Down Years

Posted: October 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Down Years

The Eagles have some star players. Carson Wentz is one of the best QBs in the league. Fletcher Cox is arguably the best DT in the game. Brandon Graham is a highly disruptive pass rusher. Zach Ertz has become an elite TE. Alshon Jeffery has emerged as a star receiver. Lane Johnson is as good a RT as there is in the league.

These players all looked great last year as the Eagles rolled to the Super Bowl.

But they got help. Corey Clement went from UDFA to very good role player. Jalen Mills started the whole year at LCB and played well. Nelson Agholor averaged 12.4 yards per catch and had 8 TD receptions. Patrick Robinson broke up 18 passes and had 4 picks. Chris Long had 5 sacks and 4 FFs. Tim Jernigan started 15 games, played stout run defense. had 9 TFLs and 2.5 sacks.

Clement was expected to have a breakout year after his showing in the Super Bowl. He looked like a weapon in that game. He hasn’t been anything close to a weapon this year, averaging 3.5 yards per carry and going 13-116 as a receiver. He had 100 receiving yards in the Super Bowl.

Mills has struggled this year, no matter how Jim Schwartz explains it.

Mills wasn’t exactly Troy Vincent last year, but he was better. And he made plays. Mills picked off 3 passes, even running one back for a TD vs the Niners. You can live with Mills mistakes if he makes some plays. This year he isn’t making plays and is giving up way too much.

Agholor really emerged as a playmaker last year. This year he’s been anything but that. Agholor averages 8.5 yards per catch, and that’s boosted by a 32-yard catch and a 58-yard catch. Yikes. Agholor lives at the line of scrimmage this year, and that’s not good. This would make more sense if Jimmy Bama’s hero Sam Bradford was throwing him the ball, but Wentz is the guy slinging the rock. Wentz is an aggressive QB who likes to go vertical. Agholor isn’t getting the best chances, but even when he does, he can’t take advantage of them.

Robinson is a Saint (and hurt). Sidney Jones took his place and has played pretty well, but he’s not made any plays. Robinson covered well, picked off passes when the ball came his way and even had a sack. Jones has one pass deflection. That’s it.

Long has one sack and one FF. There have been times when he’s gotten good pressure, but he’s not getting home the way he did last year.

Jernigan’s absence has hurt. The DTs not named Cox have made some plays, but they have not consistently played to the level that he did. Jernigan brought stability to the DL. This year we have seen Destiny Vaeao, Haloti Ngata and Treyvon Hester all start alongside Cox.

It is one thing when a player or two has a down year, but when multiple guys fail to produce as expected, you are going to have some struggles. Any of these players could step up and play better over the final nine games of the season. “Can” being the key word.

*****

The Jags have a very banged up secondary. That should be good news for Agholor and the other Eagles receivers. You can bet Jalen Ramsey will be following Jeffery all over the field. The Eagles are going to need other receivers to step up.

With Sproles out again, it is good that Smallwood is back. He, Clement and Josh Adams will need to play well.

*****

I was very impressed by Sullivan this weekend so I’m happy to see him get the promotion. Don’t expect him to suddenly solve the pass defense.

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