Maybe it's a good thing the Eagles will leave the country on Thursday night, flying across the Atlantic Ocean to play their first-ever game in London. After all, what is the old cliché? When the heat gets too hot, get out of the kitchen? Or something like that.
As the Sports Xchange notes, the temperature has certainly risen quickly on these Eagles after they let a 17-point lead disintegrate into a 21-17 loss last week against the Carolina Panthers.
It was a loss that left the defending Super Bowl champions at 3-4 as they prepare to play the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-4) in Wembley Stadium tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.
It was a loss that left a good portion of the Eagles fan base and radio talk show hosts in the region questioning whether or not quarterback Carson Wentz
is an elite quarterback and if head coach Doug Pederson is calling the right plays.
The quarterback had the game in his hands in the final minute of the game, but frittered away two opportunities to win when faced with third-and-2 at the Panthers' 14-yard line.
The coach got too conservative in the fourth quarter and took some heat not running the ball. The coach, however, called for short passes that were completed and kept the clock moving, but elected not to throw the ball more down the field.
Pederson, though, knows how the drill goes in Philadelphia.
He played quarterback in this city in 1999, when he was tasked with keeping the seat warm for whenever such time as then-rookie Donovan McNabb
was ready to lead. Pederson was asked if he can guide Wentz
on how to block out the negative noise that is beginning to take root around his sub-.500 team.
"For sure, for sure," said Pederson. "That's something I feel like I can still sort of educate him on and just being able to block it out and be able to focus on the game plan this week, and just (each day). It's going to come, good and bad, it's going to come. It just seems like two guys are always going to get the praise and two guys are going to get the blame when things don't go right and you're looking at one of them."
It should be noted that Wentz has thrown 10 touchdown passes in five games to only one interception. He is completing 70.8 percent of his passes, which ranks him fourth in the NFL behind Drew Brees
(77.3), Derek Carr
(71.7), and Matt Ryan
Meanwhile, the chemistry between Alshon Jeffery
and Wentz continues to grow, and the duo has connected for four touchdowns in the four games since Jeffery's return to the lineup.
Jeffery is averaging 12.1 yards per catch on 25 receptions and has 14 touchdowns in his last 16 games overall. Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey, though, is one of the game's best corners and the Eagles are expecting him to be on Jeffery throughout the game.
"What a tremendous player, tremendous talent," said Pederson about Ramsey. "He's aggressive. With him, he's big, physical, so he can play bump and run. He can run. He's great at the top. He's smart. This guy is very instinctive. It's a challenge and will be a challenge for Alshon going into this game."
Of course, with the Jaguars down two and possibly three cornerbacks with A.J. Bouye and Tyler x ruled out and D.J. Hayden doubtful, the Eagles could try to move Jeffery around a little more. ...
Beyond that, tight end Zach Ertz
is the team's leading receiver and has been a handful all season long for opponents. He has yet to play against a talented cover safety like the Jaguars Tashaun Gipson, though.
"Probably the best cover safety that I'll go against this year," said Ertz