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September 18, 2017

Carson Wentz is going to have to throw it too much again this year

In his rookie season, Carson Wentz had 607 pass attempts, which was the second-highest number of passes by a rookie in NFL history behind only Andrew Luck, who had 627 attempts in 2012.

In 2017, Wentz has already attempted 85 passes through two games and is on pace for 690 pass attempts for the season. If he stays on that pace, it will be the third-highest number of pass attempts in a season behind only Matthew Stafford (727 in 2012) and Drew Bledsoe (691 in 1994).

A lot of Wentz's high pass attempt numbers his rookie season were due to the Eagles getting behind early in games and having to throw to catch up. In 2017, the Eagles have no such excuse, as they have had two close games. Instead, Wentz is being asked to do more than a second-year quarterback should because the Eagles' run game has been non-existent.

"By no means do I want to throw the ball that many times, but we have to get the run game fixed," said Doug Pederson in his post-game press conference after Sunday's loss to the Chiefs.

"We threw the ball a lot today," said Lane Johnson, "and part of that was because we weren't very effective (running the ball). Obviously, it comes down to execution, and we're not doing our job right now.

"In order to win games, you have to be able to run the ball."

The Eagles' leading rusher on the season so far, is, well, Wentz, who has 61 yards on eight rushes, all of which were called pass plays. Otherwise, the Eagles' running backs have been completely ineffective behind an offensive line that has failed to open up holes. Here are the Eagles' running backs' numbers so far on the season:

Player Rush Yards YPC TD 
Darren Sproles 12 50 4.2 
LeGarrette Blount 14 46 3.3 
 Wendell Smallwood1.1 
 TOTAL33 104 3.2 

The Eagles had 13 called run plays vs. 50 called pass plays on Sunday, and Wentz was sacked six times.

"Obviously, more balance is usually the way to go, but it was just the nature of this game, the way they were playing some things, and some things we thought we could take advantage of that kind of led us down that road," said Wentz. "And obviously, late in the game when we were down."

The Chiefs never led by more than three points until there was 6:25 left on the clock. If the Eagles can't run the ball more effectively, they are not going to win many games, and Wentz is going to take a lot of hits.

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