In week one, the Eagles receiving corps turned a lot of heads, racking up a total of 278 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 12.8 yards per reception against the Cleveland Browns. Carson Wentz put confidence in a position that has been subject to plenty of criticism over the last few months and the result was an impressive Offensive show..but against a more formidable Bears Defense, what can we expect from the versatile corps?
Last week: 7 rec, 14 targets, 114 yards, 1TD
A focal point of Doug Pederson’s Offense in week one, Jordan Matthews looks right at home in the West-Coast scheme. Matthews burned people on inside-seam routes during his rookie season, something that was absent in 2015 but prominent last week.
Matthews will no doubt attract a lot of attention from a Bears cornerback corps that could still be without Kyle Fuller, but the three-step routes and short passes that made him so dangerous in week one will be lethal if the Bears take divert their attention elsewhere.
Carson Wentz will be seeking Matthews like a homing missile tonight..but as the Offense continues to expand and the Defensive attention on the former Vanderbilt receiver is at a new high, Matthews could be kept a little quieter in week two. That’s not to say he won’t put up impressive numbers however..as his chemistry with Wentz appears to have such a positive effect on the Offense.
Last week: 4 rec, 5 targets, 57 yards, 1TD
It took Nelson Agholor 14 weeks to score a touchdown in his rookie season, but just one in 2016. The second year wideout seemed to struggle in his rookie campaign but when paying closer attention to his route running and ability to gain separation, he was one of the few receivers to consistently swim away from “Revis Island” last year while beating other number one corners. The problem was, the scheme wasn’t a perfect fit and there was a lack of chemistry with a quarterback who had limited time to prepare for the season in his own right, let alone establish a rapport with the Offense.
Agholor received for the third highest amount of single-game yards in his career in week one, as Carson Wentz would often focus on the quick feet of the USC product to make a conversion on the outside. We can expect much of the same today.
With Matthews attracting most of the attention, Agholor might be able to fly under-the-radar and pick up some more big-time receptions deep down the field as he has shown the ability to do. The Eagles need a deep-threat and until Bryce Treggs familiarizes himself with the Offense, Nelson Agholor is the man that Carson Wentz will turn to on the outside.
Last week: 2 rec, 2 targets, 14 yards
DGB played in 32% of Offensive snaps against the Browns but was targeted just two times. His familiarity with the Offense is clearly still a weakness that is only going to strengthen over time..but with a considerable size advantage over the Bears corners, expect DGB to have a more prominent role tonight.
The smallest height advantage he has tonight is still a staggering 3 inches over Deiondre’ Hall and the biggest is 6 inches over Tracy Porter. The endzone fade that saw Beckham catch two touchdown passes and a 2-pt conversion for the Titans last year as well as an Eagles touchdown in preseason could be an explosive weapon that the strong arm of Carson Wentz looks to utilize numerous times tonight in a game that while DGB’s overall presence on Offense may not be felt as heavily as his impact will.
Last week: 0 rec, 3 targets
After a strong close to the preseason, Josh Huff started the regular season in a surprisingly quiet fashion. The Eagles are still trying to find ways to incorporate Huff’s specific skill set into the Offense, as shown by his jet-sweep touchdown in the preseason..and a game where the attention is being placed heavily elsewhere, it could prove to be the perfect opportunity to do so.
Huff may not breakout in explosive fashion, but we could see a few screen looks, some sweeps and fade routes depending on the circumstance and how aggressive Pederson is feeling. Huff will be one of the more interesting receivers to watch purely because he is yet to find a niche in the Offense, something the Eagles appear to be trying to help him discover.
Last week: N/A
Treggs could be taking his first ever NFL snaps tonight after being signed off the waivers by the Eagles before the start of the regular season. Treggs missed the opening week with an injury but has practiced fully this week and could factor in to Doug Pederson’s Offensive plans depending on how quickly he’s picked up the scheme.
Treggs is fast..incredibly fast. A 4.39 40-yard dash time makes him a scary receiver to line-up against, especially without being able to prepare for him. Treggs isn’t going to play a hefty chunk of Offensive snaps..but he could well make a splash as a deep-threat if Pederson is confident enough in his ability and knowledge of the Offense given that it’s just his first full week of practice with the team.