It’s time for Let Me Be Me 2.0.
Eagles fans of a certain age will recall that slogan/plea from a little more than a quarter-century ago. One-time MVP Randall Cunningham made that his rallying cry in the early-90s as he struggled with the fishbowl environment that can accompany life as the starting quarterback in Philadelphia. It was also a call to his own coaching staff to let him do the things that made him special — utilizing his world-class athleticism to be The Ultimate Weapon.
It’s tough to imagine Carson Wentz ever speaking out in that fashion. But after watching Sunday’s debacle at the Meadowlands, the current Eagles quarterback would be well-served to inform his coaching staff that it needs to play to his strengths.
Ultimately, we don’t know for sure what Doug Pederson and the offensive coaching staff wanted to accomplish against the Giants. But it sure appeared that they took the bye week to focus on limiting mistakes. In theory, that makes sense as Wentz leads the league with 16 turnovers.
But theory does not win football games. Wentz did not lose a fumble or throw an interception against the Giants Sunday for the first time this season. The Eagles also managed to tie their season low for points in the 27-17 loss.
Perhaps the Giants should be credited for forcing the Eagles to dink-and-dunk down the field. And maybe the Eagles need to develop more of a consistent rhythm offensively if they want to compete against the best teams come January. But it sure felt like Pederson designed a game plan to limit Wentz’s impact on the contest.
And the Eagles just aren’t good enough defensively or at the skill positions to be putting Wentz in a box. He’s their best playmaker. Just like the Lions had to live with a slew of negative rushes with Barry Sanders because the home run was coming, you have to live with the sacks and turnovers with Wentz because that’s the Eagles’ most likely path to big plays and points under the current circumstances.
Would it be better if the Eagles didn’t need to be an all-or-nothing team on offense? Sure. But when you have a mediocre offensive line and practice squad receivers, you don’t have much choice.
If the Eagles are going to salvage this season by winning the division, they need to embrace who they are and who their quarterback is.
Let Wentz be Wentz.