Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz's 'escapability was right on point' in Eagles' preseason opener

Carson Wentz's 'escapability was right on point' in Eagles' preseason opener

How good was Carson Wentz in the Eagles’ first preseason game of 2017? By some measures, the second-year quarterback was perfect.

Wentz completed all four of his pass attempts for 56 yards and a touchdown in his only series of work during a 24-9 loss to the Packers on Thursday (see Instant Replay). That’s an immaculate 100 percent completion rate to go with a sparkling 158.3 passer rating – the highest number possible.

He was only on the field 10 plays total, but Wentz was impressive while leading the Eagles across the goal line with a 38-yard touchdown to Mack Hollins. It was also far from a flawless performance, at least as far as the 24-year-old was concerned.

“I wouldn’t say perfect, first of all,” Wentz said postgame. “It was fun to see that out there. It was fun to get with the ones, to drive down, to score.

“We had a couple sloppy plays there, but we stayed on the field, we converted a couple third downs, a fourth down, and made enough plays there.”

The series was undeniably positive, especially for an Eagles team that found the end zone only four times on its opening drive last season.

“It’s obviously good for that first unit to go down and score like they did, come out and play fast,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “It’s something that’s exciting to know they can do that and score early in games.”

Imperfections aside, that touchdown drive doesn’t happen without the quarterback.

Wentz made a pair of sensational plays during the drive, twice stepping out of sacks to deliver strikes and keep the chains moving.

“His escapability was right on point,” Pederson said. “For a big guy, he’s athletic and can move, and feels the pocket extremely well.” 

It’s an area of Wentz’s game that tends to go overlooked.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, Wentz is not an easy person to bring down. Just ask Packers outside linebacker and six-time Pro Bowl selection Clay Matthews III, one of the defenders who was left grasping for air during the drive.

Matthews appeared to have the quarterback dead to rights. Wentz walked through the tackle attempt with relative ease.

“It’s always been part of my game,” Wentz said. “Honestly, it’s just instincts. In those situations, it’s instincts that take over.” 

Survival instincts, perhaps.

The Eagles’ offensive line was not at its best in this one. Right guard Brandon Brooks was out with an injury, and the Packers blitz more than most in preseason games, which opponents don’t bother to scheme. This is not an indictment of the O-line.

“You don’t want him moving around quite that much, but I thought he did a nice job,” Pederson said. “He kept his eyes, his vision down field. He was able to avoid the rush, and step up and deliver some nice throws on the run.

“That just shows his athleticism, his strength in the pocket, and we’re excited to see that.”

Wentz survived the onslaught, his best play unquestionably shaking a Matthews sack, then hitting Hollins for the touchdown that would make all the highlight reels.

“It kind of just turned into improvise mode, and Mack made a good play getting open,” Wentz said. “I found him and he did the rest. He had two pretty nasty stiff-arms there to finish off the play.”

Perhaps the moral of the story is Wentz being a lot tougher than he’s given credit for being. It was Hollins who stiff-armed would-be tacklers to the ground, but only after his QB extended the play.

Expect to see more of that.

“Training camp, all offseason, you don’t get touched, guys run by you and yell, ‘Sack,’” Wentz said. “Sometimes, you’re just like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you would’ve got me there, bro.’”

Wentz just proved even a guy like Matthews might not be able to finish him. Add that ability to the Eagles’ arsenal for 2017.

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

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AP Images

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

Former Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson injured two police officers while trying to flee during a family court hearing on Tuesday, according to police, via The Miami Herald.

Patterson, 34, appeared in Lawson E. Thomas Court Center when he was ordered by the judge to be taken into custody. At that time, he tried to run out of the door and tackled a female officer who fell and hit her head, while another officer suffered a wrist injury before Patterson was taken into custody.

The female officer was taken to the hospital but later released.

This isn’t Patterson’s first brush with the law. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported in 2015 that the Miami native was charged with felony child abuse.

Per police reports obtained from the incident, Patterson met his ex-girlfriend at Aventura Mall on Aug. 1, 2015, for a custody exchange of their 1-year-old child when an argument ensued over child support payments.

“While placing the boy in the back seat of the car, Medina told Patterson to calm down, warning him that she wouldn't allow him to take the child,” Cimini reported.

“Patterson ‘grabbed her around her neck and threw her to the ground,’ according to the incident report. ‘While this occurred, [Medina] was holding [the boy]. This action caused [him] to fall also and hit his head.’”

Court records show Patterson was eventually acquitted for culpable negligence and battery.

Patterson spent time with the Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Browns, Dolphins and Jets during his eight-year career. With the Eagles in 2009 and 2010, he appeared in 27 games (nine starts) with 50 tackles, four interceptions and one sack.

Patterson was last with the Jets in 2014 but suspended indefinitely by the team after leaving without contacting the organization. He was released a short time later and retired.

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.