Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

October 25, 2018 at 12:12 am.

Natives getting restless in Philadelphia

Maybe it’s a good thing the Philadelphia 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 cliche? When the heat gets too hot, get out of the kitchen? Or something like that.

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 Sunday at 9:30 a.m. (EST).

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.”

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 (71.1).

Meanwhile, the quarterback the Eagles will face, Blake Bortles, has struggled during the Jaguars’ three-game losing streak and was benched in the third quarter of last week’s loss to the Houston Texans. Bortles has completed just 60.6 percent of this throws with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Imagine how that would play in Philly?

SERIES HISTORY: 6th regular-season meeting. Jaguars lead series, 3-2. The Eagles have won two in a row.