After winning opener, Eagles' offense looks to improve
By ROB MAADDI
Sep. 13, 2017
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carson Wentz misfired on some deep throws and tossed a pick-6, the run game was ineffective, and the offensive line had some rough moments.
Despite winning their opener, the Philadelphia Eagles have room to improve on offense.
"We made some mistakes," Wentz said. "But, we made enough plays to win."
It won't be easy to win another road game this week at Kansas City if the offense doesn't fix some of those issues. The Chiefs are coming off an impressive 42-27 win over the Super Bowl champion Patriots, and have a few extra days of rest and preparation after playing Thursday night.
"They are very well coached and they play good team defense," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "They are aggressive and it all starts with the pressure that they put on the passer."
Wentz was solid in Philadelphia's 30-17 win at Washington. He threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns, completing 66.7 percent of his passes. But he also had an interception that was returned for a score, overthrew an open receiver deep and underthrew open guys twice on long passes.
"A lot of times those are lower percentage throws, but you just have to keep throwing them," Reich said. "You have to have that confidence and that swagger to believe that your guys are going to make the plays and that your quarterback can make the throws. We made a couple, and we'll just keep firing away."
Wentz couldn't connect on the deep balls to Torrey Smith, but it opened up the underneath passing game and tight end Zach Ertz became the go-to target.
The Eagles will need more production from their running backs so opponents don't focus on stopping the pass. LeGarrette Blount had 46 yards on 14 carries and Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles combined for 6 yards on six carries.
"The running game is not good enough," coach Doug Pederson said. "We pride ourselves on running the football here and we've got backs and linemen and tight ends, really, that can help us do that. We're close. We just have to finish blocks, sustain blocks. We've got to keep detailing it, keep working it, and just continue to get better."
The Eagles had more success running the ball when Wentz lined up under center, but Pederson called some running plays out of shotgun in short-yardage situations that failed.
"Those are things that we'll continue to look at as we go," Pederson said. "But we've got to be careful as far as what we're doing under center so it's not an indicator to other teams."
NOTES: Pederson said the team is still waiting on results of some tests to determine how long CB Ronald Darby will be sidelined. Darby, acquired from Buffalo last month, dislocated his right ankle in the first half against Washington. ... LT Jason Peters returned to practice Wednesday after injuring his groin in Week 1.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi