Throughout the season, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has reiterated time and time again that the offensive struggles plaguing his team are not solely on his quarterback, Carson Wentz.
“It’s not about one guy here,” Pederson said during his explanation for benching Wentz in favor of Jalen Hurts this week. “We all need to be better.”
He’s absolutely right, Wentz isn’t the only player at fault here. Re-watching the tape from nearly every game this year, it’s evident that the entire offense is a mess. Missed blocking assignments, lazy route running, inconsistent play calling, poor execution on almost every snap. Placing all of the blame on Wentz is just lazy, but it’s fair to expect the franchise quarterback to overcome some of these shortcomings and lift the team around him. Both can be true.
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So, given the fact that Pederson has stated numerous times that Wentz is not the only one at fault here, should we expect other underperforming starters to get benched as well?
Based on what Pederson has told the media, yes, we should. And based off what we see from several starters on this team every Sunday, yes, we absolutely need to see them be held accountable just like Wentz.
When the questions about benching Wentz earlier this season started cropping up, Pederson had an interesting response. “If you get to that spot where you don’t start him or you bench him, I think you’re sending the wrong message to your football team that this season is over, and that’s a bad message,” Pederson said following the loss to the Cleveland Browns.
I wrote about why I disagree with the ‘sending the wrong message’ sentiment earlier this season, and I still stand by it today as it pertains to the rest of the team.
What kind of message is Pederson sending every time he trots Alshon Jeffery onto the field over Travis Fulgham, a 25-year-old who was the talk of the NFL before getting his snaps cut in half by an underperforming has-been.
You want to send a message that’ll resonate throughout your team, Doug? Play the players who give you the best chance to win.
Alshon playing over Fulgham does not increase your chances for a victory. Jason Peters starting and playing half of the offensive snaps before subbing himself out does not increase your chances for a victory. Inserting Jordan Howard into your running back rotation and decreasing the amount of touches for Miles Sanders does not increase your chances for a victory.
If Wentz is going to be held accountable — which he should be after the way he’s played this season — every other guy on this roster who’s underperformed should be held to the same standard.