Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz seems to have bad karma every time he faces the Seattle Seahawks, which he will do on Monday night. Last year in the playoffs, Seattle won in Philadelphia 17-9 thanks in large part to knocking Wentz out early on a hit to the head. Now entering the rematch in the City of Brotherly Love, Wentz's starting job could be hanging by a thread, and Eagles fans could get their wish and see rookie Jalen Hurts very soon. Philly is a 6.5-point underdog on the William Hill Sportsbook NFL odds for Monday, while SportsLine has put out odds on Wentz's future.
There is no doubt that Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has regressed big time this year. Last year, he played in all 16 regular-season games (first time since 2016) with a completion percentage of 63.9, just seven interceptions and a rating of 93.1.
This year in 10 games, Wentz has a completion percentage of 58.4 (second-worst) with a league-worst 14 interceptions and a rating of 73.3 (third-worst). He also has lost four fumbles. Those 18 giveaways were more than all but two entire NFL teams entering Week 12.
Update via Ian Rapoport: Hurts is expected to "receive increased playing time at quarterback" on Monday.
Last Sunday in a 22-17 loss in Cleveland, Wentz had two picks (one returned for a touchdown), took a safety, fumbled and took five sacks. According to Pro Football Reference, Wentz became just the second QB ever in that site's database to have a game with 2+ INTs, 5+ sacks, a fumble, a pick-six and a safety. The other was Jay Fiedler in 2003 with Miami vs. the Patriots.
Eagles fans and the Philly media have been calling on Coach Doug Pederson to bench Wentz for weeks, and Pederson seems close to doing so. Speaking to the media Wednesday, Pederson said this when talking about any pressure to start Hurts:
"Tough decisions have to be made in this business, whether it's a tough decision to move on from a player in the offseason, or the decision now, whether you're gonna make the move at quarterback or not." Asked to clarify on whether that "tough decision" was coming ahead of Monday's game, Pederson added: "Not today on Wednesday, no."
There's a reason that the Eagles surprised many by taking Hurts, the 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up from Oklahoma, in the second round (No. 53 overall pick) of this year's draft and then elevated him to the backup role in Week 2. Hurts has now had a few months to learn the offense and adjust to NFL speed by getting occasional game snaps.
Even with all of Wentz's issues, the Eagles (3-6-1) control their destiny to win the wretched NFC East. One concern with perhaps considering a change with the starter after the Seattle game is that Philadelphia has a very tough three-game stretch: at Packers, vs. Saints, at Cardinals. Do you dare throw Hurts in at Lambeau Field?
There's also the fact that Pederson's job could be tied to Wentz. The Eagles can't feasibly get out of Wentz's long-term deal until after next season.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Jalen Hurts start a game at QB this season for the Eagles (more than one play)?
- Yes -130
- No Even
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