Matthews Much Better Second Time Around

The Jordan Matthews that had opened so many eyes this summer was not present at Soldier Field a week ago. He resurfaced Friday night in New England.

The rookie caught nine balls on as many targets and was far and away the game’s leading receiver with 105 yard in the Eagles’ 42-35 loss to the Patriots.

“He got the jitters out. He got the butterflies out,” said Mark Sanchez. “This is not an easy game to jump in and have an impact like that. He went through that last week in Chicago, got used to the hotel, the bus, the airport. All that stuff. There are a million things that are different from college — the speed of the game, and all that. But this week he looked great. Trusted his technique, trusted his coaching, played really well.”

Sanchez-to-Matthews has been a familiar refrain at camp and carried over to the game Friday. Six of Matthews’ catches and 72 of his yards Friday came with Sanchez on the other end. But Matthews spread the love around, catching at least one pass from Nick Foles and Matt Barkley as well.

“I’m happy with Jordan’s performance today. He was a little overexcited playing in his first NFL football game in Chicago. The Jordan you’ve seen in practice is kind of the Jordan you saw today,” said Chip Kelly. “Nine targets, nine catches, did a good job with the run after the catch. The same thing that we’ve seen when we’ve been in our training sessions at the NovaCare is what we finally saw tonight. He’s just such an emotional guy and plays at such a high level that I think was probably just ramped up a little too much in the Chicago game.”

Matthews continues to work primarily out of the slot. He was sprinkled in with the first team Friday, and could continue to see more time there as we march closer to the start of the regular season.

He acknowledged that things were moving a bit fast for him in his debut, but slowed down some in his second-go around.

“That’s how it’s going to be my rookie year: the speed is going to pick up. It was the same way my first practice where everything seemed real fast, then it started to slow down for me,” he said. “The first preseason game seems kind of fast; it’s going to slow down. It’s going to be the same way in the regular season and then as we go on.”

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  • Brennan Hildebrandt

    Jordan the great secretly was sick, and tired of all the constant praise, and hype so he deliberately dropped balls in his first preseason game by experimenting to see how quickly the media and fans would turn on him, and say he doesn’t belong with a poor outing. Only to show everyone up, and finally flash only a fraction of his greatness upon us.

  • cliff h-MOAR white goons

    once run game gets going, good luck pressing LOS with extra safety or LBs. Ertz and JMatt will destroy those middle of field holes.

    • Token

      We are gonna see the same D we saw last year, at least til we prove we are gonna beat it. Press man across the board with a single high safety. Hopefully a guy like Matthews is a answer to consistently beating that.

  • Bullwinkle

    He’s not DeSean, but his style of play will move the sticks. I don’t think the big physical corners will be able to neutralize him.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    With Cooper and Maclin as our 1 and 2, that basically leaves 2 spots open for Celek, Ertz and Matthews. I hate to leave any of those guys off the field for anything but a breather.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Also Sproles. So many weapons.

      • anon

        might be best player behind shady.

    • Rockedupeaglesfan

      Have Cooper and Maclin really been on the field together during this camp? Unfortunately none of the guys you mentioned are really equipped to step in and play on the outside right now.

      • Andy Six Score and Four

        They were on together until about 2 weeks ago. And I don’t predict any of the other three I mentioned eating in to their PT any time real soon, though Matthews has the potential to do so eventually.

        The size advantage Matthews presents in the slot would also work in favor of Cooper in the slot if Jordsus were to eventually take over that outside spot.

        • Rockedupeaglesfan

          I actually think Maclin becomes the slot guy if Matthews becomes a clear cut stud on the outside. Cooper doesn’t get in and out of breaks quick enough to play inside. Actually a Maclin, Matthews, and Huff combo as your top three receivers gives you some nice interchanging parts, especially considering how much this team loves disguise and versatility.

  • Glenn

    The Sanchez to Matthews chemistry is great. I hope Matthews plays more with the ones in practice and preseason after this game, so the same chemistry can be built with Foles. Tremendous rebound game on Matthews part.

  • eaglespur

    with celek ertz and and now the addition of jmatt we may have solved third-and-long. and so this year the defense will get a rest once in a while. trent and meco, buy that kid a steak!

  • Token

    Ok summary of my thoughts…

    -Again with penalties. If thats the new league I dont care how good the Eagles are because I wont watch. Horrible product. I cant imagine they are dumb enough to continue that in the real games.

    – Foles looked better then last week. Tho I gotta say to me he looked very much like the guy from last season. Now we can get into a conversation about how amazing he was last year, but I am looking for a step forward. I believe he has to take a step for this team to have success. And its early yet we may see a jump when his guys are healthy and playing. But he still has that hesitancy to his game. Holding the ball. Seeming as if his mind is working a half a tick slow sometimes. But he made some nice throws this week. When he did hold the ball he did a nice job going through progressions.

    – Disclaimer, I dont like Sanchez. I never want him to start. Not a fan. BUT how he runs the offense is a example of what I wanna see out of Nick Foles. Theres a clear difference in speed, command and getting the ball out of his hands. Thats the offense I expect to see on the field this season. Fast and efficient. A lot of quick hitters in there. So when I say I wanna see the step forward from Foles, it means doing things kinda like you see Sanchez doing them.

    – Matthews had a real nice bounce back thats good to see. Really liked how they force fed him the ball. Tonight should help build the confidence. I saw a tweet about how he wore gloves last night and he hadnt done that up to this point.

    – Still not all that impressed with the line. A guy I liked in Barbre is really making me second guess being ok with him starting. It just may be that he works out a lot better as a fill in guard then a starting T.

    – Josey looked pretty good. Said last night id let Polk go. Cant keep guys that are injured so easily around when their talent is marginal in the first place. Gotta try and keep some upside at the bottom of the roster. Josey may be a guy like that. Id keep 3 RBs. No need to waste a spot on a 4th. Any guy you keep as a 4th RB has the talent of a guy you could pick up on the FA streets at any point.

    – The D is gonna be a real issue. Nothing has changed my mind on that. I think they are gonna get abused often. They have zero pass rush. I thought the DL got manhandled in general. I cant express how bad Barwin is as a rusher. If a guy gets a hand on him Barwin has no chance of winning that battle. The idea that he was their answer at rusher is baffling. This unit is still a few years away from being a solid 3-4. Davis I predict is fired after this year. Hes still doing bonehead things from what I can tell. The question will be if they stick with this scheme Chip is forcing or revert back to a 4-3 they are more suited for.

    – Smith hasnt flashed a 1st round talent. Hes got a lot to learn so you dont expect him to go out and dominate. But youd like to see a flash of talent here or there. Hes looking pretty rough right now. I can see why they didnt focus him as a pass rusher this season.

    – What WRs are gonna get cut froms teams? Because we are gonna need one. Maclin, Cooper, Matthews, Huff. After that I dont really like any of these guys. I think they can do better with other teams castoffs. Not to mention Maclin and Coop prolly will miss 5-10 games between them.

    – Ertz had some nice moments. Tho even on the TD Chung was glued to him. That gives me a little pause with getting too excited. But hes gonna have to be big for them.

    – And I said last night, its a crime that guys like Matthews and Marsh are stealing valuable reps from other guys. These are KNOWN bums. Shouldnt even still be here. But Howie, and apparently Chip, dont know when to call a spade a spade. You cant keep bringing back guys like this. It brings down the roster. Younger guys dont get those reps. Guys that have some chance of being better and having some upside dont get those reps. You have to know as soon as possible when a guy is a bum. The spots are too valuable to waste them on these types of players.

    • Brian

      Just to be accurate… Matthews was wearing gloves last week too. After the ball went through his hands, on one of his drops, he looked at his gloves. Otherwise, I agree with your assessments. If Foles is still the guy from last season, I think we’ll be fine. 27-2…

      • TNA

        Matthew doesn’t wear gloves in practice. He wears them in games. He’s done that going back to college. I think it’s a good thing. Next I expect him to practice in 10 pound flip flops with a parachute tied around his waist.

      • Token

        Guess thats what I get for reading Myths McClane.

    • anon

      samchrzs arm looks way better than foles. hes slinging it. and the offense gets down the field fast. would like to see him with the ones just to know if its real or not.

      foles just looks indecisive, but he’s playing with nobodies. think well miss djax not bc hes great but because hes decent.

      • damrvrhunter

        I love how you speak. You have great command of da English.

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      Sanchez, a QB with years of starting experience, looks great and in command of an offense going against second teamers. Let’s keep that in perspective. Agree with most of the rest of what you said, though.

      • Token

        It has nothing to do with anything like that. Its a example of how the offense should look. Im not commenting on if Sanchez looks great or not. Its about the idea of how things should be ran.

    • Kevin.Rosenberger

      I never comment on here, mostly because I can’t stand the petty arguments that happen daily. Though I do read every comment.

      I’m not trying to start anything but the amount of negativity from this post is ridiculous. If you think doom and gloom talk is appropriate, maybe you didn’t watch this team last year or know that the rest of this division is garbage. Also, Shady isn’t going to be near full speed during these games and the things he does for this offense when he is the focal point cannot be understated.

      Is the D bad? Yup.

      Does Foles look shaky? Yup.

      It’s pre-season and the two teams we played will both be in the playoffs. I agree that it’s been a little disappointing.. but I hate the pessimism surrounding a team that won a division with brand new coaches and schemes.

      Another thing I’d like to point out is the special teams. 2 blocks and a return TD already. Very impressive.

      • Token

        Honest opinion = negative. Yea this response is pretty par for the course around here.

        If you had to pick right now…. how many wins do you have the Eagles at this year?

        • Will, Always Shady in CA

          Between 8-11. I can see us being very average to pretty good this year. Neither will surprise me

        • Kevin.Rosenberger

          I appreciate honest opinion and all but it’s always either over the top hype or over the top negativity around here. I trust chip and the players to get it done.

          10 wins.

          • dnabrice

            You have to consider the whole Birds 24/7 commenting squad as a team. We tend to be positive, but Token provides some balance on the other side. Keep reading and you come to realize the beauty of the balance!

    • Breathe 21

      You need to relax and truly examine what is happening out there. The team is suffering from the injury bug. Foles is hesitant because Maehl, Momah and Benn don’t get ANY separation. Those guys are not even 4 on the depth chart, but they’re playing against starters on D. Foles was playing like Sanchez last season when he put up those ridiculous stats. Sanchez is lighting it up because he’s a veteran QB playing with Ertz and Matthews against the twos. If Sanchez tried to play that way against the ones last night, he would have throw at least 3 picks. I wouldn’t keep Josey over Matthew Tucker or Polk with this roster. We would be left without a power back. There is nothing Josey does that Sproles (the back up) doesn’t already bring to the table. Our D is not great, but you have to examine what their doing. They’re running basic trap defenses and testing players to see if they can hold their own in coverage. Cole and Graham are dropping into coverage. Nate Allen is 1-on-1 with no help over the top. This is not the defense we will play during the season. Marsh has practiced well and is a depth corner, there are no 4-5th string shutdown DBs in this league. Carroll and Williams were both injured. Hopefully, Acho plays well enough on ST to unseat Casey Matthews. Marcus Smith has batted some passes and has made some tackles after setting the edge. Idk what you want from a late rd first pick. Ertz manhandled and embarrassed Chung on that TD. No separation needed when you’re stronger player at 6’5 going against 5-11.

  • DrFeelgood

    the penalties are making the game unwatchable….the dumb f-ing refs and the dumb f-ing league can continue to throw flags and I will not watch…I would advise everyone to stop watching and then they will get the message.

    I refuse to watch a game where zebras are throwing flags when the penalties are ticky tack……f-ing sucks….that female ref is a friggin joke by the way..of course she will be the worse ref in the league….lets all be politcally correct and let women ref because they play so much football and blah, blah, friggin blah

  • ICDogg

    The title of this article brought to mind when I used to work at a dive bar and after closing time the drunk bar owner would start singing “Second Time Around”

    • MagatBrackendale

      “Love is lovelier”…Matthews is Matthewier. The name ‘Matthew’ means ‘something given’ or ‘a reward’. It was much more rewarding to watch JM this time.

  • RJ

    That Matthews is the one I think people expected to see. Let’s see him build off of that this week against a usually tough Steelers defense.

  • magicmikec

    9/9 for 105. I shudder to think what last week woulda been like had the Pope put up those numbers in Chicago!