Carson Wentz's numbers have dipped, but Eagles keep winning

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Carson Wentz's numbers have dipped, but Eagles keep winning

Carson Wentz's declining production probably isn't a sign of trouble on the horizon for the Eagles. Quite the contrary, the quarterback's down numbers may be at least in part a reflection of the scheme and how well the team is playing.

With 2,430 yards passing and 25 touchdowns, Wentz might be the front-runner to be named the NFL's Most Valuable Player at season's end. He's among the top two or three candidates, anyway. But the second-year player's once eye-popping statistics have notably dropped off in recent weeks, begging some question as to whether the magic is wearing off.

Over the Eagles' last three games, Wentz has completed 47 of 86 pass attempts (54.7 percent) for 192.7 yards per game (6.7 average) with eight touchdowns — far from MVP-caliber.

Perhaps the most concerning of those numbers is Wentz's completion percentage. At 59.7 percent for the season, he's fallen well below his mark of 62.4 as a rookie.

Wentz concedes he could be more accurate. The 24-year-old signal caller also believes some of the dropoff in his completion percentage is due to the offense pushing the ball vertically with more frequency in 2017.

That, and stats are meaningless as long as the Eagles are winning.

"That's definitely a number that I'd like to get higher again," Wentz said before Wednesday's practice. "I'm not crazy about stats. What really matters is wins and losses, but I'd like that to get higher.

“I do think it's a product of taking more chances down the field, taking more shots, being aggressive. I'm not going to get too hung up on that.”

There is certainly something to what Wentz is saying. While his completion rate is sub-optimal, his yards per attempt are over a yard higher compared to last season — 7.6 to 6.2. That's good for ninth in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks.

More incompletions or not, Wentz has still managed to play more efficient.

The Eagles are also 3-0 during Wentz's ongoing funk, so to speak, and he's only turned the football over once. He's obviously doing something right.

In fact, Wentz and the Eagles have been so successful in the last three games, that's actually had a negative impact on his individual numbers as well. The team jumped out to big second-half leads in contests against the 49ers, Broncos and Cowboys, reducing the need to put the ball in the air. Wentz even sat out portions of the fourth quarter twice.

Those types of game scripts will obviously put a damper on volume totals such as yards and touchdowns, and possibly Wentz's MVP chances along with them. From the team's vantage point, they're overwhelmingly positive.

With the Eagles chugging right along at 9-1, there doesn't seem much need to perform an autopsy on Wentz's season at this point. But if critics are searching for holes in the ship, the quarterback doesn't appear to be the place where this squad is going to spring a leak.

Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, others react to NFL's national anthem policy

Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long, others react to NFL's national anthem policy

As expected, the reactions started pouring in Wednesday when the NFL announced its new national anthem policy.

From players to organizations and groups outside of football, many are acknowledging the league's polarizing decision.

The Eagles have not released a statement but here's a look at how the team will be affected (see story), while players have started to express their thoughts.

"Ultimately it is taking the players' voice away," Lane Johnson told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn. "I think there will be some backlash from their decision."

Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long also released statements on their Twitter accounts.

Here's a look at some of the reactions:

How Nick Foles can reportedly earn up to $500K per game

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How Nick Foles can reportedly earn up to $500K per game

We knew Nick Foles could earn a lot of money in incentives with his restructured contract. 

Now we know how. 

Foles will earn an extra $250,000 for each game this season in which he plays one-third of the Eagles’ offensive snaps, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. 

He can earn an extra $250,000 if he plays one-third of snaps in a game the Eagles win. 

So if the Eagles go 16-0 and Foles plays the entire season — obviously highly unlikely on both fronts — Foles would walk away with an extra $8 million. 

The stakes are even high in the playoffs. According to ESPN, Foles can earn $500,000 for each game he plays one-third of snaps and $1 million for of those games he wins. That’s potentially $4 million more. 

Of course, all of this possible money is dependent upon the health of Carson Wentz, who is still rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in December. Wentz was on the practice field Tuesday at the start of OTAs but is still extremely limited. 

It was reported the Eagles turned down the No. 35 draft pick this year in favor of keeping Foles, whom they obviously still consider to be an important part of the 2018 team. 

Foles, 29, signed that restructured deal in April, not long after he became the Super Bowl MVP in Minnesota. The new deal also included a mutual option for the 2019 season.