By Jack Ryan
If you came home late last night or maybe hit the fridge right after the start of the Eagles-Packers game in Green Bay, you might have missed it:
Birds quarterback Carson Wentz had a perfect preseason debut under less than ideal conditions against the Green Bay Packers.
Wentz went 4-for-4 for 56 yards and a score on his first series, eluding a potential sack and burning the Packers on third and fourth downs in the Eagles’ 24-9 loss.
“I wouldn’t say perfect, first of all,” the second-year quarterback said. “We had a couple sloppy plays, but we stayed on the field.”
And Wentz stayed out of trouble, doing his best impression of elusive Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was a healthy scratch.
The Packers’ defense might need to keep working on tackling, though they’re off to a good start in creating turnovers.
The Eagles are looking to improve a pass offense that ranked 24th in the NFL last season.
Free agent addition Alshon Jeffery didn’t play. Nelson Agholor, who is having a good camp, didn’t have a catch. But Wentz found rookie Mack Hollins, the team’s fourth-round draft pick, for a 38-yard touchdown pass on third-and-13 with 6:33 left in the first quarter after the quarterback eluded rushing linebacker Clay Matthews’ grasp.
“I thought his escapability was right on point,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said about the 6-5 Wentz.
Cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and Kevin King each missed tackles as Hollins crossed right-to-left across the field on his way to the end zone. The Packers had problems at the cornerback position last season.
While no defender likes to miss a tackle, players on both teams were getting their first chances to tackle someone in another uniform after two weeks of camp.
“I think this is kind of a normal first night,” McCarthy said.
The Eagles got off to a nice start against Green Bay’s first-string defense, though they did turn the ball over three times in the second quarter with backup quarterback Matt McGloin behind center.
Wentz was done after his opening series, while backup Brett Hundley started at quarterback for Green Bay with Rodgers sitting out. Hundley picked up the pace after a sluggish start as the Packers defense started forcing turnovers.
Hundley pump-faked before finding Jeff Janis in stride down the right side of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead with 8:25 left in the second quarter. The Packers capitalized after cornerback LaDarius Gunterforced tight end Trey Burton to fumble at the Eagles 40.
Hundley finished 8 of 15 for 90 yards before sitting out the second half.