Despite what we saw in February, the Philadelphia Eagles could have major issues if Carson Wentz can’t replace Nick Foles in the coming weeks.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-0, beating a team many believe will represent the NFC this year in the Super Bowl. Yes, the Eagles eventually dispatched the Atlanta Falcons after looking awful for much of the night, making most of the journey to an ugly win irrelevant in the mind of fans.
In reality, head coach Doug Pederson must be concerned. If Carson Wentz doesn’t come back relatively soon, the Eagles are going to be hamstrung with poor play under center. Remember, while Nick Foles is a Super Bowl champion, he’s also a backup who has moved on from one team to another four times in a short career.
Against the Falcons, Foles was nothing shy of abysmal. The star of the Philly Special, Foles completed 19-of-34 for 117 yards with an interceptions. In case you’re wondering, 3.4 yards per attempt is all kinds of atrocious. While some will argue Foles didn’t have Alshon Jeffery, that’s no excuse for what was a grizzly game at home.
Philadelphia does have the luxury of playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts over the next two weeks, a pair of inferior opponents that should be victories even if Foles can’t improve upon Thursday night’s stat line. Still, each game is a challenge unto itself and nothing is guaranteed. Beyond that, Philadelphia begins to draw a tougher slate with Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars over the next five games.
Wentz is still not clear for contact, which begs the question of how close to a return is he really? If he can’t play for another month or so, Philadelphia will be forced to tread water. That’s likely good enough in the middling NFC East, but it could well be the difference between simply making the playoffs and earning home-field advantage in the loaded NFC.
Eagles fans should be confident it’ll all work out. After all it certainly did last season when the year concluded with Foles holding up the Lombardi Trophy. It should be recalled, though, that no sport is more of an annual rebirth than the NFL, and what happened in 2017 has no bearing on what plays out over the next few months.