EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Eagles just needed one play to erase an otherwise ugly offensive performance and sneak out of MetLife Stadium with a win.
Jalen Reagor failed to make that play.
With the Eagles down six points, two late passes from Jalen Hurts hit off Reagor’s hands and fell incomplete. The Eagles lost 13-7 to the Giants, fell to 5-7 on the season and lost any real momentum they built up over the last month.
“Just two drops that I would say (are) very uncharacteristic,” Reagor said after the loss. “But just got to go through the highs and lows and go on to next week and make the plays.”
The problem is there haven’t been many highs with Reagor since the Eagles took him with the 21st pick in the 2020 NFL draft out of TCU. And there have been plenty of lows.
Sunday was probably the lowest.
Reagor has now played in 23 career games and the production just hasn’t been there. While plenty of receivers from his draft class — you know the names — have thrived in the NFL, Reagor hasn’t. On Sunday, he had 2 catches on 7 targets for 31 yards and from a production standpoint, it was actually one of his better games this season.
In a theme that has held true to his career, Reagor did make a spectacular 21-yard catch in the second quarter. But that’s the way things have gone since the Eagles drafted Reagor. There are brief glimmers of hope surrounded by abjectly disappointing play.
On the last drive, Hurts delivered his best ball of the afternoon down the left sideline. Sure, Reagor was probably being interfered with but the ball still hit him in the hands and dropped incomplete. On the last play, Hurts bought time in a scramble drill and threw across the middle to Reagor near the goal line. Again, it hit him in the hands.
But that was fourth down. And the game was over.
“It never comes down to one play,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “We turned it over four times. There’s a lot of other things at play there. I know he’s going to want that one back. … He’s going to want that one at the end of the game back.”
Sirianni, of course, is right. The Eagles didn’t lose on Sunday just because Reagor failed to make a catch at the end of the game. Hurts was awful for much of the afternoon, Boston Scott had a costly turnover himself and the offense was able to score just seven points.
But Reagor just has to make a play. Sirianni knows it. Reagor knows it. Everyone knows it.
It’s just that it’s hard to muster much confidence that things will get turned around for the 22-year-old receiver.
At least Reagor was accountable on Sunday afternoon. He sat in front of reporters and answered every question, didn’t make excuses and that counts for something. In a COVID world where reporters aren’t free to roam the locker room, he could have hid and he didn’t.
Reagor said he wanted to “take ownership” for his mistakes and that’s commendable.
It just doesn’t really change anything.
“That’s what you do with anything. That’s what you do in life,” Reagor said. “You have bad days, you have good days, you’ve just got to move forward. Because tomorrow’s still gotta to be here, I still have to go practice, I still have to play next week. You can’t too much dwell on it. Just me taking ownership and moving forward.”
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