Eagles Wake-Up Call: Maclin Proving His Worth

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj – USA Today

HOUSTON – In a first half defined largely by the instability on offense, Jeremy Maclin has been the constant.

The offensive line has already gone through 13 different personnel combinations. LeSean McCoy has been up and down. Darren Sproles missed some time. And on Sunday, Mark Sanchez took over for the injured Nick Foles.

That’s a lot of moving parts. Not surprisingly, Chip Kelly‘s attack has been erratic overall.

Maclin, though, has consistently delivered. That remained true on Sunday, as the wideout led the charge with six catches for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Eagles’ 31-21 win over the Texans. He now has 45 catches for 790 yards and eight touchdowns through eight games. Should he equal that output over the second half of the season, he’d finish with 90 catches, 1,580 yards and 16 TDs.

For context, here are the current Eagles’ single-season record holders in those respective categories:

Catches: Brian Westbrook, 90
Yards: Mike Quick, 1,409
Touchdowns: Terrell Owens, 14

In other words, he’s on a record-setting pace.

“He is having the heck of a year,” said Sanchez. “He picked a great year to sign a one-year deal.”

It’s looking that way. Maclin could have inked a multi-year deal both in Philly and elsewhere this offseason, but the fact that he was coming off an ACL tear was reflected in the offers. So he rolled the dice and decided to play the season without a safety net. There’s still a ways to go but so far the move looks like it could pay off in a big way.

“I’m not going to necessarily call it gambling. I just did what was best for my situation, me and my family. That was what was right with the ability to make something happen during the season,” said Maclin. “When the time comes, it will take care of itself.”

Maclin has scored in six of the Eagles’ eight games this year. With two more touchdowns Sunday, he is now tied for seventh on the team’s all-time list, moving ahead of DeSean Jackson. He became the first Eagle and only 13th NFL player to have at least 150 yards and two touchdowns in back-to-back outings.

Big game by big game, Maclin’s value continues to climb while questions about his game fade away.

“I am not satisfied yet. As far as the people who doubted me, they are entitled to their opinions,” he said. “I had an organization that believed in me and organization that was with me every day of my rehab and understood what was going on. That is all I really needed.”


The Eagles were dealt a big blow Sunday, as DeMeco Ryans was lost for the year because of an Achilles tear.

Nick Foles exited the game with a clavicle injury and could be out for some time.

Sheil offers his observations from the Eagles’ 31-21 win over Houston.

With Mark Sanchez under center, the Eagles pull out a win.

According to Jay Glazer, the Eagles did actively pursue Vincent Jackson but Tampa Bay declined their offer.


Reuben Frank writes about Todd Herremans and the right guard spot.

It was painful watching Herremans trying to play Sunday, and it wasn’t a coincidence that as soon as Andrew Gardner replaced him at right guard the offense marched down the field 70 yards on four plays for that crucial touchdown. I give Herremans a ton of credit for toughness and courage and determination, but it’s just impossible to play offensive line with one arm. I would think when Evan Mathis returns next week, Matt Tobin moves to right guard…

And some credit to Gardner, one of the Eagles’ seven former Texans. Here’s a journeyman who’s bounced around the league for six years. He comes into the game after Herremans’ injury and immediately finds himself across the line of scrimmage from the best defensive player in the game, J.J. Watt. But with Gardner at right guard, the line gave Mark Sanchez time to throw and opened holes for the running game to seal the victory.

Rich Hoffman of the Daily News talks turnovers:

Four more turnovers. Four! And three of them led to three Texans touchdowns, which was all of the Texans’ touchdowns. It is an absurd way for a good team to play in the NFL. In fact, history pretty much insists that it is an impossible way for a good team to play in the NFL. That the Eagles beat the Texans, 31-21, raising their record to 6-2, is borderline ridiculous at this point.

How good could the Eagles be if they protected the football? And will we ever find out?

The talk in the upcoming week will be all about the quarterbacks, and it should be. Nick Foles was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury, replaced by Mark Sanchez. What happens going forward will occupy everyone’s attention, and it is an integral part of the turnover question.


Sheil’s Zone Read coming your way. We’ll speak to Kelly at 1.