The Eagles have something special brewing with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Philadelphia Eagles’ A.J. Brown catches the ball for a touchdown in front of Tennessee Titans’ Tre Avery during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

On Sunday, the Eagles dominated the Tennessee Titans for their most impressive victory of the year, 35-10. The Eagles played great in every aspect of the game as well. Hurts lit the Titans up with his arm for 380 yards and the defensive line ripped through the Titans’ offensive line for 6 sacks while completely shutting down Derrick Henry. Even the special teams unit had a great day.

However, the story of the day was the play of the Eagles’ top 2 wide receivers. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith toyed with the Titans’ secondary all day long and have been playing at a level all season that has maybe never been seen by a pair of wide receivers in midnight green.

DeVonta Smith

One of the biggest concerns for the Eagles’ offense at the start of the season was how DeVonta Smith would be able to adjust from going from the unquestioned first option to the second or possibly third offensive option. Smith has had a few down games this season but is still on pace for a fantastic season. In 12 games, Smith has 61 receptions for 711 yards and 4 touchdowns. For comparison, last season in all 17 games, he had 64 receptions for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns.

It seems that Smith has found his groove in the last few games and could be primed to have a really strong end to the season. I think the most impressive thing with Smitty is his ability to be flexible to what Hurts, Steichen, and the offense need. For example, in the Cardinals game in week 5, Smith was used mainly in short-yardage scenarios. He had his most catches on the season with 10 but also had one of his lowest yards-per-reception rates of the season with only 8.7 yards on average.

In other games, like the first Washington Commanders game and last Sunday against Tennessee, Smith had fewer receptions but averaged over 20 yards per catch. Smith’s ability to be versatile in this offense as a deep threat or a possession receiver may not always give him the flashiest stats, but it is an invaluable tool that makes the Eagles’ offense operate at such a high level.

A.J. Brown

Rarely do big athletes come into Philadelphia and deliver on their potential. It seems that A.J. Brown might have broken that stereotype for good. Brown has been an absolute revelation for the Eagles this season and has brought a mixed bag of talent and physicality to the wide receiver position not seen here since Terell Owens. So far this season in 12 games, he has 61 receptions, 916 receiving yards, and 9 touchdowns. Brown is on pace to set career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns this season and will probably set some Eagles’ franchise records along the way.

He isn’t the fastest wide receiver, but he may be the strongest, with his ability to pull the ball away from nearby defenders and plow through anyone that tries to stand in his way. With Smith being the versatile and reliable receiver on the other side of the formation, Brown has the freedom to take chances and be the game wrecker for other teams that turns good teams into great teams.

The chemistry that he has with Hurts is undeniable and while there’s no physical stat for chemistry, it makes a difference for these two. They routinely elevate each other with perfect throws and perfect catches, which in turn is leading to wins. Brown has improved on his game and put himself in a position to be one of the most dominant wide receivers in the NFL for the foreseeable future.

Through the last 90 years, the wide receiver has not been in a position of great strength for the Eagles. Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Desean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin were all very good players but they were never one of the absolute best at their position when they played. A tight end and a running back hold the records for most receptions by an Eagle in a single season, Zach Ertz is first with 116 and Brian Westbrook is second with 90.

This season, Smith and Brown have spoiled Eagles fans with elite pass-catching and have elevated the offense to almost unguardable. With both under 26 years old as well, this kind of game could become very common in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum