Doug Pederson thinks Monday night's 23-17 overtime win over the New York Giants was the best game of Carson Wentz's career for one main reason.
Despite everything stacked against him, Wentz carried the team.
"I think this would have to be his No. 1 game, quite honestly," Pederson said. "You could ask him later this week. I just think from the standpoint of putting the team on his back and leading this team down the field, down two scores to tie the game and, of course, win it in overtime."
It was raining hard all night. Lane Johnson got hurt. Alshon Jeffery got hurt. The Eagles were down to one receiver. They trailed by 14 points in the second half.
None of that mattered, though.
Wentz, in his 53rd career game, with a bunch of former practice squad players around him, found a way to get it done.
The Eagles scored the final 20 points of the game and Wentz was masterful when it counted most in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
Carson Wentz in the 4th quarter and overtime: 17/24, 195 yards, 2 touchdowns, passer rating of 122.7.
During that span, he was down to one healthy receiver, who was on the practice squad a few weeks ago.
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) December 10, 2019
On the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter and the game-winning drive in overtime, Wentz was a combined 11/13 for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
The thing is, Wentz wasn't having a great game early. At halftime, the Eagles trailed 17-3 and Wentz had completed 11 of 19 passes for just 97 yards and had a passer rating of 71.6.
But he finished the game with 325 passing yards, two scores and a passer rating of 97.5.
For Pederson to call this Wentz's best game is pretty significant. Remember, this guy was on his way to winning an MVP in 2017 and had four different games with four touchdown passes. But facing the adversity Wentz did on Monday made this one special to Pederson.
You think about some of the big games he's been in. Go all the way back to the Rams game in , when he was having an MVP season that year and that was a big game, obviously, to help us win the NFC East. Even though he got hurt that day, that was a big game. There's been games like that, where he's had big games. But this one, to be down the way we were, to lose another receiver, to lose your right tackle and to really step up and make the plays in those conditions too. Really, to me, I feel like that's his best he's played and something he can continue to grow and work on.
When asked on Tuesday, Pederson said he thinks it can mean something to Wentz's teammates to see him have that type of clutch performance. It can grow their confidence in him.
Pederson brought up his experience of playing with Brett Favre, considered to be one of the best closing quarterbacks in NFL history. When Favre got the ball late, his team believed they were going to win.
Pederson hopes this game for Wentz is a step in that direction.
"You can see it, when it gets crunch time, you put it on the quarterback and guys rally," Pederson said. "That's what we saw yesterday. I think that's now what you're going to see, hopefully, you see as we continue to grow as a team and hopefully years to come, that that's the case. The guys can now ascend around Carson and we can put it on his shoulders and say, ‘hey, let's go win the game.'"
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