Carson Wentz knows what he wants the 2018 Eagles offense to look like.
A lot like the 2017 Eagles offense.
And they’re a long way off from that:
The sky isn’t falling. We’re 2-2 right now. Love to be 4-0, but this is just where we’re at. We’re a month in. Still trying to figure out 100 percent who we are, but at the same time, we know the guys we have. … But there’s no panic in here.
The Eagles were an offensive machine last year, whether Wentz or Nick Foles was at quarterback.
So far this year, they’ve been anything but.
The numbers are down in every imaginable category, and the Eagles are 26th in the NFL in scoring at a paltry 20.5 per game, their fourth-lowest after four games in the last 20 years.
Wentz spoke Wednesday about where the Eagles are and where they want to be. And how far it is to get there.
“We want to be an explosive offense,” he said. “We want to be great. The same things we were last year, that I always preached last year.
“Red zone, we want to be great. Third-down efficiency, we want to be one of the tops in the league. We need to bring back some more big plays and we want to be able to score fast and use our uptempo stuff when it’s there.
“I get ticked off when we come off the field on third down. I want to score every drive and that’s the mindset coach has and that’s the mindset this whole offense has and that’s where we think we can go.”
Let’s compare the Eagles’ offense in some of those areas Wentz mentioned with last year’s Super Bowl championship unit:
Points per game
2017: 25.9 [3rd]
2018: 20.5 [26th]
Yards per game
2017: 366 [7th]
2018: 364 [18th]
2017: 42 percent [8th]
2018: 40 percent [18th]
Red zone TD pct.
2017: 65.5 percent [1st]
2018: 57.1 percent [16th]
2017: 62 [11th]
2018: 10 [27th]
“Obviously we had a lot of success last year,” Wentz said. “It’s hard to just point to one thing that we’re missing. I think both third downs and red zone, unfortunately, we’re hurting ourselves on first and second downs, putting ourselves in tough situations, whether that’s with penalties, whether that’s with sacks or different things.
“Negative plays are hurting us that are affecting both those situations.”
The Eagles have been missing a ton of weapons.
Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins are on injured reserve. Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement and Alshon Jeffery have all missed games. Nelson Agholor is the only wide receiver to play more than one snap in all four games.
Wentz isn’t interested in excuses.
“Whether we have all the pieces or not, we have high expectations,” he said. “This is the NFL. Either someone’s hurt or playing through an injury or banged up, whatever. I think that’s just the name of the game.
“We really don’t dwell on, ‘Oh, he’s out so now we’re just waiting for him to get back in.’ We always have that next-man-up mentality. We have high expectations. We believe we can be explosive, we just have to put it together.”
The Eagles will try to get the offense rolling Sunday at the Linc against a Vikings defense that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL last year but is No. 21 this year.
The Vikings have allowed a staggering 104 points in their last three games and allowed 38 at the Linc last January in the NFC Championship Game.
If the Eagles can't put up some points Sunday, the concern level will increase exponentially around here next week.