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.”