Just over a week ago, rookie cornerback Eric Rowe wasn’t just thrown in at the deep end..he was thrown in with a cinder block tied to his leg as he was matched up against Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.
Johnson gave the 23 year old a baptism of fire as Davis refused to adjust to the constant beatdown of Rowe, leading Megatron to punish such negligence and record three touchdowns on 93 yards, all of which came after Nolan Carroll left the game with a broken ankle.
But fast forward just seven days and fans witnessed a completely different scenario. Many expected the rookie to be low on confidence and an easy target for one of the best arms in the league..and with Carroll out for the remainder of the season, an already wobbly Eagles Secondary looked as though it could be humiliated for the third week running..but the result was quite the opposite.
Eagles fans should have had more faith in their cornerback, because Rowe showed no signs of mental weakness before the game..
I got a good feeling about today 🏈
— Eric Rowe (@TheEricRowe) December 6, 2015
In his first ever NFL start, Eric Rowe played 86 snaps against arguably the greatest Quarterback of a generation and he played brilliantly. Of those 86 snaps, Rowe was targeted 12 times allowing only four catches. He went on to deflect two critical passes and raise some eyebrows with exceptional coverage. In fact, Tom Brady’s passer rating was just 44.4 when targeting the rookie.
Eric Rowe didn't row his boat…he fitted a v10 engine to it
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) December 6, 2015
But his most impressive play was easily the first of Tom Brady’s last drive. After a Kenjon Barner fumble, the Patriots recovered to give them one final hope of scoring an unlikely game winning touchdown.
Brady looked deep down the sidelines to LaFell but Eric Rowe was glued to him, forcing the incompletion. It’s in those scenarios in previous years where Eagles fans would be biting their nails to the bone and after last weeks display, the trend would have probably continued. But Eric Rowe..the rookie, the man who was embarrassed by one of the leagues greatest last week..made a huge play to help seal the deal for the Eagles.
Eric Rowe showing great coverage in the Pats final drive when the game was on the line https://t.co/gQCHd9FeNi
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) December 8, 2015
Not only was this a real sign of maturity in terms of his game, but in terms of his character. It would be very easy to lose your mojo in that moment especially with the shadow of Megatron looming large but the 23 year old delivered and showed the world that he can develop into an elite corner.
The character, the passion and the drive of Eric Rowe to come out after last week, get his first NFL start against Tom Brady and allow just 4 catches is incredible. He was very much an unsung hero on Sunday..but we’re giving him full credit today.
Eric Rowe came out swinging against the Patriots and proved he should not be overlooked. The future is bright for the Eagles secondary.
(Photo credit: Jim Rogash/ Getty Images)