NFL

Eagles coach Pederson won't bench Wentz: 'That's a knee-jerk reaction'

By Sports Desk September 28, 2020

Doug Pederson will not consider succumbing to the "knee-jerk reaction" of benching quarterback Carson Wentz following a tie with the Cincinnati Bengals that extended their winless start to the season.

The Eagles are still without a victory after they were held 23-23 by the Bengals and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, with both teams seemingly happy to settle for that result at the end of an uninspiring overtime period.

Philadelphia have gone 0-2-1 in the opening three games having suffered defeats to the Washington Football Team and Los Angeles Rams.

There are clear holes on both sides of the ball for the Eagles but it is Wentz who has received the brunt of the criticism for their disappointing start.

The second overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz has completed only 59.8 per cent of his passes and has thrown just three touchdowns compared to six interceptions, with the Bengals picking him off twice on Sunday.

So far this season, Wentz is averaging 4.59 net yards per pass attempt, his worst performance in that category since his rookie year (5.58).

The Eagles stoked talk of a potential changing of the guard at quarterback during this year's draft when they stunningly selected Jalen Hurts in the second round.

However, Pederson rejected any possibility of Hurts coming in for Wentz.

Asked what it would take to consider changing quarterbacks, Pederson said: "No. No, you don't go there. 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."

Wentz was considered a frontrunner for the MVP award in the 2017 season, when he went 11-2 as a starter and led the league in touchdown percentage (7.5), throwing 33 scores and just seven interceptions.

However, a torn ACL meant he had to watch from the sidelines as backup Nick Foles improbably led the Eagles to glory with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

He endured an up and down season in 2018 and a back injury meant he was again sidelined for the playoffs, in which Foles guided the Eagles to a Wild Card round win over the Chicago Bears. Wentz played just nine snaps of last season's Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks before suffering a concussion.

Despite their struggles, the Eagles are in striking distance of the NFC East division lead. Both Washington and the Dallas Cowboys have started 1-2 while the New York Giants are 0-3.

The Eagles will attempt to claim their first win of the season when they visit the 2-1 San Francisco 49ers in Week 4.

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    Week 7 scores:

    Philadelphia Eagles 22-21 New York Giants
    Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 Tennessee Titans
    Washington Football Team 25-3 Dallas Cowboys
    Buffalo Bills 18-10 New York Jets
    New Orleans Saints 27-24 Carolina Panthers
    Green Bay Packers 35-20 Houston Texans
    Cleveland Browns 37-34 Cincinnati Bengals
    Detroit Lions 23-22 Atlanta Falcons
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45-20 Las Vegas Raiders
    San Francisco 49ers 33-6 New England Patriots
    Kansas City Chiefs 43-16 Denver Broncos
    Los Angeles Chargers 39-29 Jacksonville Jaguars
    Arizona Cardinals 37-34 Seattle Seahawks (OT)

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