Eagles relying too much on Carson Wentz’s passing
PHILADELPHIA (AP) After getting Carson Wentz help in the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles are still relying too much on their quarterback.
Wentz handed the ball off only 13 times out of 69 plays in a 27-20 loss at Kansas City on Sunday. He threw 46 passes, got sacked six times and had four scrambles.
”You don’t ever want to throw the ball that many times. You want to have more of a balance,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday. ”The run game is a part of that. But at the same time you end up doing sort of what the game dictates late in the game. And do I want him to drop back that many times? No.”
LeGarrette Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns last season, didn’t get a carry against the Chiefs. Instead, 34-year-old Darren Sproles was the primary back, running 10 times for 48 yards. Second-year-pro Wendell Smallwood carried three times for 4 yards. Wentz led the team with 55 yards rushing .
”It’s just how the game went,” said Blount, who led the way with 46 yards on 14 carries in Week 1. ”That wasn’t the game plan going in, but the game wasn’t going the way we wanted it to, so we had to make some changes. We’ve just got to ride the wave. When your number’s called, your number’s called.”
The Eagles (1-1) gave Wentz more weapons when they signed receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency and drafted Mack Hollins in the fourth round. The trio caught 14 passes on 24 targets. Smith dropped two deep jump balls, but Wentz is throwing downfield more and has enough confidence in Jeffery and Smith to go to them in coverage.
However, Wentz tries to force plays at times and it’s been costly. The turning point against Kansas City came in the fourth quarter when Wentz threw an interception on third-and-12 from the Eagles 31 with the score tied at 13. His pass bounced off Justin Houston’s helmet, fluttered in the air and was picked. Wentz should’ve thrown the ball away and settled for a punt and better field position.
”We thought we could make plays in the passing game,” Wentz said. ”I am not overly concerned about the run game. I know that will be a big part of the offense going forward. When you have three guys, it is hard to get them all involved.”
NOTES: Pederson said safeties Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins are day to day with hamstring injuries. Both players exited early against the Chiefs. … The Eagles host the New York Giants in their home opener on Sunday.
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