By Peter Gleason
Today’s NFC East showdown against the New York Giants is Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz’ coming out party.
Sure, he has seven NFL games under his belt, but today’s game represents a benchmark.
The No. 2 overall pick’s promising start has been set off course by protection problems and ball security issues (five fumbles, three interceptions in last four weeks).
Doug Pederson’s offense has responded by turning to an approach so low on risk that it may actually be damaging.
In last week’s 29-23 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Wentz attempted just one pass more than 15 yards downfield and averaged just 4.7 yards per attempt.
The performance illustrated how far off Wentz’s situation is from the outlook for Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, whose strong play has been boosted by a stellar supporting cast. Now Wentz has to find a way to lift his own group up when facing a promising, albeit inconsistent, New York Giants defense today.
The Birds’ problems are feeding into one another, as the offensive line’s struggles have hindered a wide receiving corps lacking a consistent deep threat. Facing a Giants pass rush that has just nine sacks in seven games, however, might give Wentz the opening he needs to take a few more risks.