Eagles

Eagles

Thoughts on Carson Wentz’s future, the value of Malcolm Jenkins, a titanic chase for an NFL record and much more in a weekend edition of Roob’s 10 random Eagles observations! 

1. It’s been astonishing how quickly a seemingly significant portion of Eagles fans has turned on Wentz. What are you thinking? Like, what on earth are you thinking? He played at such an astronomically high level last year and we knew this year was going to be a process as he battled to get back after the ACL tear. So he’s been out there without a training camp on a surgically repaired knee that’s obviously affecting him and also it turns out now while dealing with a serious back injury, and he’s still played at a fairly high level. He’s 25 years old. He’s played 40 games. Do you know how many quarterbacks have done what he’s done in their first 40 games … 64 percent completion percentage, 70 touchdowns, 28 interceptions? Nobody else. You’d rather have Pat Mahomes? OK, I won’t argue that. But who else would you rather build a franchise around? I’ll take Wentz over Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson or any other young QB. For years we’ve wished the Eagles would go out and get a franchise quarterback. Now that they have one, let’s maybe keep him around a while.

2. And if you really want to move on from Wentz because he’s missed a few games the last two years, you have to remember that very few young quarterbacks have a smooth, easy route to greatness. Drew Brees got benched for Doug Flutie in his second year. Kurt Warner played in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t a starter until Year 4. Joe Montana had one winning season before his 27th birthday. Steve Young had a 15-24 record to show for his first seven seasons. Matthew Stafford missed 19 games with injuries his first two seasons but hasn’t missed a game since. John Elway didn’t win a playoff game until his fifth season, didn’t win a Super Bowl until his 15th season. Bart Starr won more NFL championships than any QB in history. His first five seasons? He had 23 touchdowns, 40 interceptions and an 11-20 record. I could go on all day. You don’t give up on a guy who’s clearly remarkably skilled just because of a bump or two in the road.

 

3. Nelson Agholor has seven catches the last four games and that’s not enough. I think Agholor has been tremendously under-utilized this year. Did you know he has six catches of 35 yards or more this year? That’s sixth-most in the NFL, and all the other Eagles wideouts combined have just three (Jordan Matthews two, Shelton Gibson one). He’s way too talented to have just 15 targets in the Eagles’ last six games. 

4. It’s not exactly McGwire vs. Sosa, but Eagles punter Cameron Johnston and Seahawks punter Michael Dickson are waging quite a battle for the NFL rookie punting record. Coming into this year, the highest punting average ever by a rookie was 47.8 by Bryan Anger of the Jaguars in 2012. But this year, Johnston and Dickson are both way above that — Johnston has a 48.36 average and Dickson is at 48.32. That’s a difference of about 1½ inches per punt with three games to go. Hey, it’s something!

5. The last Eagles cornerback with two interceptions in a game was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who picked off Brandon Weeden twice in the 2012 opener in Cleveland. The last Eagles CB with two INTs in a game at home was Asante Samuel, who picked off Eli Manning twice in a Sunday night win over the Giants in November of 2010. More than eight years ago! (For the record, 143 corners have had two INTs in a game since then.)

6. This is the first time the Eagles have played in L.A. two consecutive years since 1956 and 1957. They lost to the Rams at LA Coliseum 27-7 in 1956 and 17-13 in 1957. 

7. I feel like Alshon Jeffery has been very average this year. Started off strong coming off that shoulder injury but over the last six games, he is averaging just 39 yards per game.

8. This is one of the craziest things: Five undrafted defensive backs have started at least one game for the Eagles this year (Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby, Cre’von LeBlanc, Tre Sullivan, Rodney McLeod). 

 

9. In all, the Eagles have used 10 defensive backs who are 25 or younger. Really makes you appreciate Jenkins more than ever. He’s been the only constant back there and he’s had to be both a safety and a coach on the field and a little bit of a babysitter in the locker room. And of course, he’s been as terrific as ever. Did you know Jenkins is the only Eagle to play in every game since 2014? He’s really put together quite a body of work in his five years here. I can’t imagine this team without him.

10. I’m not sure what this means, but only two quarterbacks in NFL history have 70 or more career touchdowns and fewer than 35 interceptions: Wentz and Nick Foles.

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