The Philadelphia Eagles made the transfer nobody within the Delaware Valley noticed coming at first of 2020: Carson Wentz was benched and Jalen Hurts was named the beginning quarterback. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson introduced the brand new beginning quarterback Tuesday, giving Hurts the keys to the franchise in his rookie season — seeking to enhance one of many NFL‘s worst offenses and provides the Eagles their greatest shot at truly profitable a soccer sport.
“We’re not the place we need to be as an offense,” Pederson advised Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro Tuesday. “I checked out the entire thing and determined that for this week to search for that spark once more to attempt to get the staff over the hump, to attempt to get all people enjoying higher.”
There are many elements why the Eagles selected Hurts and benched Wentz, who’s owed $132 million over the subsequent 4 seasons, to start out Sunday in opposition to the New Orleans Saints — and will go along with the rookie on a everlasting foundation. This is why the Eagles made the choice now:
Wentz has been one of many NFL’s worst quarterbacks
There isn’t any defending Wentz for the way poorly he is performed this season. He is been one of many worst quarterbacks in soccer and his numbers showcase that. Of the 32 certified quarterbacks in passing statistics, Wentz ranks second-to-last in completion share (57.4%), fourth-to-last in interception share (3.4%), third-to-last in yards per try (6.0), and third-to-last in quarterback ranking (72.8). He is been sacked a league-high 50 instances this season, or a league-high 10.3% on drop-back makes an attempt.
Wentz can be second within the league in unhealthy throw share (share of poor throws per cross try) at 22.2%, and solely 70.4% of his passes are on-target (passes that might have hit the supposed receiver), which ranks fifth-worst within the league. Solely Drew Lock has been worse than Wentz amongst the certified quarterbacks this 12 months, which justifies the Eagles’ resolution to bench him.
Irrespective of the expertise — or lack thereof — surrounding Wentz, the Eagles quarterback did not do himself any favors together with his quite a few giveaways and unhealthy selections over the primary 12 video games of 2002. Benching Wentz is the final resort to get by to the franchise quarterback.
Pederson is attempting to save lots of his job
The Eagles head coach is preventing to be retained in 2021, simply three seasons after main the franchise to its solely Tremendous Bowl championship. The regression of Wentz is simply a part of Pederson’s issues in Philadelphia. He has compiled a report of simply 21-22-1 since that Tremendous Bowl championship. Poor decision-making and unending teaching modifications on the offensive aspect of the ball have hindered that unit, which is the sixth-worst within the league in factors scored and fourth-worst in yards per sport. The Eagles have the fourth-worst cross offense within the sport however are second within the league in yards per carry — but they throw the ball 64.33% of the time, which is the third-highest within the league.
The result’s a 3-8-1 report, second-worst report within the NFC, with a franchise quarterback who’s fragile bodily and seemingly mentally as nicely. Pederson and the quite a few offensive coaches’ failures with Wentz have performed a significant function in why the staff is popping to Hurts.
Howie Roseman is attempting to justify drafting Hurts
Not even a full calendar 12 months after making Wentz the highest-paid participant in NFL historical past, Roseman, the Eagles’ GM, used a worthwhile second-round decide on a quarterback. It is a decide the Eagles would not half with to maneuver up within the first spherical to draft a large receiver. Hurts was chosen with the 53rd general decide as a participant the Eagles have been to develop behind Wentz, however groups do not simply use a excessive draft decide on a quarterback for that motive.
The Eagles entrance workplace noticed sufficient in Hurts to pick him on Day 2 of the draft to ultimately exchange Wentz because the beginning quarterback. Philadelphia can truly get out of Wentz’s contract within the 2022 offseason, saving $6.7 million in cap area if they’re able to discover a commerce companion for him. Per Over The Cap, the Eagles can truly save $852,928 in cap area in the event that they commerce Wentz earlier than the third day of the brand new league 12 months.
In fact the Eagles have been hoping for considerably completely different circumstances, hoping Wentz would play on par together with his 2017-to-2019 type — so the entrance workplace can both preserve him round or commerce him and obtain most worth in return whereas having a quarterback (Hurts) on his rookie contract. As a substitute, they’re going to speed up the method of enjoying Hurts as a result of Wentz is within the midst of the worst season of his profession.
If Hurts performs nicely over these remaining 4 video games, Roseman can truly make a case to Eagles proprietor Jeffrey Lurie why he ought to preserve his job — since his current observe report of draft picks and free agent signings will not assist. A cap wizard, Roseman can discover a strategy to get out of Wentz’s contract and rebuild the Eagles roster round Hurts, discovering the items the offense must succeed round him.
If Hurts fails, Roseman loses his job and the Eagles discover a new normal supervisor to rebuild this group.
The Eagles need to revamp their offense
Philadelphia clearly was caught up in imitating the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers zone-run scheme that took over the NFL final season, which is why they made an aggressive pursuit of Mike LaFleur (49ers passing sport coordinator) and James City (Ravens quarterbacks coach) to be their offensive coordinator this previous offseason. Each coaches have intensive information of the zone-run scheme, which the Eagles can effectively run with Hurts at quarterback.
Not solely is Hurts an choice to run typically like Lamar Jackson, however the Eagles have a superb duo at working again in Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Sanders has struggled catching passes this 12 months, however Scott has been one of many higher receiving backs within the league. Doug Pederson has all the time preached time of possession and controlling the soccer, which the Eagles can accomplish in an efficient zone-run scheme — led by Hurts. Do not be stunned if the Eagles modify their personnel and Philadelphia truly has the next run-play share beneath Hurts, making his life simpler as he adjusts to being a NFL beginning quarterback.
The zone-run scheme could also be right here to remain in Philadelphia — and will save Pederson’s job within the course of.