|10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ETNaN:� , September 23, 2018|
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Weather: 61°, Rain Attendance: 69,696
Wentz excited for return as Eagles host Reich, Colts
Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles
- Carson Wentz returns after a torn ACL caused him to miss the final three games of the 2017 regular season and all of Philadelphia's Super Bowl championship run. Wentz threw for 33 touchdowns prior to his injury -- his closest competitor through Week 14 was Russell Wilson with 29.
- Andrew Luck, now in his sixth season, is tied with Cam Newton for the eighth-most passing touchdowns through six seasons with 136. Dan Marino is the all-time leader with 196 -- Luck has a chance this season to catch Peyton Manning (167) for second most all-time and Russell Wilson (161) for the lead among active players.
- The Eagles beat the Colts, 30-27, in their last meeting on September 15, 2014. Luck threw for 172 yards while Nick Foles went for 331, 152 of which were to running back Darren Sproles. Since that game, the only RBs with more receiving yards in a game are Le'Veon Bell (159) and Todd Gurley (158).
- The Colts beat the Redskins, 21-9, holding an opponent to under 10 points for only the fourth time since 2014. Indianapolis is one of three teams to hold its opponent to zero touchdowns this season, joining the Ravens (Week 1 vs. Buf) and the Rams (Week 2 vs. Ari), and are the only road team to do so.
- The Eagles lost to the Buccaneers in Tampa, 27-21, allowing two passing touchdowns of 75+ yards, one to DeSean Jackson and one to O.J. Howard. The Eagles have allowed two passing touchdowns of at least 75 yards in the same game only one other time in franchise history, on October 26, 2014 vs. Arizona.
- The Colts have converted a league-leading 60.6 percent of third downs this season after posting a season-long conversion rate of 38.2 percent in 2017. The Eagles currently rank ninth in the NFL with a 41.9 conversion percentage, a tick higher than their 41.7 percent in 2017 that finished eighth overall.
- Rams sign QB Bortles to back up Goff
- New rules expected, but not to replay
- Bengals release oft-suspended LB Burfict
- Gettleman: Beckham trade benefits Giants
- 5-time Pro Bowl DL Ngata retires
The Philadelphia Eagles will welcome the return of a familiar face in franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Sunday when they encounter another one in Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts.
Wentz admitted that he'll likely be emotional when he heads out of the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field. The 25-year-old, who finished second in touchdown passes (33) last season, will be playing in his first game since tearing his ACL and LCL in a Dec. 10 contest against the Los Angeles Rams.
"I just want to pick up where we left off last year," Wentz said. "We had a lot of big plays last year when we were in situational football. Third down, red zone, things we really excelled in last year. Those are things we want to keep building on. ... At the end of the day, I, and really this whole offense and this whole organization, always have high expectations. We expect to start fast, play fast, be clicking."
The Eagles (1-1) weren't clicking on offense with Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles under center, as the team has scored a combined 39 points this season after dropping a 27-21 decision against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Foles has thrown for just 451 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the first two games.
Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson knows that Wentz will be amped heading into Sunday's contest.
"It's a home game, his first start, there's going to be emotions regardless," Pederson said. "I can talk to him until Sunday, kickoff, and there's always going to be that high emotion and anticipation taking the field. You kind of want him to experience that and what that feels like. It's kind of like his first start again a couple years ago. It'll be a good feeling. It'll be good for our city, it'll be good for our team, obviously."
Emotions could also be high for Reich, who returns to the city where he helped deliver the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Reich, who was the Eagles' offensive coordinator for the past two years, is now Andrew Luck's head coach in Indianapolis.
"(Wentz and Luck) are both incredibly dynamic players, physically dominant at their position, elite in their leadership ability, elite intelligence, it's just rare for a guy to have all those attributes and I think they both do," Reich said.
"When Carson came out, that was the one guy -- Andrew was the one guy -- that there were some parallels there. It's just interesting now in their journeys that they have both had to overcome serious injury and that I think makes great players better. It stinks going through it but in the long run it makes them better."
Luck has rebounded from sitting out the entire 2017 season due to an injured shoulder to throw two touchdown passes in both games this season. The quarterback, however, was limited to just 179 yards and had two interceptions on Sunday, although the Colts (1-1) posted a 21-9 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Luck will look to exploit Philadelphia's 28th-ranked pass defense that was torched by Tampa Bay's Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron have each reeled in touchdown passes in both contests this season.
The Colts' rushing game, however, will face the Eagles' top-ranked defense against the run. Jordan Wilkins had 61 yards rushing against the Redskins on Sunday while fellow rookie Nyheim Hines had his first career rushing touchdown.
Speaking of backfields, Philadelphia's running back situation is clouded as Jay Ajayi (league high-tying three rushing touchdowns) was limited in Week 2 with a back injury and is considered day-to-day by Pederson. Darren Sproles could be in jeopardy of missing his second straight game with an ailing hamstring, forcing the team to promote fellow running back Josh Adams from the practice squad.
Corey Clement could see the bulk of the work in the backfield against the Colts after recording 85 scrimmage yards and a touchdown last week.
Clement and company could see an awful lot of Indianapolis linebacker Darius Leonard, who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording 18 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass breakup on Sunday.
"I say we are like on a roller coaster coming down hill, it's kind of hard to stop," Leonard said. "So I think the defense just kind of wants that snowball effect, just wants to keep stacking up everything and just want to match their effort from last week."
Updated September 20, 2018