Pederson backs Wentz, dismisses Hurts chatter

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles are in an early hole and the play of quarterback Carson Wentz has contributed to those struggles, but coach Doug Pederson is not considering pulling Wentz from the lineup.

“No. You don’t go there. That’s a knee-jerk reaction,” Pederson told 94.1 WIP, when asked what it would take to look at options at QB outside Wentz. “Carson’s our quarterback. We’re going to get it fixed. He is going to get it fixed.”

Philadelphia tied the Cincinnati Bengals 23-23 Sunday and now sits at 0-2-1. This is the first Eagles team to be winless through three games since 1999, when Pederson was the team’s quarterback for over half the season.

Wentz helped force overtime with a diving touchdown late in regulation but had a shaky day overall, going 29-of-47 for 225 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He is tied for the most interceptions (6) through three games, is 29th in completion percentage (59.8) and is last in QB rating (63.9).

The rough start has some fans calling for second-round pick Jalen Hurts to take over. Hurts has been sprinkled into the offense over the last two weeks. He played three snaps Sunday and handled the ball twice: one resulting in a first-down run, and the other in a fumble which Philadelphia recovered.

Pederson suggested benching Wentz would be giving into the “aura” in the city right now as opposed to acting on their own beliefs.

For his part, Pederson expressed regret for deciding to punt late in overtime on a 4th-and-12 in Cincinnati territory rather, assuring a tie, rather than giving his offense a chance to go and win it.

“Looking back, you probably put it in your quarterback’s hands to win the game,” he said.

Despite the poor start, the Eagles remain just a half-game out of first place in the bumbling NFC East — something Pederson mentioned as part of his response to the question about benching Wentz.

“We have a long season…The whole division right now is not playing very good football,” he said. “We’re not that far off.”

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