Eagles Wake-Up Call: So Far, Receivers Part Of the Problem

Drops one of many issues haunting Eagles offense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Photo courtesy of USA Today

Add wide receiver play to the long list of reasons why the Eagles offense has sputtered and stalled over the first two weeks of the season.

Most of the attention has deservedly gone to the offensive front, the anemic run game and the quarterback play of Sam Bradford. So much has gone wrong along and behind the line of scrimmage, it’s hard to even get to the point where the eyes shift downfield. But there have been a handful of moments within the mess when plays have run clean from snap to delivery. Too often those moments have been wasted because of lack of execution on the receiving end.

Drops have been an issue. The Eagles have been charged with six total (three each in the Atlanta and Dallas games). The wide receivers are responsible for four of those.

“They’re a problem,” Chip Kelly said. “They’re important. It’s hurting us on the offensive side of the ball.”

Surprisingly, Jordan Matthews has already  been charged with three drops on the young season. They weren’t all the easiest catches to make, but ones that the normally-reliable Matthews should come down with.

Matthews drop 3

 

Matthews drop 2

 

Matthews drop 1

That said, Matthews has been the most productive receiver for the Eagles by a mile. His 16 catches and 182 yards are more than Josh Huff , Nelson Agholor, Riley Cooper  and Miles Austin have combined.  Agholor has been getting the most snaps besides Matthews but has just four grabs on eight targets for 36 yards (9.0 avg.). Cooper has three catches on six targets for only 25 yards with a drop.

Huff is trailing both Agholor and Cooper in snaps. He has four catches for 39 yards so far. The coaching staff was hopeful that the former third-round pick would take a significant step forward. There is still time but so far he has not distinguished himself from the other options, which puts more strain on the likes of the rookie Agholor to produce and produce early.

Wide receiver might not be at the top of the list when it comes to offensive concerns, and the season is still in its infancy stage, but to date this group has done little to alleviate the uneasiness many felt when Jeremy Maclin bolted for Kansas City.

WHAT YOU MISSED

“We can either sulk on it and point fingers or we can come together and get s%*t fixed.” Eagles-Cowboys, the day after.

The latest injury news on Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks and Cedric Thornton.

Kelly said he was “embarrassed” about the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys.

Sam Bradford struggled in yesterday’s loss, but according to his teammates, that’s to be expected. Josh explains why.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Roob writes that the Dallas loss “was the kind of game that makes you re-evaluate everything regarding Kelly and his ability to lead this team to a championship.”

The Eagles are now one of just eight 0-2 teams in the NFL, and it’s not just the 2015 season that’s teetering on the brink.

It’s not too early to really start wondering about Kelly and his whole program.

Because the reality is that he went to the playoffs with Andy Reid’s team, he won 10 games with a mixture of Andy guys and his own guys, and now that he’s finally shed the roster of all the guys who helped him actually win all those football games and replaced them with his own players, the result is ugly.

It’s only two games, but this is a football team that right now just looks lost on offense. Non-competitive. Clueless. And so far, the head coach hasn’t shown any ability to get them to snap out of it.

Tommy Lawlor offers his thoughts on Kelly and the state of the team.

This can be fixed.

This season can be saved.

But there are no guarantees. This team could also fall apart and finish 5-11.

Chip Kelly built this team and now it is up to him to fix it.

He never had a losing record at Oregon. He hasn’t had a losing record with the Eagles. This is a smart coach who has shown the ability to get a team on the right track.

Then again, I don’t know that he’s ever been part of a team that made so many big changes. This might prove to be the biggest challenge of Chip Kelly’s career so far. Maybe that will bring out the best in him.

So far all we’re seeing is the worst of his team.

COMING UP

We’ll speak to Pat Shurmur and Billy Davis before Tuesday’s 12:20 practice.