PHILADELPHIA -- The energy between quarterback Carson Wentz and his playmakers bounced a little bit differently in the immediate aftermath of the Philadelphia Eagles' 23-17 comeback win in overtime against the New York Giants on Monday night.
Actually, by this time, it was Tuesday morning, but the Eagles' locker room was still buzzing over what went down.
"That's a bad man right there," rookie running back Miles Sanders said of Wentz. "He played a hell of a game, especially when it counted."
Wentz shook off a bad first half and led the Eagles to 20 straight unanswered points, tossing a pair of late touchdown passes to tight end Zach Ertz, including one in overtime to seal the win. It was Wentz's first fourth-quarter comeback of the season and his first overtime win as a pro, and it came in the final pressure-packed moments of a must-win game on a rain-drenched field while working with a skeleton crew on offense.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson called it the finest performance of Wentz's career, and that includes the many flashes the quarterback had during a near-MVP campaign in 2017. "I think this would have to be his No. 1 game, quite honestly," Pederson said.
"To be down the way we were, and to lose another receiver [Alshon Jeffery], to lose your right tackle [Lane Johnson], and to really step up and make the plays in those conditions, too, I feel like that's the best he's played," Pederson said. "Something he can continue to grow and work on."
As Wentz, 26, walked around the locker room after the game, he passed a cluster of stalls filled with some of the unlikely difference-makers in the game, such as running back Boston Scott and receivers JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward. He stopped to give each a fist bump and a word of praise for rising to the occasion.
"I've got to stop cramping up on you late in games," a bright-eyed Arcega-Whiteside said, explaining why he missed some snaps down the stretch. There was no mistaking who the Eagles' leader was during that interaction, and who was eager to please whom. It's a young, impressionable group, after all, and QB1 just made a heck of an impression.
The win was important in terms of the 2019 playoff chase, but the greater significance here is that Wentz went a long way in shaping himself as a closer in the eyes of his teammates, which Pederson anticipates will have a carryover effect.
"I think he gains more confidence with his teammates, in him and his ability. Listen, I played with one of the greatest fourth-quarter quarterbacks in Brett Favre, and really Dan Marino for that matter, but Brett Favre for eight years. 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 [Monday]. I think that's now what you're going to see, and hopefully you see as we continue to grow as a team, hopefully years to come, that's the case, that the guys now can ascend around Carson, and we can put it on his shoulders and say, 'Hey, let's go win the game.'"