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Eagles' Carson Wentz on pace for second-most pass attempts of any rookie in NFL history

Carson Wentz is on pace to attempt 613 passes this season. That would break an Eagles record set by Donovan McNabb, who attempted 571 in 2008. The only rookie who has ever attempted more was Andrew Luck in 2012.

Wentz has attempted 498 passes, which ranks sixth in the NFL. Dallas' Dak Prescott, the only rookie to start as many games as Wentz, is No. 23 in the NFL with 395.

"I didn't anticipate him throwing the ball quite as much," coach Doug Pederson said. "I felt that he was capable of doing it, but you never want to expose a young rookie quarterback to that.

"Listen, he's done some outstanding things for us in the run game and in the passing game. Have we asked a lot of him? Yeah, we have, and he's handled it extremely well. It's just making him a better quarterback for not only the rest of the season, but for the future."

The losing has not helped. Wentz averages 41.5 pass attempts in losses and 33.2 in wins. During the current four-game losing streak, Wentz is averaging 46.75 pass attempts.

"I guess the biggest thing is just the games have dictated that," Wentz said. "You go into the game with a game plan. We want to be balanced every game. But sometimes we get down; sometimes it's what they're giving you. It's hard to say I expected to throw this much, but it's kind of the way games have gone. By no means am I complaining about it or anything."

With three games remaining in the season, pay attention to how much the Eagles want to drop back Wentz. The offensive line is shuffled – they could start their sixth combination of the season Sunday – but the Eagles also lost running back Wendell Smallwood and will face the NFL's best rushing defense on Sunday when they visit Baltimore.

"I'd love to manage that a little bit more for him. I think it's putting him in a tough situation," Pederson said of Wentz. "We've gotten behind. Last week, we had the two-minute drive to go down [and score] and everything was a throw. The week before, we were down so early and so fast that we had to throw the ball.

"But I would love to be able to manage it and lean on that offensive line more with the run game. Obviously, we're going against a tough run defense this week, and yet we still have to be patient with that to help our quarterback."