It took long enough. Too long if you ask many Philadelphia Eagles fans.
The Eagles, stuck in another miserable game at the Green Bay Packers, finally benched Carson Wentz for rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts. The move came in the third quarter on Sunday after Green Bay took a 20-3 lead.
The Eagles did nothing with Wentz at quarterback, as his miserable season continued. Wentz was 5 of 12 for 38 yards in the first half. He hit a long pass to start the second half but the drive stalled, the Packers took over and went on a long touchdown drive.
Hurts played the rest of the game and finished with 109 yards passing, 29 yards rushing, a nice fourth-down touchdown pass and one interception. The Eagles did cut Green Bay’s lead to 23-16 but lost 30-16.
The Eagles had been resistant to even entertain the idea of Wentz being benched, despite his poor play. But it was time to try something new.
Jalen Hurts gets his chance
Hurts came in, and on his first drive, he hit Jalen Reagor for a 34-yard gain. Finally, the Eagles had some kind of a spark on offense.
Hurts was a second-round pick after showing great dual-threat skills at Alabama and then Oklahoma. The pick was panned at the time because the Eagles had other needs and hadn’t indicated Wentz wasn’t their quarterback for the foreseeable future. That pick also added pressure to Wentz, though he never criticized the pick publicly.
The Hurts pick looked even stranger as Wentz struggled and the Eagles refused to bench him. Wentz led the NFL in sacks, interceptions and fumbles heading into Week 13. And still the Eagles refused to even try a quarterback they used a second-round pick on.
Until Sunday, that is.
Will Carson Wentz get his job back?
The Eagles are in a weird spot. They were 3-7-1 coming to Green Bay, and teams with records like that usually don’t mind trying out rookie quarterbacks if they have one. But the Eagles also were still in the division race because the NFC East is horrible.
The Eagles coaching staff didn’t make the move, and coach Doug Pederson continually brushed off questions about it. They must have thought Wentz still gave the Eagles the best chance to win now, even when the results didn’t support that.
Pederson wouldn’t say after the game who he’d start next week.
Doug Pederson on who will start against Saints
“We needed a spark in this game to try to get some things going. I’ve got to get through injuries. There’s a lot of things I’m going to consider. And evaluate. Before anything is decided” pic.twitter.com/9HgeOAvifm
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 7, 2020
Teams make quarterback moves during games and that doesn’t mean a permanent switch. Maybe the Eagles will go right back to Wentz. But it’s hard to justify it based on what Wentz has done this season. The Eagles still have a chance to win their division, and now they have to decide what to do at quarterback.
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