Sunday marked another tough loss for the Philadelphia Eagles, their third against divisional opponents and their fourth that came down to the final moments. It’s these kind of games where you look to the playmakers to make something happen on Offense..but against the Giants, one of the Eagles biggest weapons was kept completely silent.
49 snaps, five targets and zero receptions summed up Dorial Green-Beckham’s day. The mismatch nightmare who had been flourishing under Doug Pederson in recent weeks , was shutdown by former Ram Janoris Jenkins..but the media have been quick to call out his effort after the loss. While sports-talk radio has been the main source of criticism, beat writers haven’t exactly refrained from making their opinions known..
Dorial Green-Beckham reminds me of Jimmy Graham, aside from the great hands, routes, athleticism and effort.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 8, 2016
So the question is, did DGB show a severe lack of effort against the Giants or were there other aspects contributing to his bizarrely silent night that could be described as similar to a span of games from Reuben Randle?
The game started horrifically for Carson Wentz, with two early interceptions. One of which was targeted at Dorial-Green-Beckham, but just simply overthrown, landing in the hands of Adams. DGB simply failed to get separation early on against a cornerback who stands at just 5’10, weighing 198 pounds. Jenkins did an awesome job keeping the 6’5 receiver on a leash and it would set the tone for the rest of the game.
Green-Beckham is without a doubt the Eagles biggest red-zone threat. So on a quick fade to the endzone, you’d expect the towering receiver to win the man-coverage battle nine times out of ten. Jenkins was able to stick to DGB like glue however and although the ball was overthrown, Green-Beckham lacked the burst needed to get to the back of the endzone and instead appeared to end the route after contact.
But it could be argued that DGB was completely silenced by Janoris Jenkins when in man-coverage, so what about the times he matched up in zonal looks? Finding a pocket of space, the second year receiver turns the corner on a Dig route but appears to slow and start jogging at that moment. Wentz didn’t release the ball until DGB had turned and found space, but if Green-Backham had continued to keep the after-burners on when breaking over the middle, Wentz would have had an option underneath the Safeties for a fresh set of downs inside the ten.
The same happened again inside the redzone numerous times. DGB breaks on his route and begins to slow once inside the endzone. Not only were there acres of space between him and Rodgers-Cromartie, but there were acres ahead of him. Again, if DGB had kept the thrusters burning, he would have been able to come over the top of the Safety, allowing for Wentz to drop it into the bucket. Instead, the coverage linebackers inadvertently shut the route down because DGB slowed, falling behind them.
As mentioned, this wasn’t a lone instance and as the game went on, it felt like DGB was getting frustrated. This redzone fade should have been a quick cut to the outside and a sprint to the endzone. Instead, the Eagles receiver ran into Jenkins making contact and continued to bump into him throughout the route..slowing him down, and making the overthrow look much worse than it should have been..given that Green-Beckham never once looked for the ball.
Most notably, there’s “the stumble”. It was assumed that Jenkins did a great job jamming at the line and forcing Green-Beckham to trip, but there was next to no contact. A slight touch from the Giants corner sent the Eagles receiver nearly headfirst into the sideline..but it was through a fault of his own, not Janoris Jenkins.
Frustration began to boil for DGB..who then took it out on the Giants corner and VERY nearly forced an interception. Continuing his personal vengeance against Jenkins, the two clashed time and time again. DGB pushes Jenkins back away from him but ends up sending him into the endzone ahead of him, just inches away from the ball. Composure is key for wide receivers..something Green-Beckham looked to lack on Sunday.
There were other times where he would simply jog the entire route, like the one above. It’s arguable that this was a designed screen so every receiver was simply looking to sell the screen and block. But there’s a clear difference in how Agholor approaches the route and how Green-Beckham does. The idea of a screen is that the entire Defense buys what you’re selling..it’s kind of hard to when a 6’5 mismatch receiver lightly jogs toward you, posing no threat whatsoever. It took Jenkins just seconds to realize that a screen was emerging as he immediately tried to run around DGB.
Slow off the line here, DGB cuts inside of his receiver and looks primed to make a play over the middle..before completely turning his back to the football. Wentz hadn’t released the ball at the time of Green Beckham’s sudden decision to curl back outside and it probably cost the Eagles a big gain. It was a strange route that sums up a strange game for Green-Beckham.
DGB’s final incompletion of the game once again came against Janoris Jenkins, but puts a bow on his lowly performance. The ball was thrown a little high by Wentz, but that’s not the problem. On the surface, it seems perfectly reachable and the idea being that DGB latches onto it when running into the endzone, as opposed to stopping and attempting a grab..hence why it was a little higher.
Jenkins once again played some great Defense..but if you look at the way Dorial Green-Beckham reached for the football, it’s clear to see that he could very easily have come down with it had he made the effort to get up and grab it.
There was a definite lack of effort from Dorial Green-Beckham in this game. From not going up to grab easy passes to jogging on routes and being distracted..it just wasn’t a good day. But I don’t think he gave up in the slightest. I think he fell prey to Janoris Jenkins, who got inside his head early on, shut him down consistently and got overly physical with him..something that he’s probably not used to, given the size advantage he has over corners.
The frustration poured out into his game and he was more concerned with sending a message to Jenkins than he was running routes and making catches. That HAS to change moving forward..as this Offense will look to him to make a difference in crunch time situations.
There were some big reasons why the Titans were willing to accept so little in the way of returns for a second year receiver who looked primed for a big sophomore season..and one of those reasons was character issues. While lack of effort can be argued, I think an inability to stay focused better describes his underwhelming performance on Sunday.