Bryce Treggs played just 15 snaps against the Giants in Sunday’s 28-23 loss on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, but he made his presence felt.
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said having Treggs active for the first time provided the Eagles’ offense with “an injection of speed.” (Treggs ran a 4.39 time in the 40 at Cal’s pro day last spring.)
It’ll probably take Carson Wentz some time to get used to playing with someone that fast. Wentz’s college teammate at North Dakota State, C.J. Smith, said Wentz has never had a receiver with this type of straight-line speed.
Treggs, the rookie from Cal acquired by the Eagles off waivers from the 49ers just before the season began, finished his first NFL game with two catches for 69 yards and showed off his blazing speed on a 58-yard catch.
Not only did Treggs catch a deep ball of his own, his downfield ability also already started to open up underneath opportunities for the Eagles against the Giants.
“It helps immensely,” Reich said. “The longer you go, the more games you play and don't stretch the field, the field starts shrinking on you. That's a real bad feeling as a quarterback when you feel the field shrinking. So you've got to continue to push the ball down the field.”
For Wentz and the Eagles’ other targets, the addition of Treggs could be a big deal as he gets worked into the offense more frequently.
“I think going forward now, we have shown that he can stretch the field, that he has that capability,” Wentz said. “I think that will help us to open up some things underneath.”
Here’s a look at what Treggs did for the Eagles in his first NFL game:
This is the seventh snap of Treggs' career and it's about to be a huge play out of a somewhat unusual formation. The Eagles are in 13 personnel with offensive lineman Matt Tobin and Brent Celek as tight ends on the right side of the line and Zach Ertz motioned to the left side. Treggs is the only wideout and he has veteran Janoris Jenkins on him.
The Eagles wisely run a play-action pass, trying to get the Giants to bite hard on what obviously looks like a running formation. But Jenkins is a savvy vet and he doesn't get fooled.
Treggs gets some help from Ertz, who is running a deep out. Jenkins hesitates in case he needs to tackle Ertz after a pass goes his way. In the meantime, Treggs turns on the burners and is about to speed past a slowed Jenkins and safety Nat Berhe.
Treggs has no problem getting past both defensive backs. Wentz has a strong arm but actually underthrows his speedy widoeut. Treggs has to come back for the ball. If Wentz hits him in stride, this is a 70-yard touchdown.
This next play comes with two minutes left in the first half. Off the two-minute warning, the Eagles come out in the pistol formation with Darren Sproles in the backfield. Nelson Agholor is the receiver to the right, while Treggs is wide left and Jordan Matthews is next to him in the slot.
Treggs — no surprise here — runs a simple go. But because of how he burned the coverage earlier in the quarter, the safety on that side of the field has to respect him. In the meantime, Sproles comes out of the backfield, which draws Matthews' man away from him.
Both of those things create a huge pocket of space for Matthews to catch the ball and he does. The Eagles picked up 16 yards and a first down on the play, which helped them set up the field goal attempt that was blocked.
This last play we’ll show you was a huge one in the game. This was the 4th-and-9 in the fourth quarter, when Wentz hits Matthews for a 25-yard gain.
The Eagles come out with four-wide and three to the near side. Treggs is closest to the sideline, followed by Agholor, then Matthews. Agholor runs a hitch short off the sticks, Matthews runs a deep out and — again, no surprise — Treggs runs a go.
Now, you can see the play developing. Agholor’s hitch has drawn the attention of the corner on Treggs. But because of Treggs’ speed and the ability he already showed to make a big play down the field, the safety has to respect him and pick him up.
Again, Matthews is the benefactor of Treggs’ threat. As the slot guy, Matthews should love having Treggs around. Ertz will eventually find the benefit, too.
Sure, Treggs played just 15 snaps on Sunday, but he offered the Eagles something they haven’t really had this year. He opened up the field.