October 2, 2015 |
NELSON AGHOLOR has gotten some heat for minimal production through the first three games. He has just four catches, no touchdowns and he's getting dropped like a Sam Bradford pass by panicky fantasy owners. Lots of variables, of course, go into completing passes in football. The offensive line has to protect, the quarterback has to be accurate, the receiver has to present a target and actually catch the ball. Football 101. But in fantasyland, where we watched Agholor look like a mini-Julio Jones at times in the preseason, numbers talk and everything else walks.
September 19, 2015 |
Nelson Agholor played the second-highest number of snaps among the Eagles' six receivers Monday in the loss to the Falcons and yet the rookie was targeted only two times and had one catch for 5 yards. Chip Kelly did not fault Agholor. The Eagles coach pointed out that receivers often can't control the number of passes thrown their way. Getting open certainly increases those chances, and the coach's film revealed that Agholor was open on a number of plays. Sam Bradford just went to other receivers.
September 18, 2015 |
IT IS ONLY Week 2 in the NFL and already there is much cud to chew about the more notable wheelings and dealings of this offseason. Nick Foles placed an amazingly accurate deep pass between Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas to set up his new team for a comeback overtime victory. Sam Bradford threw a couple of costly picks, one his fault, one not, to sabotage his new team's come-from-behind try. He was also hit hard several times, inspiring a postgame ankle X-ray. That reworked Eagles offensive line that was supposed to protect him better than it did Foles and create all the space DeMarco Murray would need?
September 17, 2015 |
Byron Maxwell had taken his 6-foot-1, 207-pound body and curled it into a ball at the bottom of his locker in the Georgia Dome, scooping up the rest of his personal items to pack after a performance that was hard to watch and harder to forget. Eleven times in his debut with the Eagles, in their 26-24 loss to the Falcons on Monday, Maxwell had an opportunity to defend a pass from quarterback Matt Ryan, according to the scouting and statistical firm Pro Football Focus. Ten times, Ryan completed the pass - for 179 yards and a touchdown, for a robust 149.1 passer rating and an irresistible collaboration with Julio Jones, Atlanta's dynamic wide receiver.
September 16, 2015 |
Here's a look at players worthy for your consideration to add to your team, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup. Catch 'em while you can Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals. Johnson is expected to play a lead role in Arizona's backfield while Andre Ellington recovers from his knee injury. Rookie David Johnson, who scored on a 55-yard catch and run, will also be in the mix. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos. The Broncos looked ragged against the Ravens even before C.J. Anderson left with a sprained toe. Hillman ran hard and surely has earned additional playing time.
September 12, 2015 |
The enduring images from the Eagles' losses last season were mostly of wide receivers running free beyond an Eagles defensive back. Whether it was Dez Bryant or DeSean Jackson, Jordy Nelson, or John Brown, the Eagles fell victim to the big play too often. They allowed 72 passing plays of 20-plus yards last season and 18 plays of 40-plus yards. Both were the highest totals in the NFL. An offseason commitment to remedy the problem resulted in a new-look defensive backfield. "We addressed the secondary, from a players standpoint and a coaches standpoint," said safety Malcolm Jenkins, the lone returning starter.
September 12, 2015 |
In two short years, Chip Kelly has remade the Eagles offense, but the most significant turnover has occurred at the wide receiver position. Not even the changes at quarterback can compare because Kelly wasn't saddled with a large contract or a difficult free agency decision. But there aren't many coaches or general managers or whatever you want to call Kelly nowadays - Lord Commander? - who would have parted with Pro Bowl receivers in successive years, especially game-breakers such as DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, who are capable of stretching a defense.
September 6, 2015 |
WHEN I STARTED doing Eagles "Post Game Live" on Comcast SportsNet, some sports journalists said I had no business talking about sports because I wasn't an "expert" and never played football beyond high school. Of course, their complaints were off base because I never held myself out to be an expert - just a longtime fan and I was clear that I would try to present the fans' perspective on TV - and that's also been my goal with this column. Having said that, let me crow a little bit. Last year in this column, I predicted the Eagles would be 9-3 going into the last quarter of the season.
August 26, 2015 |
WITH MONEY comes responsibility. And expectations. A year ago, Byron Maxwell was in the final year of his sixth-round rookie contract making, by NFL standards, chump change: $645,000. He was in his first full year as a starting corner. If he gave up a big play, which admittedly didn't happen very often last season, no one called him a bum or a fraud or compared him to Nnamdi Asomugha. The Eagle, not the Raider. But that was then and this is now. That was Seattle and this is Philadelphia, where it's been 55 damn years since the Eagles last won an NFL title and patience is harder to find than good manners.
August 25, 2015 |
BACK IN high school, Sam Bradford was a smooth two-guard on an AAU team that featured Blake Griffin, so he is well-aware of the proper way to operate a fastbreak offense against an overmatched "D. " "Lob city," the quarterback said Saturday night when asked to put into words his personal philosophy on sharing a playing surface with a human being capable of dunking over a midsize sedan. Two hours earlier, Bradford led the Eagles on their own version of the fastbreak: a frenetic, 12-play charge down the field against a Ravens defense that might have backed up all the way to Baltimore if not for a touchdown that relieved them of their duty to keep pretending to try. Over the course of just 3 minutes and 55 second of game clock, the Eagles used four different personnel packages, employing the same one on consecutive plays just four times.