Three takeaways from Carson Wentz’s chat with the media Wednesday:
Welcome back, Alshon
Alshon Jeffery has been cleared for contact, but the Eagles haven’t made a decision on whether or not he’ll play Sunday. But Wentz obviously wants to have Jeffery back in action.
“Anytime Alshon’s out there, he brings a spark to the offense,” Wentz said. “He brings somebody that has the ability to make a play down the field and underneath and do some things really well.”
Of course, Wentz is hoping Jeffery is back this week. Without No. 17, the Eagles are just lacking playmaking ability outside. Heck, they were lacking playmaking receivers with Mike Wallace and now he’s out for at least a couple months. Just the threat of Jeffery on the field changes the way opposing teams defend the Eagles. More attention to Jeffery means more 1-on-1s for Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor.
The good and bad
I asked Wentz, after he saw the film from Sunday, for some encouraging things from his performance and some things he needs to clean up. He started with the things he needs to clean up:
• The turnovers
• Missing downfield
Wentz rightfully said those turnovers when the Eagles were backed up put the defense in a tough position. Wentz should maybe send the defense a fruit basket for not allowing touchdowns on either of those ensuing possessions. If it did, the game is much different and Wentz gets a lot of the blame.
As for the encouraging things:
• The quick start
While the offense was shaky for a lot of Sunday afternoon, Wentz did lead his team down the field on the first drive of the game. It used its no-huddle offense and quick tempo to go 79 yards on 12 plays in 5:11 before Wentz hit Dallas Goedert for a 13-yard touchdown.
“Going right down the field and scoring, I think that was something that was really encouraging,” Wentz said. “It’s something to build on.”
Place your bets
This Saturday at 3:30 p.m., North Dakota State hosts South Dakota State in an annual rivalry game for the Dakota Marker. NDSU is No. 1 in the FCS, while South Dakota State is No. 3. It should be a good matchup.
This is notable because Wentz is obviously from North Dakota State and his rookie tight end, Goedert, is from South Dakota State.
“We’ll have a friendly wager,” Wentz said. “I’m sure you guys will see about it when he’s wearing something NDSU next week after we take the Dakota Marker from him.”
South Dakota State won the game last year, 33-21. The winner of the game gets a trophy called the Dakota Marker. It’s a replica of the monuments between the borders of the two states. The trophy has been around since 2004 and weighs 75 pounds.