The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles played one of the worst primetime games of the season on Monday night, but Eagles head coach Doug Pederson claims that it may have been the best performance of Carson Wentz’s career. Trailing 17-3 at halftime in rainy Philadelphia, the Eagles were booed into the locker room by their home fans. The offense had recorded just 116 yards of total offense and converted just five first downs in the first half. Wentz was inaccurate through the first two quarters, and he completed just 11 of 19 passes for 97 yards.
The second half was a different story, however, as Wentz and the Eagles scored 20 unanswered points to beat Eli Manning and the Giants in overtime, 23-17.
“I think this would have to be his No. 1 game, quite honestly,” Pederson said on Tuesday, via Pro Football Talk. “You could ask him later this week. But I just think from the standpoint of putting the team on his back, leading this team down the field, down two scores, to tie the game, and then, of course, to win it in overtime. Some of the plays that he did make, whether it was extending it with his legs or keeping a play alive and finding receivers down the field, and then his toughness to stand in the pocket and take some shots. I would say this would be his No. 1 game in the four years. It’s really kind of exciting for him. I think it gives him confidence moving forward.”
Wentz finished with a season-high 325 passing yards and two touchdowns on Monday night. Despite the slow start to the game, Pederson does have a point about this being an impressive performance from Wentz. Nelson Agholor was inactive, so was Jordan Howard and they lost Alshon Jeffery and Lane Johnson . By halftime, the Eagles had just two active wide receivers.
Running back Boston Scott deserved the MVP award on Monday night. The backup running back rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, and also caught six passes for 69 yards. Third-string tight end Josh Perkins also stepped up, and he caught five passes for 37 yards. Both players were not on the Eagles’ active roster for the season opener. Wentz was able to get this ragtag group of weapons to regroup in the second half and pull out an overtime victory. The Eagles certainly don’t appear to be a Super Bowl contender, but the win on Monday night tied them with the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East. With just three games remaining this season, the Eagles have a chance to win the division and earn a playoff bid.
While it wasn’t the prettiest victory by any means and they were facing a lowly 2-10 opponent, Wentz proved that he’s a leader and competitor. Someone who is going to do everything in his ability to get the job done.