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Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz has answered 4th quarter critics

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Since getting drafted Carson Wentz has been the golden child of Philadelphia.

Part of getting the golden child treatment is avoiding any harsh criticism. Earning that from a fan base that booed the best quarterback in franchise history on draft day means you must be pretty valuable.

One rare criticism Wentz has got in three years (especially this season) was his performance late in games.

Talk heated up after Wentz and the Eagles offense fell short regaining the lead against the Panthers in the week seven match-up.

Since then Wentz has posted unreal numbers in the 4th quarter of one-score games against Jacksonville, Dallas, and New York.

Two of the three performances resulted in victories.

Against Jacksonville Wentz arguably had his best performance of the season. In the 4th quarter, Wentz went 5/5 for 60 yards and a touchdown.

The Jaguars offense started gashing the Eagles defense but Wentz didn’t let up.

In the SNF battle with the Cowboys, Wentz couldn’t complete the comeback but he tied the game up two different times late.

His 4th quarter stats were the best of the season going 14/15 158 yards and a touchdown.

Two weeks later in a must-win game against the Giants, Wentz and the Eagles were trailing in the 4th quarter and this time the comeback was completed.

Headed into the final quarter the Eagles trailed 19-3. Philadelphia’s offense put up 22 points in the fourth and won 25-22.

The run game was the key factor in the win but Wentz was on his game when he needed to keep drives alive going 4/4 for 60 yards. That included a 4th and 1 conversion from Wentz to Agholor with the season on the line. That helped lead to a game-winning field goal by Jake Elliott.

Overall, in a six-point win against the Jaguars, a seven-point loss against Dallas, and a three-point win against the Giants, Wentz has stepped up since he was under fire for pressing against Carolina.

Total stat line: 23/24 284 YDS 1 TD

W-L: 2-1

Louie, an Eagles, and NFL enthusiast all his life has finally found his home to share his thousands of takes on the Philadelphia Eagles with Locked on Eagles. Louie also works in Buffalo sports radio as a producer for WGR Sports Radio 550 the official home of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, in addition to working as the Sports Director for 91.3 FM WBNY Buffalo. He may be far from the nest, but Louie bleeds green just like the rest of Eagles Nation. Fly Eagles Fly.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Bell over Brown is an obvious choice for the Eagles

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost fishing season in the NFL as all 32 teams look to catch some nice pieces for their roster through free agency, the draft, and the trade market. While the biggest fish don’t always tend to swim in those waters, every year a few big names suddenly become available for a team looking to spend.

This year, it just so happens two of the best at their position are up for grabs, and they both are coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Star offensive weapons in RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown will both be in different jerseys next year for the first time in their careers. Bell is set to become a free agent, while Pittsburgh and Brown agreed a trade is in the best interest for both sides.

On paper, the Eagles could make sense for both. Adding weapons around Carson Wentz will always be a priority. However if Howie Roseman and the front office decide they want to go after one of these expensive play-makers, Bell makes much more sense for a number of reasons.

 

Bell doesn’t come with the baggage Brown does

Don’t let this fool you. Talent beats culture. It is why the Steelers were consistently atop the AFC despite a chaotic locker room. Coaches like Chip Kelly flamed out because they prioritized scheme and a robotic culture.

Despite that, Brown’s antics off the field are a real concern. He quit on his team with the season on the line. Pittsburgh needed a win and a Baltimore loss to make the postseason in Week 17 but Brown was MIA.

The temper tantrums on the sidelines, ghosting your team with the season on the line, that kind of behavior despite six straight seasons of 100+ receptions is eye opening.

Bell doesn’t have that stench to him. While Steelers fans will tell you Bell was selfish and uncommitted to football, it is unfair to say he has character concerns because he didn’t want to risk his long term health in a contract year. He wanted to be paid like the star he is and Pittsburgh wanted to pay the position not the player. Can’t blame either side.

 

Brown would require trade assets AND a big contract 

Some people love to scoff at the idea of paying any significant resource for a star RB like Bell. While it wouldn’t be smart to kill the salary cap for the do-it-all weapon, it is far more reasonable to pay Bell rather than pay Brown big money and give up the trade assets it would take to get him from Pittsburgh.

What sounds better to you? $14+ million a year for Bell or $14+ million a year for Brown and perhaps a 2nd round pick + Nelson Agholor?

Bell, Agholor, and the rookie taken with that 2nd round pick sounds a lot better than just Brown.

The report Bell wants $50 million in the first two years is scary. He turned down a 5 year $70 million deal with the Steelers but perhaps when the market develops Bell will have to temper his expectations.

 

Bell’s age and position is more attractive to the Eagles

Two other major elements in deciding between Bell and Brown would be age and position.

By the start of next season, Brown will be 31. Bell will be be 27. Bell has four years on Brown.

If Bell could maintain his productivity into his early 30’s, the Eagles could be set at RB for 5-6 years.

Being a running back also makes him a more attractive option. Doug Pederson’s offense is in desperate need of a talented RB.

Having a weapon like Bell in the backfield that can be your top runner, a top receiver, and efficient pass blocker puts this Eagles offense on a level only the Saints and Rams can match in the NFC.

It also makes the offense less predictable. Using a committee with featured grinders like Ryan Mathews, LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajay, and Josh Adams to go along with the clear pass catchers in Darren Sproles and Corey Clement can be a good way to keep your backs fresh, but it is clear what the offense plans to do on 3rd and 4 when Sproles is out there.

It is easier to predict what Pederson will do on 3rd and 2 when Blount was out there. Someone like Bell keeps the defense guessing in any situation.

While the Eagles could use more speed on offense, Brown would be a luxury. A luxury that could cost high draft picks, players, a high cap hit, and potential baggage.

Is that worth it for a team that already has at least four quality receiving options? Can’t imagine Brown would be happy not seeing 13+ targets a game.

 

Conclusion

History tells us the Eagles won’t go after either Bell or Brown. However with an aggressive front office that has shown a commitment in surrounding their franchise QB with weapons, it wouldn’t be suprising to see one of these two in midnight green. Especially with Roseman’s ability to perform magic on the salary cap.

If they decide to pursue one, it should be Le’Veon Bell.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Offseason Options: Wide Receiver

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles have plenty of weapons for Carson Wentz to throw to in 2019. The WR position, however, could use more speed to compliment the bigger weapons in Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert.

If Golden Tate, Mike Wallace, and/or Jordan Matthews leave the Eagles this offseason, what options does Howie Roseman have in free agency and the draft when it comes to pass catchers?

Louie and Gino give some big name options in the draft and free agency, as well as some receivers that could fly under the radar in both offseason periods.

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Philadelphia Eagles

Offseason Options: Running Back

Louie DiBiase

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Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the Eagles to add some serious talent in the backfield. What are their options if they want to add a big name free agent? What about a high draft pick?

If Howie Roseman sticks to his strategy of lower-priced free agents or draft picks, who could be a diamond in the rough?

Our “Offseason options’ series begins with RB on the Locked on Eagles podcast!

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