After a great start to the season and perhaps some validation for being selected in the first round three years ago, Nelson Agholor has been very quiet the last two weeks. He caught six passes for 84 yards and a touchdown vs. the Redskins in Week 1. He was also targeted eight times in that game.
Weeks 2 and 3 have mirrored Agholor’s first two years in the league when he was, for the most part, a non-factor. To his credit, he did catch a very late touchdown pass in Kansas City to cut the Chiefs' lead to a TD. The Birds successfully completed an onside kick, but a Hail Mary was not in the cards and they lost. The touchdown reception was his only catch in the game.
Last week against the Giants, he was equally invisible. Two catches, 20 yards. More troubling, Agholor’s only been targeted six times in his last two contests. In fairness, the Eagles concentrated on the run game vs. New York. And the trio of Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith did catch 16 balls for 140 yards in the game. Keep in mind, Carson Wentz's attempts dropped from 56 to 31, from Week 2 to Week 3. Certainly fewer opportunities to make plays.
And Agholor is not alone. Jeffery has been solid and made a huge catch to set up Jake Elliott’s game-winner Sunday, but he’s yet to have a breakout game. Smith has been quiet. Some of this falls on Wentz who has missed some deep shots to both (see story). And this may fall under the category of nit-picking or jumping the gun, considering we’re just three games into the season. But throughout the offseason, OTAs, and training camp, the organization expressed steadfast belief that Agholor was the real deal and had put his lack of production behind him, ready to fulfill the promise of being the 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft.
Jordan Matthews was traded in part because he was entering the last year of his rookie deal and the Eagles did not want to pay him elite wide receiver money. But part of that decision was founded in the faith the organization had in Agholor that he could deliver in the slot. Matthews was a very productive player for this team in his three seasons in Philadelphia, averaging 75 catches for nearly 900 yards per season. Agholor in his first two seasons in Philadelphia caught 59 passes for 648 yards and found the end zone just three times.
Which begs the question: Is this just a two-game blip for Agholor in what’s a long NFL season? Or was Week 1 the anomaly?