Wentz Looks Strong in Return

Wentz Looks Strong in Return
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz showed little rust despite playing his first football game since suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Wentz completed 25 of 37 passes for 255 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also gained 10 yards on three carries.

Wentz’s quarterback rating was 84.9, which isn’t great, but considering it was his first action in nine months, his performance was impressive.

What wasn’t impressive is how the Eagles usually sturdy offensive line protected Wentz. He was sacked five times for 28 yards. In his first game back, Wentz clearly showed that he could take a hit, but the Eagles would have preferred he had fewer opportunities.

All Eagles games are looked at critically, win or lose and the Birds have to be concerned about their wide receivers. With Alshon Jeffery still sidelines following offseason shoulder surgery, the Eagles have few threats at wideout.

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In the win over the Colts the wideouts accounted for six receptions and just 45 yards. That included two receptions for 21 yards by Jordan Matthews, who just returned to the Eagles this week. He had been injured and then cut in training camp by New England.

On the other hand, the Colts couldn’t contain the Eagles tight ends. After being ignored in the loss to Tampa Bay, Dallas Goedert had seven receptions for 73 yards and his first touchdown. Zach Ertz added five receptions for 73 yards and Josh Perkins added a reception for 10 yards.

What this game showed was the strength of the Eagles defense. The Eagles gave up two 75-yard scoring passes in their 27-21 loss the previous week to Tampa Bay.

This time the defense came up big, especially in containing Andrew Luck who completed 25 of 40 for just 164 yards and one touchdown. Luck, looked more like a game manager and he doesn’t appear to have zip on his passes after missing last season due to a shoulder injury.

That said, the Eagles still contained the Colts offense, and the defense may have to play at this level until the offense gains some momentum.

Without Wentz and his ability to elude the rush, despite the five sacks, the Eagles would have been in big trouble.

And Wentz should only get better as he plays more. He can only hope that more weapons return. In addition to Jeffery, running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles missed the game due to injury. That is a lot of weapons missing.

So expect the Eagles to tread water for awhile, but they are still good enough to win games, without their full arsenal and in an NFC East that doesn’t look to be overly strong, that could more enough to win the division.

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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