Philadelphia Eagles News

Carson Wentz: The Difference Is 'We Finished'

Last week, the Eagles led a lead slip away against Carolina as both sides of the football stalled in the fourth quarter.

But in the fourth quarter on Sunday in London, the Eagles scored a touchdown on offense, forced a turnover on downs on defense, and then ran out the clock to finish a 24-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"We finished," Wentz said with a smile in his postgame press conference from Wembley Stadium. "At the end of the day, we finished. We still didn't finish the way we wanted offensively. We had that chance to kind of seal the deal and went three-and-out, which was unfortunate. But the defense stepped up. At the end of the day, we finished well this week and we didn't last week."

Wentz finished the day 21-of-31 for 286 yards. He had one interception and a lost fumble – both in the first quarter – and finished with a passer rating of 119.6. It was the fourth-straight game that Wentz finished with a passer rating of more than 115.0.

"You eliminate those two turnovers and I thought he played extremely well," head coach Doug Pederson said. "Led the team, played well, played tough, made some tough scrambles for some first downs, and hung in there. … I thought he played aggressively, he played hard, played tough, and really kept us in the game."

As Wentz noted, the offense did go three-and-out when they took over at their own 25-yard line with 6:52 remaining. But after the defense forced the turnover on downs, Wentz and the offense closed out the game with a couple first downs.

Overcoming shortcomings defined the game for Wentz from the start. On the opening drive, Wentz completed a 31-yard pass to wide receiver Jordan Matthews to move the ball into Jaguars territory. But on the very next play, Wentz was sacked and lost a fumble.

On the next drive, Wentz scrambled and picked up a first down and then found wide receiver Nelson Agholor on the next play for a 39-yard gain. But two plays later, his pass intended for tight end Joshua Perkins in the end zone was intercepted by Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Wentz tipped his hat to the All-Pro after the game and said he came out of nowhere.

Wentz obviously wanted both of those plays back but he took it as a positive sign that they moved the ball early. The Eagles outgained the Jaguars in the first quarter 106-35.

"I'm ticked off I get frustrated but it's just the mentality you develop from this game from playing it so long," Wentz said. "Adversity is going to strike in a season, adversity is going to strike within a game, sometimes you just make bad plays and you've got to bounce back from it and that really shows the type of player and the type of character that you have."

Wentz responded by ending the first half on a positive, game-changing note. With just 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Wentz connected with tight end Dallas Goedert 32 yards down the field for the go-ahead touchdown.

In the third quarter, Wentz had another touchdown on a 36-yard screen pass to running back Wendell Smallwood. Wentz credited the offensive line for making the blocks as Smallwood ran in open space. With 9:55 left in the fourth quarter, Wentz added crucial insurance with a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz.

Wentz completed passes to 10 different receivers – including himself – against the Jaguars after connecting with just six targets last week. It was the day the offense needed.

"We're confident in the guys we have, no matter who it is catching the ball out of the backfield – the running backs, tight ends, everybody, and it's usually a good thing when we get everybody involved," Wentz said. "Shoot, even I had a catch today, so we were really spreading the ball around."

It's true. When facing a third-and-3 on the first drive of the game, Wentz's pass was batted down at the line into his hands and he ran it for a first down. He finished with 4 receiving yards as well as 31 rushing yards on three scrambles. Two scrambles picked up first downs.

The victory is a big one for an offense that needed a lift. The Eagles will now have some momentum going into the bye week. Wentz has been impressive in his six games back from injury, finishing with a passer rating of more than 99 in five of those games. When the Eagles return, they will have a pivotal divisional game at home against the Dallas Cowboys in prime time.

"It's a huge difference," Wentz said. "Being .500, again, still not where we wanted to be or where we hoped to be, but going into our bye week, knowing that the real meat of our schedule in the NFC East is ahead of us when we come back from this bye, it's huge momentum and a huge win for us heading into this.

"That week is huge both for people's minds and their bodies to just really heal up, get away from the game for a couple days, and get your mind right so that we can come back and make this run."

Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Jaguars in London.

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