Eagles’ Pederson on playing Cowboys: ‘It’s always a great week”

If you’re an Eagles fan, there are two games that you want to win more than any other, and that’s against the hated Dallas Cowboys, who the Eagles will battle this Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. 

However, this week’s game is a little more significant. While both teams are struggling, there is still a division to be won, and at this point, the Eagles(2-4-1), who hold the top spot in the NFC East, are 1/2 game up on the Cowboys(2-5). If Dallas wins, they reclaim first place in the NFC East, but a win for Philadelphia would increase their lead over Dallas.

It’s Dallas week, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson knows how that feels as a player and coach. On Wednesday, Pederson discussed playing the Cowboys.

“Yeah, you know I do. It’s always a great week,” Pederson said. “It’s an exciting week anytime you play any of our division opponents, division rivals. This is no different. We’re on Sunday Night Football, and we’re excited again to be in the national spotlight to be in another home game. Feeding off hopefully a little bit of momentum from last Thursday, but it’s something that you look at both teams, and maybe there’s not the same lust or excitement from the game.

“Maybe the two teams are struggling or whatever it is — but listen, it’s always the Dallas Cowboys. I remember back in ’99 when I played here, and I can think of the fans are always like, hey there’s two games every year that you really got to win, and it’s the two Dallas game. That’s a part of the excitement this week. The guys are excited. I know Dallas will be excited coming up here. Looking forward to playing.”

This is a very winnable game for the Eagles, but so was last against the Giants, and the Eagles needed a big-time fourth quarter out of Carson Wentz to get the victory. The Cowboys will be without injured QB Andy Dalton, and in his place is Ben DiNucci, who was a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft and will be making his first career start on Sunday. Furthermore, the Cowboys don’t play defense and are 27th in total defense, and are allowing almost 35(34.7) points per game, so the Eagles have a great chance here. However, it’s a rivalry game, which means anything can happen.

Pederson on Wentz: ‘It’s good to see your quarterback being able to put the team on his back and lead a comeback’

With the Eagles’ season on the line, quarterback Carson Wentz was at his best. Down 11 in the 4th quarter, Wentz led the Eagles(2-4-1) on two scoring drives, and ultimately, Philadelphia would defeat the Giants 22-21 at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday Night Football.

Wentz, who almost pulled off a similar comeback last Sunday against Baltimore, finished the game 25/43 for 341 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The fifth-year quarterback put the Eagles on his back and got the victory.

“There wasn’t a lot of time, but we said there was enough time,” Wentz said after the game. “There’s enough time; we just have to keep believing and just take it one play at a time. Obviously, we were in turbo, on-the-ball, two-minute mode the rest of the game. [But it was] the same thing that I echo every game when we’re down, ‘Just keep believing, just one play at a time and big play is going to hit. It’s going to happen.’ [Eagles WR] John [Hightower] had the big one that first drive and obviously [Eagles RB] Boston [Scott] on the second drive. Guys just keep believing and keep rallying together, and that’s what it’s going to take to win a lot of these ball games.” 

According to NBC Philly’s John Clark, Wentz has thrown for 214 yards with five total touchdowns and a 118.2 passer rating in the fourth quarter of the past two games, and according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, it’s good to see Wentz carrying the team.

“Quite honestly, it’s good to see your quarterback being able to put the team on his back and lead a comeback like he did in this game,” Pederson said on Friday. “Obviously, the Baltimore game is another one where we made the comeback and put ourselves in a position to tie that football game. That part is good to see.

“We want to try to at least minimize being down two scores late in the fourth quarter and have to come back every week. Those are hard to overcome. That’s one of the things you love about Carson, he’s constantly fighting with his guys and battling with his guys out there. He wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game.

“The other thing is when we’re down two scores like that, you go right into your two-minute offense. You saw the play to [WR John] Hightower, you saw the play to [TE] Richard Rodgers. The Richard play was a scramble, big play in the game. That’s who Carson is, a constant competitor and wants to win.”

Now, it’s time for Philadelphia to build on this win. While Wentz has to do a better job of protecting the football, he is carrying the Eagles, and hopefully, for Philadelphia, he can carry them to an NFC East title.

Eagles’ Wentz on Fulgham: ‘He’s a baller’

On Sunday, at Lincoln Financial Field, the Philadelphia Eagles(1-4-1) started slow on offense against the Baltimore Ravens, but the offense finally came alive in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia would score 22 points in the quarter, and quarterback Carson Wentz would throw two touchdowns and run for another. However, with a chance to tie the game, Wentz and the Eagles failed on the two-point conversion, and Philadelphia would lose to Baltimore(5-1) 30-28.

Another player that came alive for the Eagles in the fourth quarter was WR Travis Fulgham. The second-year receiver had three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Also, Fulgham forced a pass interference call on Marcus Peters that ultimately set up the Eagles final touchdown. Fulgham led the Eagles with six receptions for 75 yards on Sunday.

“He’s a baller,” Wentz said about Fulgham after the game. “I said last week, I see it in practice. It’s good to just see these guys get their chance and make plays.”

Fulgham had his first 100-yard receiving game of his career last week against the Steelers and is establishing himself as Wentz’s go-to guy. In three games, Fulgham has 18 receptions for 284 yards and three receiving touchdowns. 

“It means a lot that [Eagles QB] Carson [Wentz] trusts me now, and we continue to build on it,” Fulgham said. “I just wish I could’ve made more plays for the team, and we just need to do more to get the win.”

Wentz trusted Fulgham in the fourth quarter as he threw the ball up for grabs in the end zone on 4th & 9, and Fulgham went up and grabbed the ball out the air for the touchdown. After the game, Fulgham discussed what happened on the play.

“Wentz made a check at the line,” he said. “It was a great check. And he placed the ball at the right spot, floated it up, and let me get a chance to go up and get it.”

The Eagles are struggling right now, and injuries are a big reason for those struggles. Still, the good thing that has come from the injuries is young guys are getting an opportunity to play, and Fulgham is taking advantage of this opportunity.

 

Eagles’ Pederson: ‘We’re not a very good football team’

It’s still early in the 2020 NFL season, but yesterday was a low moment for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sunday’s home game against the Bengals was an opportunity for the Eagles to get right, but due to turnovers, penalties, and overall lousy play, Philadelphia had to settle for a tie against Cincinnati.

On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson stated the obvious about the 0-2-1 Eagles; they are just not very good right now.

“Well, the glaring thing for me as the coach is we’re not winning the turnover ratio,” Pederson said via a video call. “We’re obviously giving the ball away more than we’re taking it away. The penalties yesterday were way too many, 11 penalties yesterday for almost 100 yards. I thought we ran the ball effectively for the amount of times that we ran it. [RB] Miles [Sanders] did a nice job there in the backs. And quite frankly, we have to find ways now to utilize the guys we have as we talked about earlier, creative ways to get these guys open, and whether we do that by formations, we do that by motions.

“We have to continue to coach our young players. We have to get them ready to go, and they’re the ones that are going to be playing on the perimeter for us. So, right now we’re not a very good football team, as I said after the game, we’re not very smart. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re leaving touchdowns on the field offensively, and we’re just not executing. And those are things that we’re going to really look hard at this week, and if we have to simplify, we’ll simplify. If we have to go up-tempo, we’ll go up-tempo, things that have been successful in the past.”

One player who has to step up for the Eagles to turn things around is Carson Wentz. In three games, Wentz is tied with Kirk Cousins for the most interceptions(6) in football. Additionally, Wentz has struggled with his accuracy, and he missed a wide open Miles Sanders late in the game against the Bengals.

In fairness to Wentz, his offensive line has been inconsistent, and he has lost some of his weapons to injuries, but again, he has to play better, which Wentz believes will happen for him and the Eagles’ offense.

“Obviously, I just have to be better [and] handle some of these,” Wentz said after the game on Sunday. “Some of them are communication, just making sure we’re on the same page with everybody, and some are just poor throws. I have to be better, and I will. We’re still meshing and gelling as a team and building the chemistry. [There were] a lot of moving pieces today, not as an excuse, but guys will continue to get this experience and learn from it. We’ll all be better, including myself.”

Can the Eagles turn it around? Maybe, but the next three weeks will be very tough. Philadelphia has to travel to San Francisco on Sunday, go to Pittsburgh the following week, and host the Ravens after that. If Philly does not play better, they could easily be winless after the first six games. So, the time is now for Philadelphia to get things right.

e

Eagles’ Wentz, Sanders, Graham, Mills react to tie against Bengals

They say in the NFL that a tie is like kissing your sister, and on Sunday, both the Cincinnati Bengals(0-2-1) and the Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) kissed their sisters. For the second time in their all-time series, the Bengals and Eagles ended a game in a tie. The last time these two teams ended a game in a tie was in 2008 when the Bengals and Eagles finished the game tied at 13. This time around, al Lincoln Financial Field, the two teams ended the game tied at 23.

Both teams came into the game winless, and both teams left the game winless. After the tie, Philly’s Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Jalen Mills, and Brandon Graham reacted.

Miles Sanders:

“Man, right off the bat, okay. I don’t see it as bad or good. Both teams have to look at the film and just see what we could have done better to get a W.”

Brandon Graham:

“For me, I am not happy about it. But I am more proud of how we fought in the end because the goal line stance to keep them to three, that was big. We could have easily folded right there. We could have been talking about a loss right now. I look at it that we have a lot of work to do, but at the end of the day, we are going to stay together. I am not really worried about it. I know the Bengals were going to come in, and they were going to fight. Every team we match up against, they are going to fight. There are no easy wins and no easy games. I just love that we stuck together through all the stuff that happened. We just messed up in the end. We can’t do that.”

Jalen Mills: 

“At that point, say we do try to kick a field goal, and we miss. Now that team has the opportunity to get field position back, and there’s still time on the clock, and maybe they get in a position to kick a field goal, and we do take the loss. There’s a lot of different ways the scenario could have went. At the end of the day, I mean we tied, and we just have to live with that. Come in on Tuesday, watch the film, look at the mistakes. Because at this point, you don’t care about any good that we did. The result wasn’t what we wanted. Look at the mistakes – offense, defense, special teams – and get them corrected.”

Carson Wentz:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a tie, so it’s just kind of an awkward way to end the game. [It’s] frustrating when you have a chance there to kick the [game-winning] field goal. Even with our drive offensively, a couple times, we felt we were in field goal range, and we had plays [then] we had penalties and things just kept backing us up. The fight was there; the effort was there from guys. We just have to play smarter, play cleaner. I have to be better, as well. It was a frustrating way to end the game, for sure.”

Wentz: ‘We’re not panicking; we know what we have to clean up, and we will’

For the Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, the 2020 season has been a struggle. In Week 1 against Washingon, Wentz threw two picks, and on Sunday in the team’s home-opener against the Rams, Wentz(26/43 for 242 yards and two interceptions) threw two more picks as the Eagles were dominated by Los Angeles(2-0) 37-19.

After trailing 21-3 in the second quarter, Philadelphia(0-2) cut the lead to 21-16 at the half and had the momentum. However, with the Eagles driving for a touchdown in the third quarter, Wentz was picked off by Darious Williams in the endzone. After the game, Wentz discussed what went wrong on that play.

“On the interception, [the Rams defense] made a great play. I got out on the naked there to the left, and they had us covered pretty well,” Wentz said. “I got pretty aggressive and tried to force one in there. [Rams CB Darious Williams] made a great play. I have to be smarter in that situation. Overall, offensively, we know we’re right there. At the end of the day, we had two interceptions and the fumble. Turning the ball over is really killing us the last two weeks. Those are the things we know we can clean up. But other than that, we truly feel that we’re right there. We’re just missing some things, timing of some things. We’re not panicking; we know what we have to clean up, and we will.”

At 0-2, the Eagles have an uphill battle in terms of making the playoffs. According to oddsshark.com, since 2007, 98 teams have started 0-2. Only 12 (12.2 percent) turned it around to make the playoffs, but according to Wentz, Philly can turn things around.

“We’re obviously frustrated,” he said. “You never want to start 0-2. Last week, the way we lost to Washington, starting 0-1, is obviously not what we want and not how we expect to finish ball games. And then today, coming out behind again, [is] not where you want to be. But we know there’s enough things through two games, offensively speaking, that we can put on the tape and know we’re right there [and] just missing some things. We’re right there, don’t panic, we’ll be okay. I’ve always had all the confidence in the world in our defense. Things happen, but we’re not panicking and excited to get back on it.”

Eagles RB Miles Sanders, who ran for 95 yards, but had a costly fumble that sent up a Rams’ touchdown in the first quarter, thinks Philly still has time to get right.

‘”It’s very frustrating,” Sanders said about the team being 0-2. “I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. But like I said, it’s a blessing that it’s a long season. And like I said, we have opportunities week by week just to get better and get some [wins] on the left-hand side of that column.”

There is still a lot of season left for the Eagles, and Philadelphia plays in the NFC East, which appears to be weak at this point of the season. But, Wentz has to be better, and defensively they have to be better.

Eagles’ Pederson: ‘I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness’

Eagles QB Carson Wentz started fast against Washington and had Philadelphia up 17-0 in the second quarter. However, near the end of the first half, he threw an interception that set up Washington’s first touchdown. In the third quarter, with the Eagles up 17-7, Wentz threw his second pick, which set up another Washington touchdown. 

Wentz(24-42, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and the Eagles would not score another point and would fall to Washington 27-17  at FedEx Field on Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked Wentz’s interception before the half.

“After looking at the tape, it’s kind of how I felt and what I saw, live and in-person yesterday in the game,” Pederson said. “We just missed. We missed on a throw. The throw was — came out of his hand after watching the tape kind of slowing things down. Looked like it came out of his hand, ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of his hand. It was left inside. So it happens. Those are things that are going to happen. Especially when it’s warm, and it just is part of the game. It’s just going to take place.”

Many felt the Eagles were too aggressive against Washington, especially right before halftime when Wentz’s pick helped Washington score their first points of the game, but according to Pederson, Philadelphia will continue to stay aggressive.

“As far as the aggressiveness goes, I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness,” Pederson said. “Look, as I said this morning, a 17-0 lead or a 27-10 lead, in any football game in this league is not enough, and you have to continue to maintain aggressiveness. You have to — especially when you have momentum, right, and it’s kind of on your side. You’ve got to use that to your advantage, and my thinking at that time, too, was to try to get points before half with the ball to start the third quarter. We’ve done that many times here where we’ve scored and then come out and scored touchdowns to start the third quarter. That’s a lot of my mindset in these games.”

Another issue in Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss to Washington was the offensive line, which surrendered eight sacks. At times, Wentz did not have a lot of time, and sometimes, Wentz held the ball too long, which Pederson addressed.

“We still have to continue to address him(Wentz) and to address those issues,” he said. “It’s part of the football game. We just have to keep talking that it’s okay to throw the ball away. It’s okay to dirt the ball on a screen pass or something of that nature and look; it’s something that we’ve just got to continue working through. There is a fine line, obviously, as we know, between the aggressiveness, but at the same time, we want to be smart.”

The Eagles’ offensive line has to play better. Hopefully, they can get RT Lane Johnson back next week against the Rams, and Wentz has to get the ball out quicker if he wants to last for the whole season. If those things don’t happen, it could be a long season for the Eagles.

 

 

Eagles’ Pederson on Wentz: ‘He’s aggressive; we have to maintain that aggressiveness’

In four seasons, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz has proven many things. He has shown the ability to play at an MVP level, which he did before getting injured in 2017. He had demonstrated the ability to carry a team, which he did last season when injuries decimated Philadelphia’s wide receivers, and because of the play Wentz, who threw for 4039 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2019, Philadelphia found a way to win the division and get a home playoff game.

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old Wentz, at times, health has been an issue. While he played all 16 games last season, he did get injured in the wild-card game, and Philly would ultimately lose to the Seahawks.

As he enters his fifth season in the league, Wentz will get his weapons back in wide receivers, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Also, he got some help in the draft when the team selected wide receivers Jalen Reagor(first round), John Hightower(fifth round), and Quez Watkins(sixth round). According to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, Wentz is doing a good job of leading the young players.

“With Carson, just he’s got another set of skill guys around him, a young group of guys,” Pederson said via a video call on Sunday. “What I’ve seen and what we’ve talked about a lot is his leadership with those guys, kind of carrying over what he did last year with those young players and how he can kind of shape and mold [them], which is great to see because these young guys are asking him questions when they are in there with him, and that’s something that Carson has embraced and will continue to embrace as the leader of the team.

“For Carson, it’s just a matter of running the show, running the offense, running the team. He’s going into his fifth year. He knows how to play this game. He plays it just like a professional. He knows how to play. He’s aggressive; we have to maintain that aggressiveness, and I think with just continuing to teach and maybe part of the injuries that he’s gone through in the last couple of seasons are things that he can learn from.”

With the big contract(four-year, $128 million) in hand, Wentz now has to find a way to stay healthy. He’s an elite quarterback in the NFL, and last season and 2017 showed that. Now, he must continue to grow as a leader, which has been questioned in the past. However, year five gives Wentz another opportunity to change the narrative and lead the Eagles to the playoffs and beyond.

Wentz’s charity softball game, home run derby canceled due to COVID-19

Sadly, just like a lot of things in the world of sports, the 3rd annual Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation Charity Softball Game and Home Run Derby has been canceled because of the COVID-19 health situation.

The foundation announced in late 2019 that the event would be held on May 8, 2020, at Citizens Bank Park.

“We take the health and safety of our supporters seriously, and while it’s disappointing that we can’t have the game this year, we think it is the best decision considering the health and safety of our supporters,” said Zach Wentz, executive director, Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation. “We hope that fans will be excited to know they can plan on a 2021 Charity Softball Game!”

All ticket purchases will automatically be fully refunded in 5-7 days. For questions about a ticket purchase or refund, please contact the Phillies at tickets@phillies.com.

Pederson on Eagles: ‘I feel like they’re playing their best football down the stretch here, and that’s what it takes to make a run’

For most of the 2019 season, the Philadelphia Eagles have dealt with a lot of adversity. Injuries have hampered this team and caused Philadelphia to struggle for most of the season. 

However, after a three-game winning streak, the Eagles(8-7) are one game away from winning the NFC East. If they beat the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Philadelphia wins the division and will make the playoffs.

Even with all of the injuries, the Eagles might be peaking at the right time, which according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, means that Philly could make a run in the playoffs.

When asked if he believes the Eagles could make a run in the playoffs, Pederson had this to say.  

“I would think so. I would hope so,” Pederson said on a conference call for the New York media on Thursday. “We do have a bunch of injuries on the offensive side of the ball, but it’s a resilient group, and I feel like they’re playing their best football down the stretch here, and that’s what it takes to make a run. Really, it’s teams that get hot at the right time, no matter what their circumstances are or what they’re faced with.”

While Pederson believes in his team, he will not overlook the Giants.

“We’ve got to focus on this week, got to get ready for a good Giants football team on the road, and we’ve got to start there,” he said.

With all the injuries that the Eagles have, making a long playoff run could be very difficult. However, this team does have experience and a quarterback who would love to prove the doubters wrong in Carson Wentz, and they will have a home playoff game in the Wild-Card round. Anything can happen, but with how depleted this team is, a long playoff run is highly unlikely for the Eagles.