All the things he was supposed to be getting better at?
He got worse.
He threw two interceptions. He fumbled twice and lost one. He held onto the football play after play after play and took damaging sacks he didn’t have to take.
It was the worst game of Carson Wentz’s career, and the most confounding thing about it was that the things he struggled with are the same things he’s been promising to clean up for a while.
The Eagles blew a 17-point lead on opening day against a division rival that won three games last year and Wentz was in the middle of the historic collapse.
Wentz the first 28 minutes: 14-for-18, 182 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 145.8 rating.
Wentz the next 32 minutes: 10-for-24, 88 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 14.4 passer rating.
It wouldn’t be fair to blame everything in the Eagles’ horrific 27-17 loss to Washington Sunday on Wentz.
But it’s fair to blame an awful lot of it on the fifth-year QB.
“I’ve got to be better, I know that,” Wentz said. “I’ve got to clean up the interceptions, I put our defense in a bad spot on a couple occasions and we definitely lost some momentum and we didn’t make the plays we needed to make. I’ve got to be better. It starts with me. I’ve got to protect the ball and lead these guys better, and I’ll own that.”
Both interceptions were soft throws to rookies who got outmuscled for the football. On at least four of the eight sacks he held onto the ball too long. Maybe more. His fumble late in the game didn’t affect the score but did continue a disturbing trend that has seen him fumble more than anybody in the NFL the last couple years.
Wentz has had a few clunkers along the way, but considering the circumstances? Nothing as demoralizing, disappointing and dreadful as this.
“It was very frustrating walking off that field knowing the momentum and how we felt early in that game,” Wentz said. “We got off early to a great start and it just spiraled out of control and the next thing you know we were in a 2nd-and-15 multiple drives in a row and just couldn’t get ahead of the chains and make plays. Turned the ball over. Gotta protect the ball. It was definitely frustrating walking off that field.”
Here’s a stat: Balls thrown away: 0.
Working behind a makeshift offensive line, Wentz was under a ton of pressure, but he continued to hold onto the ball too long instead of chucking it away and living to see another day.
The eight sacks were the most the Eagles have allowed since the Winston Justice game at the Meadowlands in 2007.
“That’s just the mentality I have, I’m always trying to make a play and extend the play when it’s there to be made,” he said. “Sometimes you make ‘em, sometimes you don’t, sometimes bad things happen, you take a sack. I’ve got to do better and get rid of the ball when I can. I’ve just got to know better and know when to get rid of the ball.”
This was the eighth game of Wentz’s career with multiple interceptions, and the Eagles are 1-7 in those games. It was his 14th game with three turnovers, and they’re 4-10 in those games.
When you blow a 17-point lead against a division team, there’s a lot of blame to go around.
This time, most of it goes squarely on No. 11’s shoulders.