Doug Pederson has no plans to bench Carson Wentz: 'That's a knee jerk reaction'

The Philadelphia Eagles’ proverbial marriage to Carson Wentz hit a rocky stage, but coach Doug Pederson insists he has zero plans on benching his starter for rookie Jalen Hurts after Sunday’s 23-23 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals.

“No, you don’t go there,” Pederson said Monday morning on WIP, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philly. “That’s a knee jerk reaction. That’s a reaction to the aura that’s out there. That’s not what we believe internally. We’re going to continue to get better. Carson’s our quarterback.”

Wentz’s struggles have been pervasive to open the season. He’s thrown 2-plus INTs in three straight games for the first time in his career as the Eagles start the season 0-2-1; the QB has six INTs this season after throwing just seven in each of the past three seasons; his seven giveaways are the most by any QB this season (entering MNF); and Wentz has generated three straight games with a sub-75 passer rating for the first time in his career.

It’s not just offensive line woes or receiver issues at the root cause of Wentz’s struggles, though those are certainly problems. The fifth-year pro isn’t making good reads, he doesn’t know when to let a play die, his footwork gets wonky far too much, he’s been extremely inaccurate, and he’s making some boneheaded decisions with the football.

Sunday’s inability to carve up a defense that had been scorched the previous week was a low for Wentz. Sunday he completed 29 of 47 passes for 225 yards, one TD and one INT for a 62.8 passer rating. After playing like an MVP candidate in 2017, it’s been a downward spiral for Wentz due to injuries the previous years, but in 2020, he’s simply playing poorly.

Despite the struggles, Pederson won’t walk out on his starting QB.

The Eagles wed themselves to Wentz when he signed a massive extension in 2019. With a dead-money implication of $59 million if Philly wanted to move on in 2021, Wentz isn’t going anywhere, regardless of how loud Eagles fans groan.

Pederson’s commitment to Wentz wasn’t his only revelation Monday morning. The Super Bowl-winning coach admitted he should have gone for it on fourth-and-12 with 19 seconds remaining in overtime instead of punting, which ensured a tie. Pederson defended the decision after the game but had a change of heart overnight.

“But looking back on it, I probably would have gone the other way,” he said.

Wentz should hope his play turns around before the next change-of-heart Pederson has is his commitment to the starting QB.

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