Alshon Jeffery strikes revenge on Bears

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Alshon Jeffery strikes revenge on Bears

As much as Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery wanted to downplay Sunday's game against his former team, his actions during the 31-3 win over the Bears spoke volumes.

After Jeffery hauled in an eight-yard touchdown in the second quarter, he organized a celebration where he mimicked a bowler and his Eagles teammates were the bowling pins. Only when it came time for Jeffery to roll, he refused to let go of the football.

"Trust me, I wasn't rolling that one," Jeffery said.

Jeffery was all business before and after the contest, calling it "just a regular game," although it didn't necessarily feel like it to observers.

The Eagles seemed to make a point of throwing the ball Jeffery's way on the first play from scrimmage. That five-yard reception was the first of five catches for 52 yards and a score, all coming in the first half.

Targeted nine times, Jeffery insisted the Eagles were "working within our game plan," but everybody knew he wanted to play a role in a victory over the Bears.

“Alshon didn't say anything," Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "Sometimes it's understood, it doesn't have to be explained.”

After spending the first five seasons of his NFL career in Chicago, Jeffery was allowed to become a free agent in March, signing with the Eagles. There's little doubt this date had been circled on his calendar ever since.

“That was home for him," Smith said. "He was raised up there. I'm sure it meant something to him. Glad he was able to get a touchdown and play a big game today.”

Whatever emotion Jeffery was feeling during the Eagles' rout, it certainly wasn't mercy or pity.

A woeful Bears offense with a receiving corps decimated by injuries managed only 140 yards of total offense against the Eagles. There's no question they could've used Jeffery on the opposite side — not that he cares.

“My brothers are over here," Jeffery said. "Me and my brothers are on the same team. If I go to a different team, I'm on a new team.

“These are my group of brothers now. I'm trying to tear their ass up if you're on the other side.”

Though he probably wanted to send his former employer a message, that wasn't what was most important to Jeffery. Sunday was all about improving the Eagles' record to 10-1.

"He didn't seem too much different today," Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said. "He was focused on the win.

“That's the one thing that's stuck out about him is that he doesn't really care about his stats. There have been games where he had one catch early in the year, and he's like, 'Hey, I don't care. As long as we win, that's all that matters to me.'”

No matter what was running through Jeffery's mind this week, he remained professional and insisted this game wasn't personal. What's more, you have to believe him — to a point.

After all, with every win the Eagles amass, Jeffery's decision to flee Chicago is being vindicated.

“Nothing against those guys and what they have going on," Jeffery said. "I'm just going out and playing football and having fun.”

When Jeffery says he could've been a non-factor in a W and been perfectly satisfied, that's likely true. But when he did find the end zone against the Bears, it clearly meant something to Jeffery.

It was important enough to not carry out an end zone celebration as planned.

Nick Foles leads entire NFL in player sales merchandise this offseason

Nick Foles leads entire NFL in player sales merchandise this offseason

Everyone knows the plan is for Nick Foles to eventually head back to the bench in favor of Carson Wentz.

Apparently, Eagles fans just didn’t care.

Because when the NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales list for the first quarter of 2018 was released on Thursday, Foles was right at the top for all officially licensed merchandise from March 1-May 31.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Nick Foles
2. Tom Brady 
3. Carson Wentz
4. Saquon Barkley
5. Dak Prescott
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Ezekiel Elliott
8. Jimmy Garoppolo
9. Odell Beckham Jr. 
10. Derek Carr

That means the NFC East took six of the top 10 spots, which is pretty wild.

But it’s even crazier to think that Foles went from starting last season as a backup to having more products with his likeness sold this offseason than any other player in the league, including the guy whose job he took and who is expected to take it back. He also beat that guy who didn’t catch a pass in the Super Bowl.

We definitely saw a Super Bowl spike in this list, starting with Foles, who led all players in photography products sold. I guess everyone wanted an image of him catching the football on the "Philly Special" or perhaps something with the now famous photo of Foles with his infant daughter. On the previous list from last year (from March 1, 2017-Feb. 28), Foles was at No. 22, so we should have seen this coming. Wentz held steady at No. 3, despite the injury and missing the Super Bowl.

Here’s every Eagle on the new list with their ranking on the last in parenthesis:

1. Nick Foles (22)
3. Carson Wentz (3) 
13. Zach Ertz (17)
33. Alshon Jeffery (43)
34. Brandon Graham (N/A)
46. Fletcher Cox (N/A)

The only Eagles player to drop out of the top 50 is Jay Ajayi (45), who is entering the final year of his current contract.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Foles can stay at or near the top of the list, especially if he starts the season on the bench. But based on the way most Eagles fans have celebrated the win in Super Bowl LII, Foles merchandise isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon.

More on the Eagles

Roob Knows: Reminding you how good Carson Wentz is

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Roob Knows: Reminding you how good Carson Wentz is

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank reminds fans of how good Carson Wentz is; despite the magical run from Nick Foles, don't forget about Wentz. Alshon Jeffery's impact goes well beyond his statistics. An unbelievable stat on Zach Ertz. And why Brian Dawkins is a truly unique athlete in Philadelphia sports history.

2:00 - Don't forget how good Carson Wentz is.
4:30 - Alshon Jeffery's value.
9:30 - Unbelievable Zach Ertz stat.
13:00 - Brian Dawkins' route to the Hall of Fame.
18:00 - Dawkins is a unique Philly sports figure because everyone adores him.

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