Eagles

Doug Pederson ends speculation about Carson Wentz's future

Doug Pederson ends speculation about Carson Wentz's future

The Eagles’ plan hasn’t changed. Despite all of Nick Foles’ heroics, despite his Super Bowl MVP, despite another late-season playoff run this month, coach Doug Pederson confirmed Tuesday Carson Wentz is the Eagles’ quarterback.

Carson is the quarterback moving forward.

If there were any doubt before, there isn’t anymore.

Wentz, who’s been unable to finish either of the last two seasons because of injuries, will be the Eagles’ opening-day quarterback in September for a fourth straight year.

It’s certainly a fair question considering what Foles has done. It can’t be easy to move on from a Super Bowl MVP.

Although Eagles executive Vice President of football operations Howie Roseman said Tuesday the Eagles would love to keep Foles, it’s hard to imagine both Wentz and Foles being here next year both because of financial considerations and because Foles has made it clear he wants to be a starter.

And it’s clearer than ever now that won’t happen here as long as Wentz is healthy.

Pederson for the first time really drew a strong connection between Wentz’s curtailed offseason and his up-and-down regular season:

I go back to the year 2017, Carson had a full offseason, he was healthy, and he was able to go through OTAs and gather that timing and rhythm and everything led into the system and the MVP type season that he was having in 2017 before the injury. Obviously fast forward to last off-season, he didn’t have that. He didn’t have that offseason with his teammates. He was rehabbing, he was going through that process, and he missed training camp. …  You’re talking about quarterbacks and receivers, quarterbacks and running backs, there’s a timing, there’s a relationship that you’ve got to have, and when you miss that time it will affect the overall big picture in things, and I think what you saw this season as the season progressed he got better and better and better and his numbers got better and his completion percentage got better and so that time lost was what he had to make up during the season, which is extremely hard to do.

Wentz said Monday he expects 100 percent to be back for spring minicamps, which wasn’t the case last year.

“It’ll be huge,” he said. “More than anything, assuming rehabbing everything goes well, hopefully once we get rolling again in April I can be back out there, where that wasn’t necessarily the case last year … and I think that will be really big for all of us.”

Wentz, 25, has the fifth-highest passer rating in the NFL over the last two years at 102.0 and he’s 16-8 since opening day of last year. But he’s now watched Foles lead the Eagles into the playoffs in both 2017 and 2018 after being forced to the sideline in December with injuries.

Wentz just turned 26 on Dec. 30. Since he just finished his third NFL season, he’s eligible for a new contract. Roseman wouldn’t discuss that on Tuesday and Wentz declined to comment on it on Monday.

Wentz was having an MVP season in 2017 before he got hurt. He became one of only seven quarterbacks in NFL history with 30 or more touchdowns and seven or fewer interceptions.

Even this past season his numbers were strong, although he wasn’t as dominating as 2017. He threw for over 3,000 yards in 11 games, completed a franchise-record 70 percent of his passes and became only the ninth QB in history with back-to-back seasons with 20 or more TD passes and single-digit interceptions.

“We feel really good about where Carson’s going to be and having the whole offseason and we’re excited to have that,” Roseman said.

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2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

The Eagles have won one game since the first week of November, and they’ve lost exactly half a game to the first-place Cowboys in the NFC East standings.

The Cowboys lost their third straight game Thursday night, falling to the Bears, 31-24, in Chicago.

This definitely helps the Eagles although not quite as much as you might think.

Here's why:

The Cowboys fell to 6-7 after a 3-0 start. The Eagles are 5-7 with a game Monday night against the 2-10 Giants at the Linc.

But even with Dallas losing Thursday night, the Eagles still have to beat the Cowboys head-to-head and win their three other games to guarantee that they win the NFC East.

That’s because the Cowboys can still lose to the Eagles and finish 8-8 overall and 5-1 in the NFC East if they beat the Rams next Sunday and the Redskins on the final day of the season.

But even with a win over the Cowboys, a loss in any of their other games — to the Giants home and away or the Redskins — would leave the Eagles 8-8 overall and 4-2 in the division.

The Eagles easily win the common opponents tiebreaker with the Cowboys, but that doesn't come into play unless the teams are tied overall, head-to-head and in division record.

But the Cowboys' latest loss does help the Eagles in that if the Cowboys lose to either the Rams a week from Sunday or the Redskins on Dec. 29, the Eagles could afford to lose one of their remaining games and still win the division at 8-8 if they beat the Cowboys head-to-head, since in that scenario the Cowboys would finish 7-9.

The website fivethirtyeight.com, which provides percentages for teams to reach the playoffs based on changeable variables, had the Eagles with a 34 percent chance of winning the NFC East before the Cowboys-Bears game. That would have gone down to 26 percent if the Cowboys won. Instead it increased to 41 percent. 

If the Eagles beat the Giants Monday night, their chances increase to 47 percent. 

It's been so long since either of these teams won a game it seems silly to even talk about the playoff picture. 

But somebody has to win the NFC East. 

We think?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Doug Pederson’s comments about coaching staff accountability and go through his roster of coaches. 

Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion. Mack Hollins is gone. Jordan Howard still isn’t cleared for contact and the team hasn’t been the same without him.

And the Eagles do have a game this week! 

• Marken Michel is back and Dave is happy 
• Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion 
• Doug says he’ll hold coaches accountable 
• Which coaches might not be back?
• Mack Hollins gets cut 
• A lot of big contributors have gotten cut
• Eagles really miss Jordan Howard 
• Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley 
• At least one more game vs. Eli 

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