Eagles Inability to Win Close Games...

by Marc Narducci | Dec 21, 2016
Eagles Inability to Win Close Games... Eagles Inability to Win Close Games Has Caused This Season's Slide  

There are many reasons the Eagles have slipped to 5-9 but one of the biggest occurred again during Sunday's 27-26 loss at Baltimore to the Ravens.

In games decided by a touchdown or less, the Eagles are 0-6. Included are two one-point losses, one by seven another by six and two by five.

If a young team can learn from such nail-biters then the Eagles should gain plenty of knowledge this year.

Even though level-headed Eagles watchers suggested that the team would win six games before this season started, this year, now the season looks like such a major disappointment due to the 3-0 start that included a 34-3 thrashing of the suddenly hot Pittsburgh Steelers.

Few would like the Eagles chances with Pittsburgh if a rematch occurred now, but that's immaterial.

What the Eagles hope to take from this season is that quarterback Carson Wentz has gotten the necessary experience to move forward.

Remember, the original plan was to have Wentz carry a clipboard for a year as Sam Bradford ran the offense.

Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings eight days before the season opener and the Eagles decided to place everything on Wentz, bypassing veteran Chase Daniel, who has not thrown a single pass.

In the first three games, Wentz looked like a future All-Pro. Since then he has appeared more like the rookie that he is.

During those games, Wentz completed 66 of 102 passes (64.1 percent) for 769 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions and a 103.8 passer rating.

Nobody should have expected Wentz to even approach those numbers for the entire season and he hasn't. In the last 11 games, he has completed 273 of 478 passes (62.3 percent) for 2,616 yards, eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His passer rating over the past 11 games is 72.6.

Those are more in line with rookie numbers. Remember that Peyton Manning, among the best quarterbacks of all-time, threw 28 interceptions (along with 26 TD passes) and had a 71.2 passer rating as a rookie.

Even the great Peyton Manning played like a rookie.

That is not to suggest that Wentz will be another Manning, but there is enough about him to like, including his strong arm, his composure and his athletic ability, especially when escaping the rush, which has become a common occurrence.

Wentz has also had to do this without great offensive weapons.

And despite the Eagles injuries on the offensive line, inconsistency on defense and some rookie mistakes by coach Doug Pederson regarding strategy, the Eagles have been in most games.

It says here that going through this frustrating season is much better for Wentz than watching from the sidelines.

The fact that he overthrows receivers is a little concern, but the Eagles insist that any mechanical flaws can be fixed.

Yes, he's learning on the job, but next year, the Eagles could be better off in close games.

No Eagles fan likes the overall result this season, but if Wentz can learn from his and the team's many mistakes, then at least the season wouldn't be played in vain.

© SouthJersey.com 2016. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of SouthJersey.com. For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.Eagles Inability to Win Close Games Has Caused This Season's Slide  

There are many reasons the Eagles have slipped to 5-9 but one of the biggest occurred again during Sunday's 27-26 loss at Baltimore to the Ravens.

In games decided by a touchdown or less, the Eagles are 0-6. Included are two one-point losses, one by seven another by six and two by five.

If a young team can learn from such nail-biters then the Eagles should gain plenty of knowledge this year.

Even though level-headed Eagles watchers suggested that the team would win six games before this season started, this year, now the season looks like such a major disappointment due to the 3-0 start that included a 34-3 thrashing of the suddenly hot Pittsburgh Steelers.

Few would like the Eagles chances with Pittsburgh if a rematch occurred now, but that's immaterial.

What the Eagles hope to take from this season is that quarterback Carson Wentz has gotten the necessary experience to move forward.

Remember, the original plan was to have Wentz carry a clipboard for a year as Sam Bradford ran the offense.

Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings eight days before the season opener and the Eagles decided to place everything on Wentz, bypassing veteran Chase Daniel, who has not thrown a single pass.

In the first three games, Wentz looked like a future All-Pro. Since then he has appeared more like the rookie that he is.

During those games, Wentz completed 66 of 102 passes (64.1 percent) for 769 yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions and a 103.8 passer rating.

Nobody should have expected Wentz to even approach those numbers for the entire season and he hasn't. In the last 11 games, he has completed 273 of 478 passes (62.3 percent) for 2,616 yards, eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His passer rating over the past 11 games is 72.6.

Those are more in line with rookie numbers. Remember that Peyton Manning, among the best quarterbacks of all-time, threw 28 interceptions (along with 26 TD passes) and had a 71.2 passer rating as a rookie.

Even the great Peyton Manning played like a rookie.

That is not to suggest that Wentz will be another Manning, but there is enough about him to like, including his strong arm, his composure and his athletic ability, especially when escaping the rush, which has become a common occurrence.

Wentz has also had to do this without great offensive weapons.

And despite the Eagles injuries on the offensive line, inconsistency on defense and some rookie mistakes by coach Doug Pederson regarding strategy, the Eagles have been in most games.

It says here that going through this frustrating season is much better for Wentz than watching from the sidelines.

The fact that he overthrows receivers is a little concern, but the Eagles insist that any mechanical flaws can be fixed.

Yes, he's learning on the job, but next year, the Eagles could be better off in close games.

No Eagles fan likes the overall result this season, but if Wentz can learn from his and the team's many mistakes, then at least the season wouldn't be played in vain.

© SouthJersey.com 2016. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of SouthJersey.com. For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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