Eagles

Eagles “not panicking” despite 0-2 start to season

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles stayed in the game for quite a bit against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, but the offense’s bad decisions with the football and a bad defensive performance ultimately cost them their first win of the 2020 season.

Carson Wentz threw two interceptions in a 37-19 home loss to the Rams, despite tossing for 242 yards. With the Rams leading 21-16 in the third quarter and the Eagles driving, Wentz made a poor decision throwing into double coverage into the end zone.

Darius Williams undercut J.J. Arcega-Whiteside after losing a step, and came down with the interception. From that point on, the Rams padded its lead and rolled to its second win of the season.

“They made a great play,” Wentz said after the game. “I got out on the naked (bootleg) to the left, they had us covered pretty well. I got pretty aggressive, tried to force one in there. Guy made a great play. I’ve got to be smart in that situation and, overall, offensively, we know we’re right there. At the end of the day, we had two interceptions and the fumble. Turning the ball over is really killing us the last two weeks. Those are things we know we can clean up. Other than that, we truly feel that we’re right there. We’re missing some things, timing of some things.

“We’re not panicking. We know what we’ve got to clean up, and we will.”

Wentz did rush one score in on his own earlier in the game, but his decision making with the ball over the last two weeks has been worrying. He has three combined touchdowns compared to four interceptions and one lost fumble in defeats to Washington and Los Angeles and now find themselves in an 0-2 hole early in the NFC East.

Most importantly, Wentz’s four interceptions have all come on first down this season, all on plays where he easily could’ve thrown the ball away or looked for a check down. The fifth-year starter remains confident in the Eagles offense though and believes they can be elite if everything turns around.

“It’s case by case,” Wentz said. “Today, like I said, I tried to force one in there, make a play when I probably didn’t need to … the timing of our mistakes is really killing us right now, but we know once we get things cleaned up that we have the potential with the pieces that we have on offense to be great, to be elite on offense. We’re excited to get those things fixed and to show that we are elite.”

A positive for the Eagles on Sunday was the return of starting running back Miles Sanders. Sanders missed Week 1 due to injury, but made his season debut and impressed in the defeat. The former Penn State product rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown while adding 36 receiving yards on three catches out of the backfield.

Sanders’ return is a bright spot for the Eagles and should help keep the pressure off Wentz going forward, while providing another explosive option to call on offensively. Despite several tough games coming up against Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, Sanders admits the Eagles have plenty of time to get things clicking offensively and make a run towards the NFC East title.

“All it takes is resiliency,” Sanders said. “Coach Doug (Pederson), he always talks about that. That’s exactly the type of team we are. We had a lot of setbacks last year and despite all the stuff that happened last year, we still made the playoffs. I still think anything is possible. It’s still early in the season.”

“We just got to get back to being us and stop doing too much and just play Eagles football.”

The Eagles host the Cincinnati Bengals in South Philadelphia next Sunday for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.


You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at lhenry1919@gmail.com.

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