Alshon Jeffery

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Alshon Jeffery doesn't give a bleep about stats

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Alshon Jeffery doesn't give a bleep about stats

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Alshon Jeffery had a strong performance Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and looked like the guy the Eagles expected to get when they paid him this offseason. 

He just didn't give a bleep. The Eagles lost. 

"They won the game," Jeffery said in the locker room. "None of that s--- matters." 

The bleep that didn't matter to Jeffery was his stat line, which read seven catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, his first as an Eagle. When he scored his 16-yard touchdown, it gave the Eagles a 10-6 lead in the third quarter. It was their only lead of the afternoon. 

Initially, Jeffery was ruled down at the 1-yard line on his touchdown, but the replay clearly showed he went down on his own and wasn't touched before he reached across the goal line with the football. 

Even before the refs announced that the call was overturned, Jeffery watched the replay on the big screen at Arrowhead and began to jump in celebration. He knew it. 

"It was a touchdown," he said. 

On Sunday, Jeffery looked more like what Eagles fans probably expect from him this season. His strong performance against the Chiefs comes a week after a disappointing debut in which he caught just three passes for 38 yards. 

"Honestly, I've always felt really good chemistry with [Jeffery]," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "Obviously today, I think he was almost 100 yards or something like that. Felt good with him, felt good with the other receivers. And we're just going to keep working on that."

Much of the conversation during the summer and the preseason was about Wentz and Jeffery needing to get on the same page. They looked like they were Sunday. 

But the Eagles still lost 27-20, so Jeffery didn't care about that bleep. 

"Like I said, we didn't win the game," Jeffery mumbled. "None of that s--- matters to me." 

Kickin' it
Just before the end of the first half, the Eagles had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 6-6 and then get the ball back for the start of the second half. 

Zach Ertz caught a 53-yard pass down the sideline after Chiefs defensive back Terrance Mitchell should have had an easy interception but popped the ball into the air and into the hands of Ertz at the perfect time. Ertz was tackled at the Kansas City 11-yard line with just two seconds left when the Eagles called their third and final timeout. 

Then Andy Reid iced the kicker. And it worked. 

Jake Elliott missed a 30-yard field goal. A 30-yarder!

"I don't think so," Elliott said when asked if the timeout took him off his rhythm. "It just made me sit out there a little longer. It shouldn't affect anything. It's just not a good kick."

While Elliott missed that chip shot, he did make a 34-yarder before it and a 40-yarder after. 

Elliott was signed last week after Caleb Sturgis was placed on IR with a hip injury. Before signing Elliott off the Bengals' practice squad, the Eagles worked out a trio of kickers. If Elliott misses another 30-yarder, the Eagles might want to bring one of them in. 

Odds and ends 
• Vinny Curry missed a huge opportunity in the fourth quarter. He had Alex Smith in his paws but somehow let the QB slip away and scramble for a five-yard gain on 3rd-and-4. Had Curry sacked him, the Chiefs would have been at the very edge of their field goal range. 

"I had him," Curry said. "He just broke loose. If we play again, he won't break loose." 

• Before the start of this season, Ertz had just one 90-plus-yard game before December in his career. He has two already in 2017. He has a total of 190 receiving yards through the first two weeks of this season. It's the first time an Eagle has done that since DeSean Jackson in 2013 and just the 17th time in team history. Ertz is third in the NFL in receiving yards, behind only Antonio Brown and Adam Thielen.

• Wendell Smallwood is having a slow start to his second year in the NFL. Through two games, he has nine total touches for just 10 yards. 

• You've probably already heard this one, but Wentz leads the Eagles in rushing through two games with 61 yards. That's obviously not very good for the Eagles. But Wentz is just the fourth Eagles QB to have 60 rushing yards through the first two games of a season. The other three are Mike Vick, Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham. 

• Speaking of Wentz, here's what Chiefs pass rusher Dee Ford said about him: "He's a great quarterback. We call him a smaller Big Ben. He is going to make his mark as a quarterback." 

• Trey Burton made a great play on the onside kick to recover and give the Eagles a little bit of hope at the end. But with just five seconds left, they elected to heave up a Hail Mary.   

Reid said with five seconds left, his defense was covering the deep ball but also covered the sidelines. He didn't want the Eagles to throw a quick strike to get closer. 

In the end zone, Jeffery was in the area of where the ball went before it landed on the ground. He thought he had a shot at it. 

"Yeah, I believe so," he said. "But unfortunately, plays like that … I don't know the percentage of it, but it's very rare."

Eagles Mailbag: Plan at corner, Alshon Jeffery's season, Wentz an MVP?

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Eagles Mailbag: Plan at corner, Alshon Jeffery's season, Wentz an MVP?

Now that we're well into the 2017 regular season, these mailbags will become a staple of each weekend. At least, I'll try. 

The Eagles are facing a really tough matchup this weekend in Kansas City against Andy Reid's team. Big Red had three extra days to prepare for this one, which isn't good news. For the record, I don't think the Eagles win this one. I predict a 31-24 win for the guys in red. 

If the Eagles do pick up a W Sunday, it'll be huge. 

Anyway, let's hop into your questions: 

Let me preface this by saying Jim Schwartz and the rest of his defensive backs kept their mouths shut about the plan during the week. And the Eagles certainly have some options. 

I expect this to be done based on packages; it probably won't be black and white. I think Patrick Robinson will slide inside and outside in this game. He'll be one of the outside corners — along with Jalen Mills — when the Chiefs are in their base package. But knowing Reid's offense, that won't be often. That means Robinson will be inside, and Mills will be outside with …? Well, now that's the real question. 

There's been a lot of talk about rookie Rasul Douglas getting some real playing time Sunday, but I'm not so sure. After all, Jaylen Watkins came into the game last week and actually performed well. I'd imagine he'll get a chance to play quite a bit Sunday. 

And at times, I think Malcolm Jenkins will be in the slot too. They don't want to completely get away from that, especially with Corey Graham available to take over at safety.

It's too early to say, but it's looking pretty good. The thing with Agholor is that one good game isn't enough to say he's turned it around. Frank Reich made that same point last season. Let's see if Agholor can keep this up for a few weeks. 

If you're asking my gut feeling: yeah, I think he's a completely different Agholor. I'm not sure if he'll ever be a superstar, but he can play in this league. He certainly has the talent and I always thought he was a better fit in the slot. I'm not sure why the Eagles were so hesitant to try him there last season. 

Talking to Agholor in the week before the opener, he seemed like a completely different guy as he has all offseason. For a guy who needed a personal mental health day last season, he is extremely confident and has been for months. Take a look back at that story after knowing what happened in the opener and it's telling. 

I do. 

That might seem crazy based on one up-and-down rookie season and one OK game to start Year 2. But there's something about this kid. And it's not just my analysis. There are many people throughout the league who think he has the chance to be really special. With Wentz, it's two-fold. He's not just gifted physically, but he has the mental capacity to be great. His recall and football knowledge are off the charts. He has to put it together. 

Still, it's really damn hard to win an MVP. And, remember, it's not all on him. The MVP isn't really just an individual award. It usually goes to a player on a good team. The good news for Wentz is that it's pretty much just an award for quarterbacks. Just one time in the last 10 years has it gone to a non-QB. The other thing Wentz has going for him is that Peyton Manning is out of the league and Tom Brady has to be close to the end of his career. Those guys would have been serious roadblocks to getting an MVP of his own. There are five MVPs still active: Brady, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson. 

Foles hasn't missed any practice time since the regular season started, so he appears to be fine. For a long time, that elbow injury was a concern. And he might not be completely past it, but the Eagles are probably just hoping that if they need him in 2017, he'll be able to tough it out for a few games at the most.  

It wasn't a great debut for Jeffery in Week 1, but he's a better player than that. And I think it's still going to take some time for him and Wentz to get on the same page. I kept hammering on those questions during training camp when Jeffery wasn't practicing for a reason. So much of his game is timing with the QB and they simply didn't have enough time together. The beauty of his game are those back shoulder throws and the fade route. Those things don't come easy with a new quarterback. 

I still expect him to have a nice season and the slow start didn't scare me off that. Watching practice every day through the summer, it's clear he's a different animal than the other receivers they have. He's much better and it's not close. He'll get his. 

Well, I thought Derek Barnett did some good things in his NFL debut. He certainly doesn't look like a rookie. The problem for him was that Vinny Curry actually had a pretty good game too. And Brandon Graham is going to be a starter as long as he's healthy, so Barnett will need to consistently outplay Curry. Even with how unimpressive Curry was last season, that's not going to happen right away.

Eventually, though, I think you're on to something. The Eagles didn't draft Barnett to bring him off the bench. I think he has a chance to be starting by mid-year. We'll get some warning signs before then though. Watch the snap counts and the situations he's on the field. He was in for a ton of third-downs in the opener. When he starts stealing a bunch of first and second downs, becoming a starter won't be far behind.

Fantasy implications in Eagles' Week 2 matchup with Chiefs

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Fantasy implications in Eagles' Week 2 matchup with Chiefs

Each week this season, we'll take a look at the Eagles and their opponent from a fantasy perspective to help with any lineup-related decisions.

Before looking ahead, let's take a quick look back.

What we got right
• Zach Ertz indeed had a great game and Alshon Jeffery didn't against the 'Skins.

• LeGarrette Blount reached the end zone.

• Rob Kelley and Terrelle Pryor struggled.

• Chris Thompson had the best day of any Redskins running back.

What we got wrong
• Jordan Reed, who we pegged at seven catches, 90 yards and a TD, had a modest afternoon. News came out Sunday morning that Reed is dealing with a broken toe, which may have affected his game.

• Jamison Crowder did next to nothing, falling well short of our six-catch projection.

Now on to the Eagles and Chiefs.

• • •

RB Kareem Hunt
Hunt was one of the top stories of Week 1 after his 246 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. It was the best debut a running back has ever had.

Hunt will continue to get ample opportunities in Kansas City's ground attack. Charcandrick West, the No. 2 RB, is more of a pass-catcher than a between-the-tackles runner.

If you have Hunt, you're starting him this week, you don't really need any fantasy advice or input. 

It's hard to know just yet how good the Eagles' 2017 run defense is. Last season, the Eagles allowed RBs an average of 125 total yards and 5.6 catches per game.

Projected stat line: 70 rushing yards, 5 catches, 40 receiving yards, TD

• • •

WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce
Hill is a nightmarish matchup for any team because he's probably the fastest man in the NFL and the Chiefs are so creative with his usage. The Eagles can try different things, jamming him at the line of scrimmage or doubling him on occasion, but Andy Reid is going to figure out ways to get him the ball.

Last season, Hill had seven plays of 34 yards or more, including touchdown runs of 68 and 70 yards. In Week 1 against the Patriots, he had a 75-yard catch-and-run for another TD. If Alex Smith hits him in stride ... good luck.

The Chiefs put Hill in motion a lot and those are the most dangerous situations. He'll take a hand-off on an end-around or serve as a decoy to open running lanes for Hunt or space in the seam for Travis Kelce. 

It will be difficult for the Eagles to contain both Hill and Kelce in this game. Given Hill's explosiveness, they could make him the top priority to stop. He has to be defended the way teams defend DeSean Jackson with an over-the-top safety, which means more 1-on-1 coverage for Kelce.

With Hill, all it takes is one play. The Patriots actually played him pretty well aside from the 75-yarder.

Jordan Hicks and/or Malcolm Jenkins could draw the Kelce assignment. The Eagles allowed the fewest receptions and yards to tight ends of any NFL team last season but they didn't face one quite like Kelce.

Hill's projection: 90 yards from scrimmage

Kelce's projection: 6 catches, 72 yards, TD

• • •

WR Alshon Jeffery
After a tough Week 1 matchup with Josh Norman, Jeffery could be in line for a big game if he draws No. 2 Chiefs cornerback Terrance Mitchell.

The way the Chiefs play defense and the way Eagles lined Jeffery up last week, it looks like he'll avoid top corner Marcus Peters for the most part. Mitchell last week allowed 96 receiving yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jeffery (6-3/218) has a distinct size advantage on Mitchell (5-11/190). Plus, the Chiefs' pass defense figures to be worse moving forward with Eric Berry (torn Achilles) done for the season.

Projected Jeffery stat line: 7 catches, 120 yards, TD

• • •

RB LeGarrette Blount
The Chiefs allowed three one-yard TDs to Mike Gillislee in the opener against the Patriots but that doesn't necessarily make Blount a good start this week. 

First off, Gillislee's TDs were more about opportunity than anything else. Will the Eagles be able to drive inside the five-yard line multiple times against this KC defense? 

Blount's best chance at a decent game in this one would involve pass interference calls in the end zone. In that regard, Jeffery could be his best friend this weekend.

The Chiefs have a pretty stout front seven with Bennie Logan at the nose, Justin Houston and Dee Ford generating pressure and Derrick Johnson being the all-purpose linebacker he's always been.

Don't be surprised if the Eagles use Darren Sproles a bit more in this game to avoid the tough middle of KC's defense.

Projected stat line: 35 rushing yards, 0 TD

• • •

TE Zach Ertz
The Chiefs were the only team to allow fewer fantasy points per game to tight ends last season than the Eagles, and just last week they shut down Rob Gronkowski. 

But with Berry out, the Chiefs' ability to nullify the tight end drops and they'll likely bracket Ertz with two lesser players. If Jeffery wins his matchup a few times, KC could pull help away from Ertz to aid with Jeffery and that would enhance Ertz's matchup.

Ertz has been on a roll for about a calendar year and I think that continues Sunday even if he doesn't reach the end zone.

Projected stat line: 6 catches, 80 yards