Darren Sproles and Nelson Agholor need to step up for the Eagles vs Steelers


The Philadelphia Eagles take on the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. ET. This matchup will be the Eagles’ toughest to date in 2016 and there’s two key players that can set the tone for the game on the offensive side of the ball.

Eagles Pro Bowl running back, Darren Sproles, has been quiet early into the 2016 season. This matchup with the Steelers is a great game for Sproles to breakout with the abilities he possesses.

The Steelers struggled this past Sunday with Bengals dynamic receiving running back, Gio Bernard, giving up 100 receiving yards and a touchdown on nine catches to the playmaker. Sproles is the Eagles most established pass catcher out of the backfield. The team will have to utilize the screen passes and get Sproles the ball in the flats in order for him to thrive in the passing game versus the Steelers.

There’s another player on offense who has to perform well in order for the Eagles to secure a victory. The Steelers have struggled with shifty, elusive, and speedy wide receivers so far this season. This is a game where Eagles 2015 first-round pick, Nelson Agholor, can thrive in.

Agholor hasn’t had a breakout game in his Eagles career quite yet, but this matchup with the Steelers can be just that for the young receiver. He’s regaining the confidence he lost during this past season and has showed signs of turning the page in his young career.

Agholor dropped an underthrown pass in Chicago on Monday, but it was catchable and that’s what frustrates the Philadelphia fans the most. He also had a tough contested catch in the end zone, that also hit his hands, but have to give Bears cornerback, Tracy Porter, credit too for breaking up the pass. In this tough matchup versus the Steelers, those drops won’t fly as the Eagles need Agholor to step up.

The Steelers are 31st in pass defense, but are coming off a victory versus the Bengals where they shut down their star wide receiver A.J. Green, but did let another shifty receiver prosper. Bengals wide receiver, Tyler Boyd, is comparable to Agholor with their skill sets almost matching. Boyd was the Bengals second-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft and in his second career game he was targeted eight times catching six of those ragerts for 78 receiving yards and averaging 13 yards a catch. Agholor could provide that same spark, which will be huge for the offense in this matchup

Former Eagles wide receiver and current Washington Redskin, DeSean Jackson, had his way with the Steelers secondary in their week one defeat. Jackson was targeted 10 times catching six of those targets for 102 receiving yards and averaging 17 yards a catch. As you can see, the Steelers have struggled with receivers of this caliber, while being able to contest physical wide receivers.

The Eagles offensive game plan could revolve around Sproles and Agholor having big games. They could try to use rookie running back, Wendell Smallwood, in Sproles type situations as well giving him a potential breakout game that he’ll need for his confidence moving forward. We’ll find out soon how Doug Pederson and co. plan to attack the Steelers defense, but don’t be shocked if you see Agholor and Sproles get majority of the targets.

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