On Thursday night football Eagles’ quarterback, Carson Wentz put on a clinic. Despite offensive line issues, running back injuries and wide receiver injuries Wentz overcame it all. His handiwork combined with the Eagles defense ended the game by the end of the third quarter.
Eagles’ 3rd Down conversions are key
For Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles team, the offense staying on the field is crucial to their success in a given week. Then it seems clear that third down is especially important for an offense. Last year, Wentz led the NFL in passer rating on third down. Until Thursday night, Wentz was 23rd this year. However, against the Giants, the Eagles looked more like the team they were last year. Wentz had 14 completions on 15 attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns. That gives him a passer rating of 152.9 on third down for that game. Pretty good even against a struggling team like the New York Giants.
Wentz is not getting as much help as last year
Last season the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line was putting in dominant performances every game. The Eagles had Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and a fully healthy Corey Clement. Jake Elliott was the most clutch kicker in the NFL. Now Jason Peters and Lane Johnson couldn’t even finish the game, Jay Ajayi is out for season, Sproles has been out since week 1, Clement has been struggling with an injury since week 2, and Wendell Smallwood is getting the most carries at running back. Not to mention receivers are dropping passes, Jake Elliott is struggling to kick field goals and seven fumbles through the first quarter of the season.
Yet Wentz is still playing like an MVP
In Thursday nights game the Eagles rushing offense was a shell of its former self. What used to be a strong and dynamic rushing attack now averaged 3.2 yards per carry. The lead back, Smallwood, averaged only 2.8. This meant the Giants defense didn’t have to respect the run and keep the eighth man in the box. All of this should have made it harder for Wentz, and yet he finished with a 72.2 completion percentage, 278 yards, three touchdowns and a 122.2 passer rating.
The Philadelphia Eagles are still a contender
Everyone has been quick to dismiss the Eagles this season with claims of a Super Bowl hangover, regression of the offense, and depth issues due to injuries. However, the Philadelphia Eagles will still make a run. This team is used to adapting to adversity and fighting through it and Thursday night gave everyone a glance of what Philadelphia can be when they are playing well. The Eagles should have a relatively easy path to the playoffs through the terrible NFC East and then they just have to get hot at the right time. Wentz is a good enough quarterback to carry Philadelphia through the playoffs which means the Eagles shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, everyone remembers the last time they were underdogs, and that was without Wentz.
Featured image by Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
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