Seventeen points. Then 19. And on Sunday, 23 in a tie with Cincinnati. This is not what anyone expected from an Eagles offense that brought back quarterback Carson Wentz and running back Miles Sanders and the best 1-2 tight end tandem in the league and a healthy DeSean Jackson and a draft class of speedy wide receivers. Nobody expected Wentz to endure the most challenging three-game stretch of his NFL career and the offense to bog down at crucial times.
And yet, that's the situation as the Eagles, at 0-2-1, turn their attention toward the San Francisco 49ers in prime time on Sunday night. A new week brings a new opportunity, and the Eagles hope to be a whole lot better on the West Coast than they've been so far in three unsatisfying East Coast games.
"Really, that's every game," Wentz said on Sunday when asked about the ups and downs the offense is experiencing. "You're going to miss a couple (throws) and you're going to make some plays. Things happen. Obviously, I just have to be better (and) handle some of these. Some of them are communication, just making sure we're on the same page with everybody, and some are just poor throws. I have to be better, and I will. We're still meshing and jelling as a team and building the chemistry. (There were) a lot of moving pieces today, not as an excuse, but guys will continue to get this experience and learn from it. We'll all be better, including myself."
Wentz completed 29 of 47 passes on the day for 225 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions – one that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and one, a pass to tight end Zach Ertz, that was just a poor throw on a fade attempt. He averaged a paltry 4.1 yards per passing attempt, was sacked three times, and had his most success running the ball nine times for 65 yards, including a 7-yard run for a touchdown that helped tie the game and send it into overtime.
"I'll have to watch the tape," Wentz said. "Honestly, you go through a game and you make poor decisions, you make great decisions, you make some good throws, you miss some throws. Some of (the throws) are communication, some of them are unfortunate. Some guys are making good plays. I have to be better – and I know that and I will be. I'll learn from it. That's really all I can say."
Injuries are playing a big factor with the offense – the line has been decimated since before the season started and now the pass-catching corps is hurting with receivers Jalen Reagor (thumb) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) sidelined.
Where do the Eagles go from here?
"It's definitely always difficult. It's always a challenge. In a week, it's one thing. In a game, it's even tougher," Wentz said. "But none of those things are excuses. Guys prepare and guys are ready to go. That's why we're all here – ready to go when our number is called. I thought guys did a good job. Like I said earlier, I think guys stepped up where they needed to. The offensive line, I thought they played well. I'll obviously have to watch the tape, but I'm proud of the way guys are next man up. There's no big eyes like, 'What's going on?' Guys are ready to go, they know their stuff, and we have to just be better and play smart."