MINNEAPOLIS — Carson Wentz usually finds a tactful way to answer questions he doesn't particularly like. After a frustrating loss to Minnesota on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback didn't even try when asked why he had to be held back from a Vikings defender after a fourth-quarter sack.
"Yeah, I don't want to talk about that," the former North Dakota State star said.
It was that kind of day for Wentz and the Eagles, 38-20 losers to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. His frustration probably built as the Vikings defense took away the Philadelphia offense and boiled over when Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter sacked him midway through the fourth quarter.
Whatever happened, or was said, triggered Wentz and the normally cool quarterback went after the Vikings' defender.
With dozens of fans wearing No. 11 jerseys — either Eagles or NDSU — and some family on hand to watch the game, Wentz finished 26 of 40 for 306 yards and two touchdowns. He threw a fourth-quarter interception when the Eagles were trying to play catch-up and gave way to backup Josh McCown on Philadelphia's final drive when it ran out the clock.
"It is what it is. Coach is going to make that decision, and I trust whatever decision he makes," Wentz said.
Minneapolis is the closest NFL franchise to Wentz's hometown of Bismarck, N.D., and his college town of Fargo. Wentz wore an NDSU T-shirt to his media session earlier in the week in Philadelphia, a nod to the school with which he still enjoys a strong relationship.
But Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and receiver Stefon Diggs outshined Wentz and the Eagles. Cousins threw four TD passes, including scoring throws of 62 and 51 yards to Diggs in the first half, as the Vikings took a 24-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
Wentz hit Miles Sanders on a 32-yard touchdown passing to make it 24-10 at halftime. A 3-yard scoring pass to Alshon Jeffrey in the third quarter made it 24-17 and a Josh Elliott field goal pulled the Eagles to within 24-20, but another Cousins TD pass to Diggs opened the lead to 31-20.
"You know, it's cool knowing there’s a lot of support out there, friends and family, a lot of NDSU fans in the area. I wish I could have given them a better show today and come out with a victory," Wentz said. "But it's just special being this close to home and playing in front of a lot of people that I grew up knowing and caring."
Jeffrey had 10 catches for 76 yards and tight end Dallas Goedert, a former South Dakota State star, had five catches for 48 yards. Goedert, born in Havana, N.D., and a high school graduate of Britton, S.D., was well-represented with family and friends at the game, too. But most of Phildelphia's passes went for short yardage and Wentz rarely had receivers open down the field.
"There were some shots today we didn't connect. There were some other times where I might have missed some guys. It's a good defense. We really had to earn it today. We didn't get any of those deep shots going today," Wentz said.
Slow starts continue to plague the Eagles. They haven't scored a first-quarter point in three road games. They barely had the ball in the opening period as the Vikings took a 10-0 lead. The Eagles had one possession for 4:07 in the game's first 15 minutes.
"I don't have a crystal ball, if that's what you're asking," Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson said. "But we've definitely got to do a better job there. We've got to evaluate it. It just comes down to understanding we have to start the game better, and we'll take a look at that this week."
Pederson said Wentz played well.
"I thought he did some really good things," Pederson said. "I thought overall, he played tough again in the pocket, made some tough throws down the field. So again, I thought he played — overall I thought he played good."