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For the seventh time in 10 games this season, Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles failed to show up. It came Sunday against the Cleveland Browns and resulted in an ugly 22-17 road loss.
Quarterback Carson Wentz entered Week 11 leading the league with 12 interceptions in nine games after throwing seven interceptions in each of the previous three seasons. Continuing his erratic play, Wentz literally gifted the Browns seven points early on.
It was yet another brutal performance from Wentz under the “leadership” of Doug Pederson. The high-priced quarterback ultimately completed 21-of-35 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.
Now at 3-6-1 on the season, Philadelphia remains in first place in the awful NFC East. However, Pederson’s decision to stick with Wentz under center while he performs like a bottom-five starting quarterback could soon lead to the coach standing in the unemployment line.
Doug Pederson sticking with Carson Wentz through thick and thin
“No question about it. He’s our starter,” Pederson said of Wentz following Sunday’s ugly loss. “I think you’re sending the wrong message to your football team that this season is over, and that’s a bad message.”
This comes with growing calls for the Eagles to bench Wentz for rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts. It also comes amid an NFL season that has been defined in large part by rookie signal callers having success, sans Sunday’s unfortunate injury to Joe Burrow.
The numbers are ugly for Doug Pederson and his Eagles. Sunday’s game included three more giveaways for the Eagles’ offense. Two of them were on Wentz, resulting in the difference in what ended up being a five-point loss.
Wentz, 27, has now thrown 14 interceptions in 10 starts. He’s also fumbled the ball a whopping nine times during this span. Teams can’t win on a consistent basis when a quarterback is putting up these types of mistakes. Add in the Eagles’ injury issues, and that’s magnified even further.
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Doug Pederson, the quarterback guru?
Pederson earned his stripes as an assistant coach for the then Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick led Eagles from 2009-12. He then served as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator for Alex Smith from 2013-15.
The one common denominator? Pederson has been viewed as a quarterback guru since he retired from the game as a player. That was previously true in Philadelphia, too. Remember, it was back in 2017 that Pederson oversaw one of the best sophomore campaigns from a young quarterback in modern NFL history.
Heck, he oversaw Nick Foles earning a freaking Super Bowl MVP award against six-time champion Tom Brady.
For many, this has given Doug Pederson leeway. The Eagles have had success under the head coach. He has the respect of the front office, led by general manager Howie Roseman.
But at some point, said respect will give in to reality. Wentz has thrown two interceptions or more six times this season. Philadelphia is 1-4-1 in those six games. It’s certainly not a coincidence.
And despite still being in first place in the NFC East with a 3-6-1 record, the time is now to give Hurts a chance. He’s a dynamic dual-threat quarterback that would have more success behind a makeshift offensive line. Opposing defenses don’t have much tape on the former Heisman finalist. These are factors that Doug Pederson should be taking into account here.
That’s not the case. Pederson is in full ride-or-die mode with Wentz under center. Too often, that’s led to complete disaster for the Eagles during the 2020 NFL season. There’s no reason to believe that this will change.
If that is indeed the case, Doug Pederson has cemented his status as a lame duck head coach and will ride Wentz to the NFL’s version of the unemployment line following the season.