Carson Wentz A Rookie Version of ‘Gunslinger’ Favre
As the Eagles get set to make the short trip to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, let’s take a look at some of the best stories from around the web this week.
Carson Wentz has become the rookie version of his favorite player growing up, Brett Favre, writes Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press.
Wentz has 498 pass attempts and he’s on pace to break Donovan McNabb‘s team record of 571 attempts in a season. If he throws 130 more passes in the final three games, Wentz will break Andrew Luck‘s rookie record of 627 in 2012.
Favre never fired away that many times in a season — 613 was his high.
“I guess it’s hard to say that I expected to throw this much, but it’s just kind of the way games have gone,” Wentz said. “By no means am I complaining about it.”
The Eagles had more success when they ran more and Wentz threw less. They were 4-2 in the first six games when Wentz averaged 30.8 passes per game and 1-6 in the past seven when he’s averaged 44.7.
Brandon Graham is a candidate to win Defensive Player of the Year, according to Chris Weissling of NFL.com.
8) Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end: The Eagles’ defense has fallen apart of late, though through no fault of Graham’s. A natural fit in coordinator Jim Schwartz‘s Wide-9 scheme, Graham is the league’s most unsung defensive star, ranking among the leaders in quarterback pressures as well as run stuffs. I hope you remembered his name when you filled out your Pro Bowl ballot.
Graham is also one of FoxSports.com’s Dieter Kurtenbach‘s underrated players from this season.
6. Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
The seventh-year pro out of Michigan has been the most consistent pass rusher on the Eagles’ defensive line this season, registering five sacks, and grading out exceptionally in both the pass rush and run-stopping games, just as he has for the last five years.
This is the kind of guy you don’t know you need to fear until it’s too late.
Nelson Agholor was one of the most disappointing players this season, opines John Clayton of ESPN.com.
15. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Former Eagles coach Chip Kelly thought Agholor was the perfect playmaker for the Eagles’ fast-paced offense, and he wanted them to take Agholor in the first round. Kelly is now gone, and Agholor is missing in action. His yards per catch dropped from 12.3 last season to a puny 9.4 this season. He has 56 catches in his two-year career, well below expectations for a first-round pick. He has dropped passes and struggled in routes, and he was even benched for a game.
It was a smart move for the Eagles to not claim wide receiver Michael Floyd off waivers, according to David Murphy of the Daily News.
The lesson of [DeMarco] Murray and Byron Maxwell and a substantial majority of the free agents the Eagles have signed since their last playoff win is that there is often a huge difference between a player’s ability to impact a fantasy football team and his ability to impact a real one.
It’s a notion that gained some premature pertinence around these parts with Thursday’s news that the Eagles had declined their opportunity to add former first-round draft pick Michael Floyd to their much-maligned receiver corps after the Cardinals released him in the wake of his DUI arrest in Arizona. Rather than spending the $1.3 million in salary-cap space that claiming Floyd would have required – money that could otherwise be rolled over into 2017 and thus spent improving a team that isn’t already eliminated from playoff contention (in principle, if not mathematically) – the Eagles allowed Floyd to pass by them on the waiver wire, where he was eventually claimed by the Patriots.
Forget the fact that passing on Floyd was almost self-evidentially the right move (even if the Eagles love Floyd, they’re better off tacking $1.3 million onto their best offer this offseason, when he will become a free agent, than wasting that money on three meaningless weeks of his services). The more interesting thing to note was the real-time reactions of Eagles and Cardinals fans as they followed the developments of Floyd’s arrest, release, and rebirth. Folks in Philadelphia saw a former first-round draft pick with all of the measurables a team could want and averages of 55 catches, 910 yards and six touchdowns from 2013 to ’15. And the Cardinals, where the range of emotions started with good riddance and topped out with ambivalence, most conveyed with video clips of Floyd dropping the kind of routine balls that have Eagles fans counting down the days remaining on Nelson Agholor’s contract.
The Eagles should get rid of Ryan Mathews in the offseason, pens Cameron DaSilva of FoxSports.com.
Philadelphia Eagles: RB Ryan Mathews
The Eagles have had a mess at running back since moving on from LeSean McCoy, with Mathews failing to fill his shoes. He’s started six games in two years and has just 1,026 rushing yards combined. The oft-injured running back is good around the goal line, but he’s surrendered snaps to Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles this season. That’s never good for a guy making $5 million in 2017.
ESPN’s Matthew Berry hates Mathews with the team facing the top-ranked run defense in the NFL, but continues to love Zach Ertz.
Running backs I hate in Week 15
Ryan Mathews, Eagles: I know, he has had success. I know, Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles are both banged up. And I know, New England just had success running against the Ravens. But even though the Ravens are dealing with a short week, I am not excited about Mathews’ prospects here. The Ravens allow the fewest yards per carry, the fewest RB points this season and just two RB rushing touchdowns in the past 11 games. Playing an important game at home, I could see Baltimore getting up big here, causing Philly to abandon the run and making Mathews (who has just one game this season with more than 80 rushing yards) a risk/reward flex for Week 15.
Tight ends I love in Week 15
Zach Ertz, Eagles: No, it’s not a great matchup with Baltimore, but I don’t care. Here’s the entire list of players in the NFL with more targets over the past four weeks: Julian Edelman. That’s it. That’s the entire list. With 42 catches for 414 yards and two TDs in his past six games, Ertz has finally fulfilled the promise we all knew was there. He’s a top-10 play for me.
ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Eagles selecting Florida cornerback Teez Tabor in his first Mock Draft.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida*
Tabor has terrific ball skills, with four interceptions, five pass breakups and a defensive TD in 11 games this season — and that comes on the heels of a 2015 season in which he had four interceptions and 14 pass breakups. Tabor’s natural anticipation skills would fill a big need for the Eagles.