The Eagles repeated what has been a frequent summary for a game Sunday in a one-score loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Carson Wentz was not very good, threw an ugly (and significant) interception that produced a negative outcome for Philadelphia, and his team added another mark in the loss column.
This outcome arrived amid unrelenting rain on a cold Sunday along Lake Erie, which didn’t make the going any easier for Wentz. Neither did an injury to Lane Johnson, and Cleveland’s constant harassment of Wentz, who was pressured 16 times, hit 16 times, sacked five times and posted a passer rating of 41.1 when under duress. Wentz finished with a line of 21-of-35 passing for 235 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a rating of 75.3.
None of this made Eagles coach Doug Pederson consider a change at quarterback.
“You’re sending the wrong message that your season is over,” Pederson said of potentially benching Wentz, via CBS 3’s Pat Gallen. “We have to work through this. When times get tough, that might be easy thing to do.”
Pederson is not one to take the easy way out, it seems, even if the path of most resistance isn’t producing winning football for the Eagles. At 3-6-1, Philadelphia would face a significant deficit in any other division than its own, which is undoubtedly the worst in football. Because of this, Philadelphia’s season indeed is not over, even if the Eagles haven’t been able to put together a complete game for some time.
Instead of changing personnel, Pederson said his team needs to change its habits, because it is 3-6-1 as a result of “the mistakes we’ve been making.”
“This is a test for our football team,” Pederson said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. “To see who is in and who is out. That’s the challenge to everybody. Challenging the leadership of the team and challenging the coaches to keep this thing together”
Seems simple enough, even if winning has been far from easy to achieve.
Also simple for Pederson to answer: The question regarding Philadelphia’s starting quarterback. It will remain Wentz, the coach said Sunday following the loss.
“No questions about it,” Pederson said, via The Athletic’s Zach Berman. “He’s our starter.”
Even in a bad division, the Eagles still need to win games. We’ll see in the weeks ahead whether more of the same will produce a different outcome.
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