Eagles rookie report: Jake Elliott's heroics; Rasul Douglas' 1st INT; Corey Clement's 1st TD

Eagles rookie report: Jake Elliott's heroics; Rasul Douglas' 1st INT; Corey Clement's 1st TD

Well, it's not very often that we'll lead our rookie report with a kicker.

But ... wow.

Rookie kicker Jake Elliott buried a 61-yard field goal as time expired to give the Eagles a 27-24 win over the Giants in the home opener at the Linc (see breakdown).

Elliott hit a pair of clutch kicks and overshadowed corner Rasul Douglas snagging his first interception and running back Corey Clement getting his first score (see observations).

Let's take a look at a few of the highlights in our Week 3 rookie report.

1st quarter, 15:00 - Eagles 0, Giants 0
For the second time in three weeks, Clement made an impact on the opening kickoff. In Week 1, he made a nice special-teams tackle to pin the Redskins inside their own 20. Against the Giants, he took the opening kickoff from the goal line and took it 35 yards to set the Eagles up with nice field position.

2nd quarter, 7:59, 1st-and-10 at PHI 42 - Eagles 7, Giants 0
On this play, Eli Manning tried to go tempo, something he did often to attempt to mitigate the Eagles' pass rush. The defense does look a little out of sorts with Malcolm Jenkins scrambling to get into position. Douglas has 1-on-1 coverage on veteran Brandon Marshall. The rookie corner plays it perfectly. He runs stride for stride with Marshall and Manning throws it up for grabs. Douglas times it perfectly and snags it for his first NFL interception. 

Admittedly, this was a god-awful decision by Manning, but still good on the rookie to not get flustered, know his assignment and make a play. On the replay, you can see Douglas doesn't even get his mouthpiece in. Again, great poise for a guy in his second NFL game.

2nd quarter, 1:37, 1st-and-10 at PHI 37 - Eagles 7, Giants 0
A very similar situation arises on the next series. The Giants are in the two-minute drill around the same part of the field and Douglas is once again matched up 1-on-1 against Marshall. This time, Marshall runs a five-yard hitch. Douglas reads it perfectly and is ready to make a play on the football. Unfortunately, Patrick Robinson tips the ball in the slot and it falls incomplete. You can see Douglas telling Robinson after the play that he had a pick six lined up. The rookie's swagger is starting to show.

2nd quarter:29, 3rd-and-goal at PHI 1 - Eagles 7, Giants 0
Better to be lucky than good? Douglas is lined up over the much quicker Sterling Shepard. Shepard beats Douglas off the line and Manning makes a perfect throw. Shepard catches it but then he doesn't. As he falls to the ground, he doesn't complete the process of the catch. Sure looked like a TD to me, but that's the rule. Whatever, fourth down. This is a tough matchup for Douglas against a shifty player like Shepard. 

4th quarter, 14:15, 1st-and-10 at PHI 44 - Eagles 14, Giants 0
Manning throws the ball immediately to Marshall with Douglas playing soft coverage. Douglas again makes an aggressive play and drives on the football, getting Marshall down for a two-yard gain. On the next play, the Giants took advantage of the soft coverage and Manning hits Marshall on a 14-yard hitch for a first down.

4th quarter, 13:07, 1st-and-10 at PHI 28 - Eagles 14, Giants 0
Same as the previous first down play with an immediate throw to Marshall. Douglas reads it again and almost blows the play up. Instead, Douglas whiffs on the tackle and Marshall takes it for 18 yards. But this isn't a bad play by Douglas at all. Sure, he needs to make the tackle, but again, this type of aggressive play is what the Eagles saw at West Virginia and why they picked him in the third round. By this time next year, as Douglas gets more comfortable, that play might turn into a pick.

4th quarter, 10:47, 1st-and-10 at PHI 17 - Eagles 14, Giants 14
Up to this point, Clement had just three carries for three yards. But on this carry, you see what the Eagles like about him. It's a three-wide set with Zach Ertz lined up in a wing position to the left. Ertz and left guard (on this possession) Stefen Wisniewski pull to the right. Clement waits for both blockers to clear and then hits the hole with a decent burst for a seven-yard gain, his longest rush of the game, until ...

4th quarter, 5:40, 1st-and-10 at NYG 15 - Giants 21, Eagles 14
Again, another example of Clement's patience and vision. Both Wisniewski and center Jason Kelce pull to the left. Clement takes the carry off tackle to the left. Just like the previous play, he waits for his blockers and takes the ball to the edge. Once he gets to the second level, he runs through the arm tackle of safety Darian Thompson and plunges into the end zone. I was slightly surprised to see Clement get so many opportunities in the fourth quarter, but he took advantage of them. 

(There was a sloppy exchange between Clement and quarterback Carson Wentz on a second-down run but the ball was held on to.)

4th quarter:56, 4th-and-7 at NYG 28 - Giants 24, Eagles 21
I won't pretend to be an expert on the kicking game, but I know Elliot making a 46-yarder to tie the game with under a minute left in the fourth quarter of his team's home opener is clutch. And for a rookie to knock this kick through? Wow. 

4th quarter:01, 1st-and-10 at NYG 43 - Eagles 24, Giants 24
And you thought the last kick was clutch. You can't even quantify how special of a kick this was. Elliott's career-long at Memphis was 56 yards. He nails a 61-yarder just inside the right goal post, the longest in Eagles' history, with no time left to win it. Onions!

Elliott may have just Wally Pipp'd Caleb Sturgis. Elliott missed a 52-yarder wide left in the third quarter, but boy, did he make up for it. Elliott was an excellent — and clutch — kicker at Memphis. Good enough to warrant a fifth-round pick. The Eagles might have accidentally found a very good, young kicker (see report card)

It appeared for most of the game that Douglas shadowed Marshall, which makes sense. Douglas' length, physicality and aggressiveness are the perfect mix to slow down a player like Marshall. Douglas has shown glimpses of being a starting-caliber corner, but he'll be tested plenty as the season goes on.

Clement finished the day with six carries for 22 yards, but the Glassboro, New Jersey, native was able to record his first NFL touchdown roughly a half hour away from where he grew up. What a special moment.

First-round pick Derek Barnett didn't have much of an impact because of the Giants' game plan to get the ball out of Manning's hands as fast as possible.

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

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Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Michael Bennett’s time in Philadelphia is off to a rocky start. 

The Eagles’ defensive end is being indicted for a felony charge in Harris County, Texas, the Harris County district attorney’s office announced on Friday afternoon. 

Because of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett’s arrest. According to the release, prosecutors are working with Bennett’s lawyers to coordinate a surrender. 

Neither the Eagles nor the Seahawks knew about the incident, a league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn. Bennett has been an Eagle officially for just over a week. 

During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked Bennett to turn himself in as quickly as possible and called Bennett "morally bankrupt." 

The felony charge is for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman who was working at NRG Stadium last year during Super Bowl LI. The news release says that Bennett was there to watch his brother Martellus play in the game, when he allegedly injured the victim. The Patriots played the Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.  

Michael Bennett allegedly “shoved his way on to the field” during the postgame celebration, when the elderly worker told him to use a different way for field access. Instead, the district attorney's office said, Bennett pushed through workers, including the elderly disabled woman. 

Bennett, 32, is being charged with “injury to the elderly, included intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older.” 

The penalty for the charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

The Eagles released the following statement on Friday afternoon: 

“We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time.”

The Eagles officially traded for Bennett on March 14. They sent receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Bennett and a seventh-rounder. 

(More coming…) 

10 random Mike Wallace stats

10 random Mike Wallace stats

In Mike Wallace, the Eagles are getting a veteran wide receiver who’s now playing for his fifth team in the last seven years.
Wallace has put up fairly consistent numbers since the Steelers drafted him out of Mississippi in the third round in 2009.
And we all know what a veteran wide receiver means. Lots of stats!
So let’s get to know Mike Wallace with 10 Random Mike Wallace Stats That You Didn’t Know (And I Didn’t Either Until I Looked them Up!):
• Since entering the NFL in 2009, Wallace ranks ninth in the NFL with 8,072 receiving yards, behind only former teammate Antonio Brown (9,910), Larry Fitzgerald (9,570), Calvin Johnson (9,532), Brandon Marshall (9,316), Julio Jones (9,054), Demaryius Thomas (8,653), DeSean Jackson (8,575) and A.J. Green (8,213).
• Wallace’s 57 touchdown catches since 2009 are seventh-most in the NFL during that span by a wide receiver.

• With a 95-yard touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger against the Cardinals in 2011 and a 95-yarder from Joe Flacco against the Steelers in 2016, Wallace is one of just three players in NFL history with two career TD receptions of 95 or more yards.

The others are Gaynell Tinsley of the Chicago Cardinals, who caught a 97-yarder from Pat Coffee in 1937 and a 98-yarder from Doug Russell in 1938, and Pennsauken’s John Taylor, who caught a 95-yarder from Joe Montana in 1989 and a 97-yarder from Steve Young in 1991.
• Similarly, Wallace’s four career TDs of 80 yards or more — the two listed above plus catches of 81 and 82 from Roethlisberger in 2011 and 2012 — are fifth-most in NFL history behind Derrick Alexander, Lance Alworth, Bobby Hayes and Jerry Rice, who all have five.
• Wallace has had at least 725 receiving yards in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL. Since 2009, only Fitzgerald has had 725 or more yards more often than Wallace.
• Wallace’s career rushing average of 7.1 yards per carry is fifth-highest among active players (with 32 or more attempts), behind Cordarrelle Patterson (10.3), Tyreek Hill (8.0), Deshaun Watson (7.5) and Ted Ginn (7.1).
• Wallace had nine catches for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV against the Packers after the 2010 season. That’s tied with several players (including Nelson Agholor) for eighth-most in Super Bowl history by a wide receiver.
• Since he entered the league in 2009, Wallace has 43 receptions of 40 yards or more, second-most in the NFL during that span behind only former Eagle DeSean Jackson, who has 56. Those 43 passes were thrown by five quarterbacks (Roethlisberger 23, Flacco 9, Ryan Tannehill 7, Charlie Batch 3 and former Eagle Dennis Dixon 1).
• During the same span, Wallace has 19 TD catches of 40 yards or more, again second-most in the league during that span to Jackson’s 26.
• In 2010, Wallace caught 60 passes for 1,257 yards, and his 20.95 average was sixth-highest in NFL history and highest in the last 33 years by a player with 60 or more receptions. Since 1965, only Hall of Famer and one-time Eagle James Lofton has had a higher average (21.95 in 1984).