Their woes worsened as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 23-17.
“We’re frustrated,” Wentz said in a postgame video news conference. “I know I’m frustrated. I hate losing.”
The Seahawks grabbed sole possession of first place in the rugged NFC West and did their part to make the NFC East race even more laughable.
Not that the NFC East really needs much help.
The Eagles have lost to the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Seahawks since their bye week to drop to 3-7-1. That’s after they entered their bye with a two-game winning streak and hopes that they would emerge from their off week healthier and ready to give the NFC East its last, best chance for a less-than-embarrassing division winner.
It hasn’t happened. The loss Monday by the Eagles leaves the Giants and Washington Football Team atop the division with matching 4-7 records. The Giants hold the tiebreaker advantage based on their two victories this season over Washington.
This defeat for the Eagles included some questionable decision-making by Pederson and the 15th interception of the season thrown by Wentz.
“Obviously we just didn’t do enough all around,” Wentz said.
Wentz threw a touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Goedert with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. He threw a jump-ball touchdown to tight end Richard Rodgers with 12 seconds left in the game, and the Eagles added a two-point conversion. But they failed on an onside-kick attempt, and the Seahawks ran out the clock. Wentz is the lowest-rated passer in the NFC, and his 25-for-45, 215-yard showing Monday didn’t help much.
“It’s not about one guy,” Pederson said in his postgame video conference with reporters. “We had breakdowns across the board. It doesn’t really matter who’s back there. The mistakes were still going to be made. It’s something we’ve got to fix.”
Hurts had his first plays of the season without Wentz also on the field, that after reportedly being given increased practice-field work with the starting offense during the week. But Hurts’s appearance Monday was brief.
“The plan was to use him when we could…. No more, no less than what we would use him each week,” Pederson said.
Wentz said he was unbothered by the talk that he should be benched.
“This is what you sign up for,” he said. “As a quarterback, ever since you’re a kid, you’re prepared for any of this. Nothing is ever guaranteed. And so for me, I don’t think about that, though. I just try to go out and be the best player I can be. In practice, I prepare my tail off, compete my tail off. And hopefully we can get this thing turned around. But I don’t think about those things. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got every time I step on the field.”
Wentz was intercepted by Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs with a little more than 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the game after Pederson left his offense on the field on fourth and four from the Seattle 15-yard line. The Eagles trailed by 11 points at the time and needed a field goal, touchdown and two-point conversion to tie.
“My mind-set there was we’ve got to stay as aggressive as possible on offense,” Pederson said. “We had to try to make a play, get something going…. We had to make every effort to stay and really get us into this game.”
Pederson also had the Eagles try for a first down on fourth and two from their 48-yard line early in the fourth quarter. That move backfired as well, as Wentz threw incomplete on a batted pass. The Seahawks converted that failed fourth down into a field goal. Pederson squandered one of his second-half timeouts with a failed instant replay challenge on a play on which Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf was ruled to have made a legal catch and was down by contact before losing the ball.
Seattle improved to 8-3 and moved one game in front of the Los Angeles Rams and two games ahead of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.
“We kept battling,” quarterback Russell Wilson told ESPN afterward. “We did this together. That’s what championship teams do.”
Wilson threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver David Moore, and tailback Chris Carson provided a touchdown run for the Seahawks. Metcalf was the focal point on offense with 10 catches for 177 yards. Kicker Jason Myers added three field goals.
The Seahawks are ranked last in the NFL in total defense but were coming off an encouraging performance in a triumph over the Cardinals and had six sacks and a takeaway Monday.
“We’re playing championship football,” Wilson said. “We got through some tough times. We’ve also been doing a great job all season. Our defense really stepped up the past few games.”
And that defense had help Monday from the Pederson, Wentz and the reeling Eagles.