First Dallas Goedert went down. Now DeSean Jackson is out for two weeks, the Eagles speedy deep threat who was supposed to change this offense around. To add to the piling list on injuries, Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles WR1 is now down for possibly the next two games. So, who’s the next man up?
This offseason, there was buzz surrounding each wide receiver after the two starters. Many people were conflicted when the Eagles decided to pick up Agholor’s team option for $9 million this season. Agholor hasn’t been the most consistent receiver during his young career, but he’s made significant progress under Pedersn. In 2018, many people questioned his production but what was there to really question? He caught 64 passes for 736 yards and 4 touchdowns. Sure, his touchdowns dipped and he fell 32 yards short of his previous season’s results but he was still consistent. Even after the Eagles traded for Golden Tate, Agholor kept trucking forward while Tate struggled to find his role in the Eagles offense.
Which brings us to now…
The Eagles are coming off a tough loss to the Falcons where Agholor had the chance to seal a win for the birds but he dropped a wide-open pass that would’ve led to a touchdown. His next target was a big one though, as he caught a 41-yard pass from Wentz in the middle of traffic to help the team convert a first down. He finished the game with 8 receptions for 107 receiving yards and 1 touchdown.
“I mean, we saw [WR] Nelson [Agholor] the other night be able to stretch the defense.” Doug Pederson said on Wedneaday. “He obviously can do that. And if that’s the case, then we have to get creative and be able to find some ways to get these guys down the field. This is a good defense we’re playing. It’s a good pass rush. It’s a lot of man coverage, as we know. A lot of the New England Patriots type of schemes, what you see on tape with [Lions Head Coach Matt] Patricia there. We just have to find unique ways and creative ways to push the ball down the field.
It changes a little bit, kind of what we do, but again, we just have to get our guys prepared and go play.”
After his first two seasons in which Agholor was under the utmost scrutiny for his inability to catch the ball. The speedy slot receiver established himself when the Eagles needed him the most. In 2017, the USC product broke out. He was one of the top-rated slot receivers with 62 catches, 768 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns. Not bad for a player who was labeled as a bust after his first two seasons in the league.
Now he’s entering this Sunday as a potential WR1, or at least someone whom the Eagles will rely on to stretch the defense. He’ll be up against a corner that plays like his last name says, Darius Slay. Slay has established himself as one of the top defensive backs in the league for quite some time now and as a result, success will surely depend on Pederson’s gameplan and the wideouts execution of that.. Pederson will have his work cut out for him but Agholor is an underrated route-runner who could help lift the weight of injury by having himself another big game. Given Wentz already has a rapport with Agholor, we could see an offense that echoes what we saw in 2016, with slot doiminance and tantalizing tight end play. This may be a game that could define Agholor’s career with the Eagles.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports