After falling behind the New York Giants for the NFC East lead by 1.5 games, the Philadelphia Eagles are shaking things up.
Big Blue’s divisional rival announced on Tuesday afternoon that they are benching quarterback Carson Wentz in favor of rookie second-round pick Jalen Hurts, who will get the starting nod on Sunday in Week 14 action against the New Orleans Saints.
“We’re not where we want to be as an offense,” Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson told the Eagles Inside Podcast. “I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump, to try to get everybody playing better.”
Carson Wentz has been more of a liability than he has a franchise quarterback in 2020, putting together the worst campaign of his professional career. In 13 games, he has posted personal lows in completion percentage and quarterback rating while leading the league in interceptions thrown.
The final straw for Wentz came in the third quarter of Sunday’s 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers with the fifth-year passer completing just 6-of-15 passes for 79 yards, putting the Eagles in a 20-3 hole.
Hurts entered and immediately provided a spark, throwing a dime of a 32-yard touchdown on the run to Greg Ward.
“Carson is like all of us right now, he’s disappointed. He’s frustrated,” Pederson said. “He’s been a professional through it all. He supports his teammates and that’s what you want to see from him, the leader of the team. I know sometimes the quarterback gets a lot of the blame like the head coach does. It’s the good with the bad. It’s not about Carson Wentz. It’s not about one person. We know we have issues on offense and it has been a struggle for us all season. That’s where the frustration lies a little bit, but he’s been a pro and would expect nothing less.”
Hurts will certainly have a difficult test ahead of him considering the Eagles’ offensive line is one of the worst in football. They’ll be facing a Saints team that has yielded the fewest total yards in the NFL and the fourth-fewest points.