Eagles’ Doug Pederson says he won’t bench Carson Wentz: ‘You don’t go there’

Carson Wentz is a shell of his former self, going from one of the game’s top quarterbacks to one of the worst in a matter of weeks. The numbers justify how poor Wentz has played: 79-of-132 (59.8%) for 737 yards with three touchdowns to six interceptions (63.9 rating) as the Philadelphia Eagles are winless through three games for the first time since 1999 — when head coach Doug Pederson was the quarterback. 

Is benching Wentz for his poor play an option? The Eagles have scored over 20 points just once this season while Wentz leads the NFL in interceptions thrown — and he’s the first Eagles quarterback to throw multiple interceptions in three straight games since Ron Jaworski in 1985. But going to a new quarterback — second-round pick Jalen Hurts — apparently isn’t an option. 

“You don’t go there,” Pederson said to Angelo Cataldi on SportsRadio 94WIP Monday morning, per NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro. “That’s a knee jerk reaction. That’s a reaction to things that sometimes are … the aura that’s out there, right? That’s not what we believe internally. And we’re going to continue to get better. 

“Carson’s our quarterback. We’re going to get it fixed, he’s going to get it fixed. We got a long … listen, we’re only a half-game out of first place for goodness sakes. The whole division isn’t playing very good football. We’re not that far off.”

The Eagles are only a half game out of first place in the NFC East thanks to their tie with the Cincinnati Bengals, as every other team in the division lost Sunday. Wentz isn’t helping matters, ranking 29th amongst qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage, 19th in pass yards, 30th in touchdown percentage (2.3), second in interception percentage (4.5), last in yards per attempt (5.6), and last in quarterback rating. 

The struggles are evident in Wentz’s game: Poor decision making, sailing passes, missing wide open receivers, and flawed mechanics in his plant foot. He has vowed to correct the issues, but the same problems exist week after week. 

“You’re going to miss a couple [throws] and you’re going to make some plays. Things happen,” Wentz said after Sunday’s game. “Obviously, I just have to be better [and] handle some of these. 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.”

If Wentz doesn’t improve over the next few weeks, the Eagles may have no choice but to go to Hurts and see how much he has developed in his rookie year. Philadelphia may owe Wentz $132 million over the next four years, but portions of those checks may be cashed on the bench. 

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