After the 2020 NFL season, no team has had more controversy nor attention focused their way than the Philadelphia Eagles. From the lack of trust between coaches and players, as well as the massive, bold question mark in the quarterback’s room, there’s a storm brewing, and we’re here to give you the forecast.
The Phantom Menace
Let’s address the elephant in the room, which is the quarterback situation for the Philadelphia Eagles. This debacle all started when head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman elected to take Heisman finalist and Oklahoma quarterback, Jalen Hurts, in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This wasn’t a move to acquire a backup player at the position, as that’s something that can be addressed later in the draft. No, as soon as the Eagles selected Hurts, it was clear that there was moderate uncertainty, at the very minimum, with Carson Wentz as their franchise quarterback. Out of his five seasons as a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, he’s played just two full seasons. During his 5-year NFL career, Wentz has been selected to the Pro-Bowl once, back in 2017 – a year in which he was a favorite for league MVP before tearing his ACL and missing the remaining three games and the entire postseason. In 2019, Carson Wentz was carrying the Philadelphia Eagles into the playoffs. This was a team without a player (tight end/wide receiver/running back) having more than 500 yards on the year. Downright despicable. Of course, in the Wild Card matchup versus the Seattle Seahawks that year, Wentz was given a new page in his injury history book after suffering a concussion early in the tilt, forcing him to miss the rest of the game. While it was the team that lost in the playoffs, it was Wentz who truly lost, as the coaching staff decided to take the infamous Jalen Hurts with their second-round pick, rather than give him a stronger supporting cast, which only nudged the boulder slightly closer to the edge for this franchise.
Oh, How the Cookie Crumbles
There are few individuals in the NFL who had a worse 2020 season than Carson Wentz. Not only did he post career lows in passing yards (2,620), touchdowns (T-16), interceptions (15), and passer rating (72.8), but he lost his role as the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles to the aforementioned rookie Jalen Hurts who instantly became a favorite on and off of the field. Looking past Hurts, there was no bigger betrayal than that between Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson. Their relationship, as a result of this roster move, is “broken beyond repair”, per ESPN reports. The latest word on the street is that Wentz, the former Pro-Bowl quarterback, wants out of Philadelphia as he’s seeking a trade this offseason due to the team’s lack of faith in him displayed via his benching. We can all agree that 2020 has been one heck of a year to forget, and truer words cannot be spoken for the Prince Harry look-alike. However, can you honestly say that you’re surprised that he wants to be traded? Imagine this for a moment: you’re a 25-year old superstar quarterback in the NFL who is primed to become the next big thing. Then, on a play where you absolutely dazzle everyone on a scramble reaching for a touchdown, you tear your ACL. You then ride the bench for the remainder of the season with a cast on your leg, watching the team make a playoff run that you were supposed to lead. Instead, some guy named Nick Foles emerges from the shadows, steals your thunder, rain, and clouds, makes it to the Super Bowl, outduels Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, wins Super Bowl MVP, and has a freaking statue built in the Eagles’ facilities in his honor. Now, every time you walk into the building, you have to walk past a statue of the guy who stole everything you were poised to become. Now, let’s fast forward to the present day. Yes, Wentz was atrocious beyond all measurements in 2020, but that’s largely in part due to the lack of confidence in his game. When you feel like you’re the problem and that you have to play the best game of your life every time you’re on the field, just to prove you’re the right guy for the job, you’re bound to make errors and lots of them. Wentz is by no means a bad quarterback. To sum it up in the best way possible, he’s a good player having a bad (bad) year.
He Who Gets the Blame
We’ve talked about Carson Wentz well enough. Now, it’s time to point fingers at the man who is responsible for the lamentable season the Eagles put together: Dougie-P. It’s fascinating how in one year, you’re a hero to the city and the franchise, and in another year, you’re a loathsome piece of garbage. That’s the way the NFL rolls. In addition to the credit Pederson earned for commanding a brutal season for the former Super Bowl Champions this past season, he has full responsibility for the backlash he’s taken in the team’s season closer against the Washington Football Team. It’s one thing to sit a starting quarterback before the last game to rest him up for playoffs or to keep him healthy in preparation for next season, but It’s an otherworldly thing to bench your starting quarterback (after he scored your only two touchdowns) for the left bench waterboy in the fourth quarter of a game down three points… Not even the New York Jets tanked this hard for a draft pick. It was believed that Doug Pederson would retain his role as the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL season, but after this monstrosity of a coaching job in Week 17, that may not be the case any longer. Now, obviously, the Eagles are in no way, shape, or form, responsible for the New York Giants missing the playoffs, as accused by their rookie head coach Joe Judge (If you want to make the playoffs, win another game or two). However, this does not excuse the fact that Pederson made a gutless call for the “betterment of the team.” Even Eagles RB Miles Sanders stated that nobody on the team agreed with his quarterback change, per ESPN. So, way to go, Doug. Not only did you lose the trust of every player in the locker room, but you used 3rd string Nate Sudfeld as a pawn in your abysmal move. To bench quarterback Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter while being down just three (3!) points is most definitely one of the worst moves you possibly could’ve made in that situation. Congrats though, the Eagles moved up from the No. 6 overall pick to the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Hope it was worth losing your job and respect.