The first-place Eagles finally put together a decent game in their 25-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
It wasn’t pretty. The defense struggled for the most part, and Wentz was erratic (not as bad as the previous three weeks). But between Wentz’s legs and the emergence of “who?” for the team, the Eagles were able to notch their first win of the season.
The “who?” players have had quite a history for the team within the last two seasons. Those players have been made up of converted quarterbacks, wide receivers who have been on more teams than they have years in the league, and players who have come from other practice squads and even other countries.
Yet those players were the keys to the success in the Eagles win over the San Francisco 49ers.
You should know who this man is by now.
The former Houston Cougars quarterback has become Mr. Reliable for Carson Wentz, surpassing Zach Ertz as the most consistent Eagles player right now.
After being converting to wide receiver and going undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft, he signed with the Eagles in May 2017. He was waived that September and placed on the practice squad, before being signed to a futures contract after the Super Bowl.
Ward was released yet again in September of 2018. He spent February – March 2019 as a member of the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF. After the league folded, he signed back with the Eagles in April 2019.
Following another ‘near-miss’ of the final 53, he finally cemented his role on the late-season roster when injuries ripped through the unit. Ward exploded onto the scene as a reliable target for Wentz, amassing 254 yards in 3 starts and scoring his first NFL touchdown in clutch fashion against Washington.
The additions of Reagor, Hightower, Goodwin, and Watkins spelled doom for Ward as it did not look like his roster spot was guaranteed. However, after Goodwin’s opt-out, the IR designation for Watkins, and a strong training camp performance, Ward again solidified his role on the 2020 Eagles.
Injuries have plagued the Eagles this year, especially at the wide receiver position, but Greg Ward has emerged from the rubble each time to give the Eagles the consistency at the position that they so desperately need. He has the most games with 4 or more receptions among Eagles wide receivers since the start of 2019. That includes his 4 catch 38-yard performance against the 49ers.
That was probably your reaction after the touchdown pass from Wentz. “Who did he throw that to?”
That man is Travis Fulgham. After spending 2019 on Detroit’s practice squad (he did make his debut in December), he was waived this past August. After spending a whopping nine days on the Packers, he was released and then signed with the Eagles on August 20th.
Kent Lee Platte, the creator of Relative Athletic Scoring and writer for Pride of Detroit, had high praise for Fulgham after training camp 2019:
Travis Fulgham earned his spot on the #Lions roster. Showing out as both a receiver and a special teamer, he's a guy the Lions hope they can build with. Has the tools, has showed he can learn, time to prove game day ability. pic.twitter.com/Zd20s7spl5— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) September 1, 2019
Unlike Ward, Fulgham was drafted but Matt Patricia decided one year was enough. The wide receiver from Old Dominion has definitely found a home on the Eagles. He even made #13 look good.
Oh captain, my captain.
While he’s not a new name, it cannot be forgotten that LeBlanc is on his fourth team in five years.
After going undrafted in 2016, LeBlanc signed with the Patriots but was released during roster cuts. This was after having the NFL’s best play of the 2016 pre-season.
He was claimed by Chicago a few days later and stayed with the team until September 2018. He was claimed by Detroit until he was waived in November of that year. On November 5th, 2018, the Eagles claimed Cre’Von and haven’t looked back since.
Well, they kind of did. Cre’Von was released by the Eagles a few weeks ago to open a roster spot for Jason Huntley. He told reporters that he was surprised he was cut, and the Eagles were lucky that he did not sign somewhere else.
LeBlanc came up huge in the win versus the 49ers with a strip-sack of Nick Mullens in the 4th quarter. It’s not the first time he’s made a game-changing play (ask the Saints), and it won’t be the last.
Another player you know plenty about, it cannot be understated just how crucial Scott has been to the team’s success at the end of last season and in the win on Sunday.
He was drafted by the Saints in the 6th round of the 2018 draft and was placed on the practice squad after making the initial 53 man roster. The Eagles signed him off the Saints practice squad in December 2018.
During the final stretch last season, Scott was relied upon in ways that only three other running backs were:
During the final 4 games of the season there were only 4 running backs in the NFL with at least 4 rush attempts, 3 receptions, and over 150 rush and 150 rec yards: Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders, and Boston Scott. #Eagles went 4-0. CAR 0-4, LAC 1-3— Chris Infante (@Infante54) April 26, 2020
Scott was on the receiving end of an absolute laser of a throw from Wentz that went for 17 yards on 2nd and 22 in the fourth quarter. This won’t show up in the box score due to the penalty by the 49ers on the play, but Scott showed incredible hands on the play.
The first Eagles draft pick of the bunch, Jordan Mailata may have taken the reins from Jason Peters as the new left tackle this season.
After two off-seasons and seasons of “IR” designations (the good ole phantom injury), Mailata has finally found himself a role on the team.
I’ll admit, I was never onboard the Mailata train and thought his rugby skills were best suited for defense or fullback, but he shut me up on Sunday.
After an inexcusable false start early in the game, Mailata was Bodyguard 2.0:
He will have his hands full with the likes of Stephen Tuitt, Cam Heyward, and TJ Watt on Sunday, along with a Steelers defense that blitzes a league-high 51% of the time, but Mailata has shown he belongs in the league.
The Philly Sports Network man crush. Alex Singleton has arrived.
Singleton went undrafted in 2015 and signed with the Seahawks. After signing a three-year deal, he was released in September of that year. After bouncing from the Patriots to the Vikings, Singleton was drafted in 2016 by the Calgary Stampeders. He was eligible to be drafted in the CFL due to his mother being born in Toronto.
He immediately made his mark in the CFL with 65 tackles in his rookie year. After an impressive rookie season, he tallied 123 tackles and won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award. Although he did not win an individual award in 2018, his team won the Grey Cup while he matched his 2017 total in tackles.
After three years and two CFL All-Star teams, Singleton found his way to the Eagles in January 2019. Despite an incredible preseason showing:
🗣GIVE SINGLETON AND EDWARDS A CHANCE pic.twitter.com/t9hTf0NWWL— Chris Infante (@Infante54) September 23, 2019
He was promoted to the active roster after the release of Zach Brown in October 2019.
In 15 snaps Sunday, he gave us this:
It truly seems as though what one team deems as “trash”, the Eagles deem as “treasure” and it has been working out for them.
Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire