Eagles Wake-Up Call: Maclin Closing In On 1,000
LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin both speak at the podium after practice on Wednesdays. The player who talks second will often sit inside the media tent and take in the other’s press conference as they await their turn. Maclin was second man up this week, and had a front-row seat for McCoy’s mini-A.I. rant (“What are we sitting here talking about? Am I the same player? That’s for y’all to figure out. Are you crazy?”), which was capped by McCoy walking off in a lather. (“I’m not going to sit here and play that game. Am I the same player. Are you crazy?”)
Maclin walked up as McCoy stormed out and to break the ice a reporter jokingly asked, “Mac, are you the same player?”, drawing a smile out of the wide receiver.
The answer to that question, by the way, is no: this is the best version of Maclin we have ever seen.
With just six games to go, the 26-year old remains on a record-setting pace. He is on target for 91 catches, 1,474 yards and 14 touchdowns. That would put him at the top of every key Eagles single-season receiving category:
Most receiving yards: Mike Quick (1983), 1,409
Most receptions: Brian Westbrook (2007), 90
Most touchdowns: Terrell Owens (2004), 14
Maclin has never reached the 1,000-yard mark in his career to date. He sits at 921 yards currently, and certainly has a chance to hit that number Sunday against Tennessee. The Missouri product downplayed the importance of the achievement.
“I never really use that as a benchmark. I know a lot of people do,” said Maclin. “You get guys who have nine hundred-and-some yards with 10 touchdowns, you have guys that have one thousand yards with a touchdown or two. That’ not really that big of a big deal.
“It doesn’t define what type of player I am. Like I always say, the only player I want to be is be a reliable one. If I’m that guy then the stats and everything will come. There’s a chance I might go over the benchmark this game, there’s a chance it could take longer than that. Who knows? But my only job is to be reliable for my team.”
Maclin ranks seventh in the NFL in receiving yards behind Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders and Golden Tate. Those receivers catch the ball from Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Matthew Stafford, who have all had perfect attendance to this point.
The Eagles’ quarterback situation has been much more of an adventure. And there’s further obstacles beyond that. The offensive line has been shaky, Maclin is working alongside a new-look receiving corps and oh, by the way, he is coming off his second ACL surgery. Yet he continues to produce at a record-setting clip.
“I mean, I don’t know if I’m really proud, I just think that’s what I expected,” said Chip Kelly. “That’s the Jeremy Maclin I saw before the injury, and the big thing for me is that’s the Jeremy Maclin I saw here every day rehabbing. I knew he was going to be successful. I saw how he attacked his rehabilitation in terms of getting ready and getting back and ready to play with his knee. That’s why it was very, very important for us to sign him in this offseason and make sure that he stayed here and was a part of it. I think it’s just a credit to him in terms of his determination. But that’s the makeup of the guy that I saw the first time I walked into this building.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Matt Tobin returned to practice, but Andrew Gardner remains with the first team.
Sheil breaks out the All-22 to take a look at what went wrong on defense in Green Bay.
“Hard to know what to do with a team that got smashed into a million tiny pieces at The Tundra.” National media weigh in on the Eagles.
Notes on Eagles playoff scenarios with six games remaining from Sheil.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Andy Staples of SI.com has Marcus Mariota as his top prospect coming out of college.
Mariota has the escapability and improvisational skills of Johnny Manziel in a much more prototypical quarterback body (6-4, 219). He has a big enough arm, and the question of whether he can transition from Oregon’s offense to a more traditional NFL scheme is becoming irrelevant; NFL teams now incorporate concepts commonly run by the Ducks. The most impressive thing about Mariota is that, when healthy, he can practically carry one of the best offenses in college football. When he had a bum knee last year, the Ducks had neither the offensive line nor the backs to generate much of a running game without their star quarterback. This year, Oregon’s O-line has been ravaged by injuries, but thanks to Mariota (and 230-pound freshman back Royce Freeman) the Ducks are 9-1 and have already clinched the Pac-12 North. Mariota is the best player in the college game, and it’s scary to think what kind of numbers he’d put up if he played behind a line like, say, Florida State or Alabama.
Pro Football Focus takes a look at Jordan Matthews‘ recent spike in production.
Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Jordan Matthews has caught fire as of late. After some early struggles Matthews has really hit form in November. In his last three games, the rookie out of Vanderbilt has 21 catches for 285 yards and four touchdowns, giving him a league leading 153.3 WR Rating across those three weeks. Matthews also averaged an impressive 2.88 Yards per Route Run, the fifth-best mark among wide receivers in that time frame.
Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly has primarily utilized Matthews from the slot (90.8% of his routes), where, at 6-foot-3 and 212-pounds, he is a match-up nightmare for smaller defensive backs. Matthews has caught all six of his touchdowns while lining up inside, and his 1.88 Yards per Route Run from the position, places him fifth among primary slot receivers.
We’ll roll out our predictions for Eagles-Titans.