Eagles

Corey Clement's huge Super Bowl? 2017 Eagles in a nutshell

Corey Clement's huge Super Bowl? 2017 Eagles in a nutshell

MINNEAPOLIS — The day didn't start out so well for Corey Clement.

"When I woke up this morning I kind of felt sick," Clement said. "I was like, 'Damn, what am I walking into? What is this going to be like? I'm about to play in a Super Bowl.'"

No worries.

Clement caught four passes for 100 yards, including a 55-yard catch-and-run that's the longest offensive play in Eagles Super Bowl history, and a 22-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-point lead on the way to a 41-33 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis.

For this team? It makes perfect sense that a rookie running back who every team ignored seven times in the draft, who rarely caught the football in college or the first three months of this season, was the Eagles' leading receiver in one of the biggest games in franchise history.

Clement's 100 yards are third-most in Super Bowl history by a running back. He's the second Eagles running back with 100 yards in a playoff game. Keith Byars had 103 against the Bears in the Fog Bowl in 1988.

"This is awesome," said Clement, who grew up across the Delaware River from the Linc in Glassboro. "I was dreaming about this moment. I prayed so hard just to be a part of this moment with great guys that I knew wanted it so bad.

"We were counted out all season, but I knew the Philadelphia fan base really had our back and we just had to believe in ourselves."

Let's put Clement's 100 receiving yards in perspective.

He averaged 7.2 receiving yards per game at Wisconsin. He caught two passes as a junior. Even this year, he had just four receptions the first 11 games of the season.

But the Eagles eventually realized he was a pretty darn good receiver. They started throwing him the ball.

And here we are.

"Who ever thought he was going to be our third-down running back?" offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.

"Wisconsin doesn't exactly breed third-down running backs. They breed I-formation running backs. So for him to be our leading receiver in the Super Bowl … that's really just crazy."

The only running backs in Super Bowl history with more receiving yards are James White of the Patriots, who had 110 last year against the Falcons, and Roger Craig of the 49ers, who had 101 against the Bengals in 1988.

White, who had 66 yards of offense and a touchdown Sunday, is Clement's former Wisconsin teammate.

"He's always had a lot of great tips for me, even back in college," Clement said. "He's been a great mentor. I was happy for him last year, and I'm sure he's happy for me tonight.

"He's already won, what, two of these? Shoot, he has enough."

The Eagles' running backs piled up a staggering 255 yards of offense Sunday night, with LeGarrette Blount rushing for 90, Jay Ajayi rushing for 57 and Clement picking up 100 receiving yards in addition to one eight-yard carry.

His 55-yard catch broke the record for longest Super Bowl catch by a running back set by Marshall Faulk with a 52-yarder from Kurt Warner for the Rams against the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta.

Clement's 22-yarder is the third-longest TD by a running back in a Super Bowl, behind a 51-yarder from Steve Young to Ricky Watters for the 49ers against the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX after the 1994 season and a 33-yarder from Joe Montana to Carl Monroe for the 49ers against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX after the 2004 season.

Simply put, one of the least accomplished collegiate receivers imaginable just had one of the greatest receiving Super Bowls ever by a running back.

Only this team.

"It's all a blessing," Clement said. "Going back to when the season started and now to this moment, it's awesome. It's my dream. Great teammates, coming from a New Jersey, a small school … I've achieved my dreams, man."

Clement was on the field for 24 plays Sunday night, one fewer than Ajayi and the same number as Blount.

That's how crucial this kid has become to the Eagles' passing game. And that's how brilliantly Doug Pederson used his running backs.

In the regular season, Clement had 10 catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

In the postseason, he had 10 catches for 139 yards and one touchdown.

His touchdown Sunday night was an absolute classic.

"It was something we practiced for the last two weeks, and I just believed in the play," Clement said. "It was kind of almost cut off, but I stuck with it. Nick Foles did a great job of keeping the play alive downfield. I gave him the hand, saying, 'I'm open.' Even if I had two guys on me, you still have to believe in yourself and know you can make a big impact for this offense."

He got a step on linebacker Marquis Flowers coming off the line of scrimmage and out-ran both Flowers and Pro Bowl defensive back Devin McCourty down the field. Foles put it where only Clement could catch it, and after a long review, the touchdown ruling was upheld.

"I really wasn't too nervous (they would reverse it)," he said. "But at the same time, when they slow everything down you kind of get the bubble guts and you're like, 'Damn, did I really catch it?' I knew I secured it, it was all about the feet. You have to make big plays when big plays are brought to you."

Eagles’ defenders have seen those moves from Boston Scott before

Eagles’ defenders have seen those moves from Boston Scott before

There were plenty of people surprised about Boston Scott’s breakout performance on Monday night against the Giants. 

Eagles defenders were not among them. 

After a year of trying to stop Scott in practice, they were aware of just how dangerous the 5-foot-6 running back can be. They weren’t even surprised about this devastating juke move Scott put on veteran corner Janoris Jenkins in the fourth quarter. 

Heck, it’s even happened to Rodney McLeod before. 

“Yeah,” McLeod said with a laugh. “Well, I don’t know about that bad. I gotta talk to Jenk about that one. But, yeah, he’s given me a move in the open field. He has a good change of direction ability and quick burst. Glad to see him making plays for us.”

In the 23-17 overtime win, Scott finished with 10 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown and added six catches for 69 yards.   

His 128 yards from scrimmage are the most ever in a game for the Eagles from a guy formerly on their practice squad. 

Scott finally got a chance to shine in a game, but he’s been shining in practice for a while now. Eagles defenders seemed happy that this time it was against Jenkins and the Giants.  

“He does that to us,” Nate Gerry said. “He’s done that for the last year.” 

Scott was a sixth-round pick by New Orleans out of Louisiana Tech last year. He arrived to Philadelphia last December after the Eagles signed him off the Saints’ practice squad. He spent the remainder of last year on the roster, but didn’t really get a chance to play. 

This offseason, Scott had a good training camp but Darren Sproles returned, which basically bumped him to the practice squad. He stayed there until Oct. 11 and didn’t really get a chance to play much until Monday night. 

But Scott was impressive all summer and even earlier this year in practice. 

“He definitely has that switch,” linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “He has that burst that’s a little bit different from others. You definitely saw that on the field, that they weren’t expecting because they didn’t know who he was. But he was definitely a big factor.”

Earlier this week, head coach Doug Pederson said Eagles will find a role for Scott in the offense going forward. With four games left, Scott might be able to make an impact. 

Based on the reactions in the locker room since Scott’s breakout performance, he seems to be a favorite of his teammates. Scott is the prototypical hard-worker, gets in early, leaves late, just needed a chance. He finally got it and made the most of it. 

“It wasn’t a surprise for me at all,” McLeod said. “I’m just really glad he got his opportunity to get out there and showcase what he can do.”

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A record for Boston Scott and more in this week's Roob Stats!

A record for Boston Scott and more in this week's Roob Stats!

If you want Boston Scott stats, you know where to go. If you want Carson Wentz, second-half defense and Eagles-Giants all-time series stats, you know where to go. Most importantly, if you want stats on two-yard touchdowns — and who doesn't? — you know exactly where to go.

Right here.

One thing we've learned over the years: The stranger the game, the better the stats. And Monday night's Eagles-Giants game was really strange.

HOT START FOR WARD: Greg Ward’s 11 catches are most in Eagles history by an undrafted player in his first four games. The previous high was nine, by both Paul Turner in 2016 and Mike Siano of Springfield (Delco) in the 1987 strike replacement games.  

HISTORIC SECOND HALF: The Eagles only allowed 29 yards after halftime in their 23-17 overtime win over the Giants. The last time they allowed fewer yards after halftime was Sept. 23, 2001, when the Seahawks netted only 23 in the second half of a 27-3 Eagles win in Seattle.

LEAVING SHADY BEHIND: With 69 scrimmage yards Monday night, Miles Sanders increased his total for this year to 948, most ever by an Eagles rookie running back. LeSean McCoy had 945 in 2009. Sanders now needs just 61 yards to break the overall franchise rookie scrimmage record of 1,008, set in 2008 by DeSean Jackson.

AND STILL CHASING SHADY: With 45 rushing yards, Sanders increased his season total to 565, passing Billy Ray Barnes (529), Mike Hogan (561) and Bryce Brown (564) and moving into a tie with Po James for 4th-most ever by an Eagle rookie. He needs 13 to pass Keith Byars, 22 to pass Correll Buckhalter and 73 to pass McCoy.

THREE QUICK ONES ON BOSTON SCOTT:
1) Scott's 120 scrimmage yards after halftime Monday night are the most by an Eagles RB after halftime since Shady had 170 in the second half in the Snow Bowl against the Lions in 2013.
2) Scott’s 128 scrimmage yards are the most ever by an Eagle who had been on the practice squad.
3) Scott is only the 7th Eagles running back since 1991 to net at least 128 scrimmage yards on 16 or fewer touches. Herschel Walker, Brian Mitchell, Correll Buckhalter, Brian Westbrook, McCoy and Sproles also did it.

FINALLY GAINING THE ALL-TIME EDGE: The Giants won the first three Eagles-Giants games [in 1933 and 1934] and 17 of the first 20 meetings. As recently as 2008, the Giants led the series 80-66. Going into Monday night, the all-time series was tied 84-84-2. The Eagles now lead the all-time series for the first time ever.

THREE QUICK ONES ON ZACH ERTZ:
1) This was Ertz’s 19th game with nine or more catches. The only tight ends in NFL history with more are Tony Gonzalez [25] and Jason Witten [21]. Gonzalez played 270 games, Witten has played 252, Ertz has played 104.
2) Ertz has 827 receiving yards. He needs to average 58 in last three games to become the 9th tight end in NFL history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
3) By surpassing 800 yards on Monday night, Ertz became the first Eagle in history with five straight 800-yard seasons. Mike Quick, Tommy McDonald, Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Harold Carmichael have all had four straight. The only other tight ends with five straight 800-yard seasons are Gonzalez (7), Witten (7), Travis Kelce (6) and Greg Olsen (5).

ELITE COMPANY: Carson Wentz has 22 TD passes and 7 INTs. If he throws three or more TDs in the final three games and no more than three interceptions, he’ll become only the 4th QB in NFL history with three straight seasons of at least 25 TD passes and 10 or fewer interceptions. That’s only been achieved by Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

A DUBIOUS DISTINCTION: With Alshon Jeffery’s season over at 490 receiving yards, Nelson Agholor stuck at 363 yards with a knee injury, Mack Hollins next with 125 yards and now on the Dolphins, there’s a real possibility the Eagles won’t have a wide receiver with 500 yards this year. The last time that happened was 1964, when their top wideout, Ray Poage, had 479 yards.

THREE QUICK ONES ON 2-YARD TOUCHDOWNS:
1) The Giants game was the first in franchise history in which the Eagles scored three 2-yard touchdowns.
2) Ertz became only the 5th player in NFL history and the first Eagle with two 2-yard touchdown catches in the same game.  
3) Ertz had more 2-yard touchdowns Monday [2] than he had in his previous 103 career games [1].

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