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Baltimore Ravens first real test for Wentz, Eagles

August 19, 2019 - 7:27 am

Back in 2017 during training camp, six months before they would capture the Lombardi Trophy, the Eagles got their first look at just how special the upcoming season was going to be when the Miami Dolphins came to town. 

During a two-day span in which the Eagles and Dolphins had plenty of physical, competitive team drills, the Eagles’ coaches and front office watched quarterback Carson Wentz pick apart the Dolphins’ defense in training camp. He threw six touchdowns the first day. He followed that up by 20 of his 28 passes and three more touchdowns on the second day. Overall, Wentz completed 75% of his passes in team drills with nine touchdowns and no interceptions during his two practices against the Dolphins. 

The Dolphins had no answer for Wentz and the Eagles’ offense during those joint practices, an issue almost every defense they faced that season had until he went down against the Los Angeles Rams. 

Starting Monday, Wentz and the Eagles will get their first chance to show just how special this season can be when the Baltimore Ravens come to town. 

“We’ll get great work, much like we did a couple years ago with the Miami here,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “We’ll go pads both days, keep it to about two hours both days, and get some good work in.”

Considering Wentz likely won’t get any playing time in the preseason, the next two days will be the closest thing to game-action he will get prior to Week 1. Yes, he will have on a red jersey and there won’t be tackling, but he will also be going against one of the best defenses in the NFL for what should likely be close to 100 team reps over the next two days. He will go against the Ravens in full-field, team drills. He will practice third down against them. He will get a chance against the Ravens in the red zone. 

Going against the Ravens is a golden opportunity for Wentz and the Eagles’ offense to ease some concerns over their play in training camp so far. Wentz has had some issues taking care of the ball, totaling nine interceptions so far in training camp. He has also had some accuracy issues, something that is perhaps the result of his increased effort to stand in the pocket. It will be interesting to see if Wentz remains in the pocket against the Ravens, or decides to roll out and try to make plays like he has the first three seasons of his career. 

How Wentz and the Eagles’ offense performs will be a good indicator of just how much work needs to be done between now and the start of the regular season. In 2017 the Eagles saw that Wentz was getting ready to have a special season. It was obvious to anyone who watched him that year in training camp. He came out that year in Week 1 and led the Eagles to a 30-17 win over the Washington Redskins, throwing for 307 yards and two touchdowns. 

Now, it is time for Wentz and the first-team offense to show they are ready to do something special again. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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