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Looking at the encouraging signs from Carson Wentz’s first game back

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If you’re just box score scouting Philadelphia Eagles Hoodie , you might not think Carson Wentz’s first game back with the Eagles since tearing his ACL/LCL last year was super impressive. The 25-year-old passer completed 25 of his 37 attempts for 255 yards (6.9 average), one touchdown, one interception, and a 84.9 passer rating during Philadelphia’s Week 3 win over the Colts.But as you’d know from watching the game, the stats don’t tell the whole story. Wentz showed a number of encouraging signs that bode well for him and the Eagles moving forward this season. Let’s take a look back at those moments.AccuracyThis is Wentz’s first completion of the game. He places the throw right over the outstretched arm of a Colts linebacker to fit the ball to Zach Ertz, who has a safety bearing down on him. Keeping his eyes down the fieldAlthough the result of the play is obviously different, this play reminds me of Wentz’s scramble against Washington in Week 1 last year. Wentz shows no signs of injury as he scrambles around and manages to keep his eyes down the field to make something out of a broken play. MobilityThe Colts get a free rusher on a stunt here but it doesn’t matter. Wentz steps up to avoid the oncoming rusher. Then he spins out of harm’s way after feeling pressure from his right side and sprints for a diving first down. Again, there’s just zero sign of injury here. StrengthWentz’s signature play from Sunday’s game. The third-year quarterback avoids being sacked by defenders going after his legs and delivers a throw to Nelson Agholor for a CLUTCH third down conversion. The way Wentz holds up in the pocket here reminds me a little of his touchdown throw to Corey Clement in the Week 7 Washington game from last season. When NFL coaches and defenders talk about the challenge of defending against players like Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger Customized Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys , they often talk about how their size and strength makes them so hard to take down. Wentz belongs in that category as well.RustOf course, Wentz did show some rust in his first game back. Doug Pederson’s explanation for this interception: “Just eyed up Zach. Just stared him down. Can’t do that. Brought the defender right there. Just a poor decision.”Wentz’s fumble seemed like more of a good play by the defense than a huge mistake by him. Perhaps he should’ve gotten the ball out faster. But credit the 6-8 Margus Hunt, who’s been off to a strong start this year, for reaching around Lane Johnson and knocking the ball free. Not the easiest day to hold on to the ball anyway given the rainy conditions. It’s frustrating Wentz couldn’t get a conversion on this play. He had Kamar Aiken open for an easy first down the entire play. Corey Clement was also free if the ball didn’t come out so late. CONCLUSIONIt wasn’t a perfect outing by any stretch, but Wentz showed real signs of picking up right where he left off from his near-MVP form in 2017. From a physical standpoint, he looked as good as you could’ve possibly hoped for, and maybe even better. Wentz clearly has some work to do when it comes to cleaning up mental mistakes. But based on the positive signs from Sunday, there should be complete confidence that he’ll be able to shake off that rust at some point. Moving forward , Wentz will benefit from the Eagles getting healthier. Against the Colts, he had to deal with Philadelphia missing their top two running backs and three of their top four wide receivers. Alshon Jeffery’s return is on the horizon so that’ll be a nice boost. 0ebe60dfb9c42853e7ab8751c164567f.jpg Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are expected back at practice this week as well.Not having to consistently play in wet conditions should also help. Wentz’s second worst game of the 2017 season in terms of passer rating came when the Eagles played a rainy home game against the 49ers last year. Wentz memorably struggled to throw a wet ball back at a workout with the Browns leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, so maybe the rain is a real issue for him.Again, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about Wentz coming out of the Eagles’ win. And that means there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the rest of this season after getting off to a 2-1 start. The problem with forecasting the Philadelphia Eagles isn’t that we don’t know what they’re capable of. The reigning Super Bowl champions aren’t some terrible team that’s prone to getting blown out. At the very least, they’ve been in all of their games this year. They were even the ones blowing out the Giants in Week 6.And had the Eagles merely held on to a 17-0 lead last week, a lot of people would be feeling really confident in this team moving forward.But that’s not the reality of the situation. The Eagles did drop a game they had no business losing.The problem with making predictions with this team, then, is not about what they’re capable of ... but when they’re capable of it. For their sake Philadelphia Eagles Womens T-Shirt , the Eagles better find themselves capable against a Jaguars team that’s really struggling recently. In their last three matchups, Jacksonville has allowed 30 points per game and has only scored just over nine points per game. That’s very bad. #Analysis.The much-maligned Blake Bortles has obviously contributed to the Jags’ issues. Jacksonville finally decided to bench him last week ... only to announce he’d be their starter for this London game. It’s actually not the craziest move given that he’s thrown eight touchdowns to one interception in his last three games overseas. In an Eagles season that’s been frustrating, it would be very fitting for Bortles to ineplxicably torch Philadelphia’s defense. We already saw Marcus Mariota do this to Jim Schwartz’s unit earlier this year. The fact that Malcolm Jenkins gave Bortles some extra motivation doesn’t help to feel less uneasy. It’s very difficult to have confidence in this Eagles team right now after seeing them lose the way they did against the Panthers.But you know what? I’m going to say the Eagles bounce back. This is a team that’s struggled to create turnovers this season. Some of that stuff is just luck. And maybe the Eagles are due for some picks and/or fumble recoveries while playing a Jaguars team that ranks second in the league in total giveaways.Another reason why I have some level of faith in the Eagles is because Nelson Agholor might be able to finally get going. Jacksonville is down to their third string option at nickel cornerback: rookie safety Ronnie Harrison. The Jaguars are without three of their top four corners in general. A struggling Eagles offense needs to take advantage.Ultimately, my optimism is tempered, as you can see in my final score prediction. I don’t think the Eagles turn in a pretty performance. I’m expecting another ugly game and it’ll hardly be shocking if Philadelphia manages to lose once again. But one of the biggest deciding factors in this prediction is that the Eagles have Carson Wentz and he’s much better than Bortles. I just can’t take Bortles over Wentz.Suggested format:Score prediction:Bold prediction:My predictions:Score prediction: 20-19, Eagles win.Bold prediction: Jalen Mills logs a pick six. Fan predictions:Bleeding Green Nation FanPulse (survey of Eagles fans): Eagles favored by 4 pointsBig Cat Country FanPulse (survey of Jaguars fans): Eagles favored by 8 pointsLeave your own predictions in the comments.

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