I know that's a sermon in itself but that's how I go through life. It's not always about prosperity. I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel. I believe if you read the word of god and you understand it, there’s trials along the way but they equip your heart to be who you are."

It's heartfelt answers like this, along with a Lombardi Trophy obviously, that made Foles a beloved figure in Philadelphia. Expect the City of Brotherly Love to be pulling for him and his Jaguars on Sunday to help facilitate yet another city falling in love with Foles.

Eagles' RB position in sudden state of disarray with Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles injured

Eagles' RB position in sudden state of disarray with Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles injured

With the Eagles’ running back position suddenly in disarray, they might be turning to Jay Ajayi. 

Ajayi was in the NovaCare Complex building on Friday morning, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed, and then it became more clear why. 

Just before Pederson’s 10:15 a.m. press conference, the Eagles announced that Darren Sproles suffered a torn right hip flexor in practice and is out for the season

And, more importantly, Jordan Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact from a stinger he suffered late in the Bears game nearly two weeks ago. That’s why he’s been limited in practice this week. 

“He’s been cleared to do some sort of individual work in practice but he hasn’t been cleared for contact yet,” Pederson said. “That’s where he’s at.” 

That means the Eagles’ only healthy running backs on the 53-man roster are Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Sanders is the only healthy running back from the Eagles’ initial 53-man roster. 

If Howard doesn’t get cleared for contact before Sunday, he obviously won’t play against the Patriots. Howard’s injury has been listed as a shoulder injury. 

Pederson was asked if Howard’s injury is something that could linger. 

“Again, you’re getting into the medical side of it,” he said. “I don’t know much about it other than he just hasn’t been cleared right now for the contact.” 

The move to at least take a look at Ajayi is obviously linked to both of these injuries to Howard and Sproles. The hope here is obviously that Howard’s injury isn’t a long-term one, but signing Ajayi might put that into question. 

Pederson also brought up DeAngelo Henderson, who is on the Eagles’ practice squad, as a possible roster addition before Sunday. It seems like either Henderson or Ajayi will be suiting up for the Eagles on Sunday. 

As for Ajayi? 

“I think he just had breakfast,” Pederson said. “I haven’t seen him yet this morning, so I’ll find out more about him later. We’ve been with our team all morning.”

Ajayi, 26, hasn’t played since tearing his ACL last October, so the Eagles obviously want to see what kind of shape he and that knee are in. 

Sproles played in just six games this year. As the Eagles explained in an unusually detailed statement, Sproles missed games earlier in the season with a quad injury and was then cleared. He played again against the Bears and practiced Monday and Tuesday and reported the injury after Wednesday’s practice. Tests revealed the torn hip flexor muscle.

This could very well be the end of the 36-year-old’s career.

“I’ve learned this over my playing career and coaching in this league that it’s part of the game,” Pederson said. “It’s disappointing in Darren’s situation because of who he is as a person and what he’s meant to this organization, what he’s meant to this team. His leadership, he’s a Hall of Fame specialist in this league, really. I’m disappointed for him, more so than for the team, that he can’t continue.”

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