There are a lot of reasons Carson Wentz is an elite quarterback in the NFL. His ability to manipulate a defense with his arm and his mind was a big part of why the Eagles fell in love with his prospects in 2016.
What separates Wentz from other top NFL quarterbacks is his ability to extend plays with his legs. A defense can seemingly have Wentz trapped and suddenly he makes four defenders miss and makes a play on the run with his arm or legs.
Running can expose a quarterback to more contact which resulted in Wentz tearing his ACL last year but this season Wentz has been labeled as “damaged goods” that still plays a reckless style of football.
Not only was that not the case the majority of the time last year as a runner, but Wentz has been even pickier in deciding when to go for extra yards and when to give himself up this season.
Wentz wasn’t afraid to use his legs in his first game back against the Colts. He does a good job of heading for the sidelines and when he realizes he won’t make it before two Colts defenders get to him, he slides down.
Here again, Wentz makes an amazing play to avoid the sack against Minnesota and gets down after a nice pickup.
Wentz is a lot more responsible as a runner than he is given credit for.
Most of the contact on Wentz has come from defensive players hitting him despite sliding feet first. Repeatedly this year Wentz has been hit after giving himself up without a penalty being called. If this was Tom Brady on any of these plays, a flag would have been thrown immediately.
There haven’t been a lot of situations where Wentz has a defender in his face, and he elects to take on the hit and fight for extra yards. When Wentz has been hit, it has been a result of being chased down by a defender. This has happened on a number of plays this year as Wentz slowly gets his speed back from the injury.
That is big nose tackle Linval Joseph that beats Wentz to the edge…..
Wentz does take some hits. Any quarterback that runs won’t always be able to avoid it. What you should hope for is that the scrambling QB picks the right times to take on contact. For instance, the run that Wentz tore his ACL last year against the Rams was a good situation to fight for the touchdown.
The Eagles were trailing in the fourth quarter against a top NFC team. If the Eagles don’t win that game in LA, they may not get a first round bye and home field advantage, which was crucial in the Super Bowl run.
This year Wentz has chosen the right times to be aggressive.
Some might say holding onto the ball and running around is reckless but some signal callers that don’t have the ability to make plays with their legs may take a big hit on a play like this. Instead, Wentz gets outside the pocket, recognizes he has a foot on the pursuing Colts defenders to the sticks and dives to move the chains.
That is the right time to make that kind of play.
Another play where Wentz needs to dive for a first down to continue the drive. A 3rd and 6 against the Giants, Wentz gets down but goes head first to get the ball over the sticks.
Wentz plays far more wreckless than the likes of Jared Goff or Josh Rosen. However the narrative that Wentz is a reckless player that doesn’t know when to take a hit and when not too (almost RG3 like) is simply false.
He has been very good at protecting himself this season when extending plays, or espacing the pocket where the offensive line has allowed Wentz to get hit more than anywhere on the field.
It was Avonte Maddox Mania around Eagles Nation after the 30-23 upset victory in LA. The rookie was a main reason the Eagles season is still alive. Who else is trending upward after LA? Who’s stock took a hit?
Louie dives into how the Eagles can do damage in a surprisingly underwhelming NFC conference, where Maddox will lineup in the secondary next year, and brings you our weekly “Stock Up, Stock Down” segment on the Locked on Eagles podcast!
From dog masks to ski masks
With the season on the line, on the road, against one of the best teams in the NFL, Nick Foles and the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive with a 30-23 victory against the Rams.
How was Jim Schwartz able to hold one of the top offenses in the league to 23 points?
How does Nick Foles keep pulling off the impossible?
Will he be the guy the rest of the reason including perhaps playoffs?
Louie and Gino break down the memorable victory over the Rams.
No easy way out
By Lars Lewis
The term ‘No Easy Way Out’ refers to a song by Robert Tepper from a famous movie involving a couple key factors that relate to what was witnessed Sunday night in Los Angeles.
One factor, a fighter from Philadelphia whose back is against the wall and senses the walls closing in as he encounters the other factor, a cyborg-like monster who has wiped out essentially any sort of defense that’s faced him.
Yes, there was a lot of Rocky IV in this game and I’ll explain why.
It seemed the Eagles, who had once again called upon their Rocky Balboa in Nick Foles, longed for one more puncher’s chance against a foe that could certainly put away their faint playoff hopes for good.
We’re not indestructible,
Baby better get that straight
I think it’s unbelievable
How you give into the hands of fate
So you figured out the first piece of the puzzle, but what about that certain monster who loomed so large over Rocky physically but also mentally?
Yeah, that was Ivan Drago, and Sean McVay fits him to a tee.
I mean think about it. Blonde, spiky hair, blue eyes, chiseled face, and a borderline unfair amount of gifts both possess(ed). Drago’s superhuman power and technique coincides with McVay’s absurd memory that teeters between scary and let’s face it, rather annoying.
Doug Pederson, following the highest of highs last season when he beat Lord Palpa…err I mean Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl, has never faced the kind of scrutiny the way he’s had this year and especially leading into the game Sunday.
I see all the angry faces
Afraid that could be you and me
Talkin about what might have been
I’m thinkin about what I used to be
When it got to game time in the L.A. Coliseum, just like Rocky when he walked to the ring in Moscow, the Eagles knew they were fueled by a burning desire set ablaze through a heartbreaking defeat in Dallas coinciding with Rocky’s loss of Apollo in the film.
Foles throughout the first three quarters resembled the Foles we all saw on that fateful February night, hitting Alshon Jeffrey for big gains, moving it up and down the field and consistently getting into the red-zone to allow his trio of running backs to do their damage.
“You see he’s not a machine! He’s a man!” Tony “Duke” Evers
The Rams as the Chicago Bears proved last week, are indeed human and Foles, along with a sterling performance from Jim Schwartz’ defense for most of the night, has assured Rocko one more round as they play Houston and then close the season in D.C for maybe, just maybe, a second shot at the title.
There’s no easy way out there’s no shortcut home