Jordan Matthews not satisfied with breakout game

Jordan Matthews not satisfied with breakout game

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August 16, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Jordan Matthews had nine catches for 104 yards in his second preseason game Friday. (USA Today Images)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Jordan Matthews had a terrible game last Friday against the Bears and a terrific game this time around against the Patriots.

Looked like a different guy.
 
Yet his reaction was exactly the same each time.
 
Not good enough. Have to get better. Long way to go.

“You can’t just look at the stats and let that tell the story,” Matthews said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement out there on the field. There were a lot of plays I wish I could go back and get. Can’t wait to get back on the practice field and continue to work on things I messed up on."
 
In his NFL preseason debut at Soldier Field, Matthews looked uncomfortable. Out of sorts. Off kilter. He dropped two passes, failed to hang onto a third he could have caught, and managed just 14 yards on four receptions.
 
At Gillette Stadium on Friday night, Matthews looked smooth, fluid, comfortable. He caught everything thrown his way, he picked up big yards after the catch, he made a couple difficult receptions, and he finished with nine receptions for 104 yards in the Eagles’ 42-35 preseason loss to the Patriots (see Instant Replay).
 
“To be honest, I still feel the way I felt after last game, same chip on my shoulder I’m going to have after this game,” he said.
 
“I still feel there are a lot of areas I need to continue to get better in. … I think it’s always important to get better. Whether the first game was great or not, I was always going to continue to try to get better this game.
 
“I can’t wait till [practice] Sunday to get back to work and get better and get ready for the Steelers.”
 
Matthews, a rookie second-round pick out of Vanderbilt, became the first Eagles receiver in 11 years with a 100-yard game in the preseason. The last was Greg Lewis vs. the Jets in 2003.
 
But he scowled at anybody who even mentioned the numbers to him.
 
“I never look at the stat sheet and can tell if I had a big game,” he said. “When I go back and look at the film and start to dissect the plays I did good and look at the plays I did bad, I can tell you if it was a good game or not. You’ve got to look at the big picture.”
 
Brad Smith is still the official first-team slot receiver, but if Matthews keeps playing the way he did Friday night, he’s going to play.
 
A lot.
 
“He got the jitters out,” Mark Sanchez said. “He got the butterflies out. This is not an easy game to just jump in and have an impact like that.
 
“He went through that last week in Chicago, figured out what it was like, got used to the hotel, going on the road, the bus, the airplane, all that stuff. There’s a million things that are just different from college and the speed of the game and all that, but this week he looked great. Trusted his technique, trusted his coaching, played really well.”
 
Matthews got some snaps with Nick Foles and the first offense Friday night and did have one short reception from Foles in the second quarter.
 
But his best work came with Sanchez, who hit him for back-to-back completions of 18 and 10 yards on a late second-quarter touchdown drive, then set him up for a nice 25-yard catch and run in the third quarter. Matt Barkley and Matthews connected three times for 36 yards.
 
“I remember what it was like as a rookie,” Foles said. “You have a lot of emotions going, ups and downs. He's really doing a good job of ... if he has a rough day he bounces back with a good one. He keeps working at it.
 
“He doesn’t let himself get down, and that’s going to be one of his greatest attributes throughout his career. He continues to grind, he continues to work. It showed tonight.”
 
Matthews did allow that he felt more comfortable in his second game than his first.
 
“That’s how it’s going to be my rookie year,” Matthews said. “It was the same way my first practice. First practice, everything seemed real fast, started to slow down for me. First preseason game, real fast, started to slow down. Going to be the same way regular season.
 
“I’m just trying to get better on things I’m not good at and trying to help the team out.”

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