Eagles

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Alshon Jeffery doesn't give a bleep about stats

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Alshon Jeffery doesn't give a bleep about stats

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Alshon Jeffery had a strong performance Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium and looked like the guy the Eagles expected to get when they paid him this offseason. 

He just didn't give a bleep. The Eagles lost. 

"They won the game," Jeffery said in the locker room. "None of that s--- matters." 

The bleep that didn't matter to Jeffery was his stat line, which read seven catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, his first as an Eagle. When he scored his 16-yard touchdown, it gave the Eagles a 10-6 lead in the third quarter. It was their only lead of the afternoon. 

Initially, Jeffery was ruled down at the 1-yard line on his touchdown, but the replay clearly showed he went down on his own and wasn't touched before he reached across the goal line with the football. 

Even before the refs announced that the call was overturned, Jeffery watched the replay on the big screen at Arrowhead and began to jump in celebration. He knew it. 

"It was a touchdown," he said. 

On Sunday, Jeffery looked more like what Eagles fans probably expect from him this season. His strong performance against the Chiefs comes a week after a disappointing debut in which he caught just three passes for 38 yards. 

"Honestly, I've always felt really good chemistry with [Jeffery]," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "Obviously today, I think he was almost 100 yards or something like that. Felt good with him, felt good with the other receivers. And we're just going to keep working on that."

Much of the conversation during the summer and the preseason was about Wentz and Jeffery needing to get on the same page. They looked like they were Sunday. 

But the Eagles still lost 27-20, so Jeffery didn't care about that bleep. 

"Like I said, we didn't win the game," Jeffery mumbled. "None of that s--- matters to me." 

Kickin' it
Just before the end of the first half, the Eagles had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 6-6 and then get the ball back for the start of the second half. 

Zach Ertz caught a 53-yard pass down the sideline after Chiefs defensive back Terrance Mitchell should have had an easy interception but popped the ball into the air and into the hands of Ertz at the perfect time. Ertz was tackled at the Kansas City 11-yard line with just two seconds left when the Eagles called their third and final timeout. 

Then Andy Reid iced the kicker. And it worked. 

Jake Elliott missed a 30-yard field goal. A 30-yarder!

"I don't think so," Elliott said when asked if the timeout took him off his rhythm. "It just made me sit out there a little longer. It shouldn't affect anything. It's just not a good kick."

While Elliott missed that chip shot, he did make a 34-yarder before it and a 40-yarder after. 

Elliott was signed last week after Caleb Sturgis was placed on IR with a hip injury. Before signing Elliott off the Bengals' practice squad, the Eagles worked out a trio of kickers. If Elliott misses another 30-yarder, the Eagles might want to bring one of them in. 

Odds and ends 
• Vinny Curry missed a huge opportunity in the fourth quarter. He had Alex Smith in his paws but somehow let the QB slip away and scramble for a five-yard gain on 3rd-and-4. Had Curry sacked him, the Chiefs would have been at the very edge of their field goal range. 

"I had him," Curry said. "He just broke loose. If we play again, he won't break loose." 

• Before the start of this season, Ertz had just one 90-plus-yard game before December in his career. He has two already in 2017. He has a total of 190 receiving yards through the first two weeks of this season. It's the first time an Eagle has done that since DeSean Jackson in 2013 and just the 17th time in team history. Ertz is third in the NFL in receiving yards, behind only Antonio Brown and Adam Thielen.

• Wendell Smallwood is having a slow start to his second year in the NFL. Through two games, he has nine total touches for just 10 yards. 

• You've probably already heard this one, but Wentz leads the Eagles in rushing through two games with 61 yards. That's obviously not very good for the Eagles. But Wentz is just the fourth Eagles QB to have 60 rushing yards through the first two games of a season. The other three are Mike Vick, Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham. 

• Speaking of Wentz, here's what Chiefs pass rusher Dee Ford said about him: "He's a great quarterback. We call him a smaller Big Ben. He is going to make his mark as a quarterback." 

• Trey Burton made a great play on the onside kick to recover and give the Eagles a little bit of hope at the end. But with just five seconds left, they elected to heave up a Hail Mary.   

Reid said with five seconds left, his defense was covering the deep ball but also covered the sidelines. He didn't want the Eagles to throw a quick strike to get closer. 

In the end zone, Jeffery was in the area of where the ball went before it landed on the ground. He thought he had a shot at it. 

"Yeah, I believe so," he said. "But unfortunately, plays like that … I don't know the percentage of it, but it's very rare."

Eagles injury update: Jason Peters had knee scoped, but ready to return to practice

Eagles injury update: Jason Peters had knee scoped, but ready to return to practice

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed on Wednesday morning that left tackle Jason Peters had arthroscopic surgery — a knee scope — during his three-week absence, but Peters will return to practice today. 

Peters, 37, missed the last three starts before the bye week with a knee injury. During that time, rookie Andre Dillard has filled in. 

“He’ll practice today and we’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week,” Pederson said. “He had that done to take care of that.” 

Whenever Peters is ready to return to game action, which could be this weekend against the Patriots, he will take back his starting gig. In six starts this season, Peters has played the entire game just twice. 

Here were a few other injury notes from Pederson on Wednesday: 

• Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is “day to day,” according to Pederson. Before the bye week, Jeffery left the game against the Bears early. He was not practicing on Wednesday. 

“It (the bye week) helped him,” Pederson said. “He’s still sore. A lot of guys are still sore. But it helped him and we’ll see. He’s kind of day to day.”

• Wednesday was the first time we’ve talked to Pederson since DeSean Jackson had core muscle surgery and went on IR. Pederson said the initial decision to avoid surgery was Jackson’s, as was the decision to have it at this time.  

Since the first question on Wednesday was about Jackson, Pederson’s took his time with a complete statement: 

In DeSean’s case, listen, there has been a lot of discussion with DeSean from the moment he came out of the Falcons came to the decision to play in the Bears game to surgery. And we talk a lot with the player, we talk a lot with our medical staff. We even talk to external sources, third-party people who have expertise in this area. I’m not the doctor, nor did I look at MRIs or X-rays or any of that. And DeSean, listen, DeSean busted his tail electively to try to get it fixed himself, to get it rehabbed and come back. He busted his tail, he was cleared to play, he felt good. And for me, as the coach, I listen to the player, I listed to what his body is telling him.

Everything was a go. And then he felt something in the game, pulled him out as I said after the game for precautionary reasons, we had it checked again and then we went down the road of surgery. Which, again, communication with him, the player again, it’s elective by the player. We support this decision, we support DeSean. He wants to be out there with his teammates. It’s unfortunate that this happened, but it did. Injuries are a part of this game and reoccurrence of injuries are a part of this game. With that being said, that’s where we’re at.

• Nigel Bradham (ankle) is improving but isn’t quite ready to practice, according to Pederson. He’ll likely be running on a side field. 

“He is feeling better,” Pederson said. “Optimistic that there’s a chance for this game. 

It is worth noting, though, that recently when Pederson expresses optimism but the player doesn’t practice, that player doesn’t play. We’ll have to see if Bradham practices at all this week. If he doesn’t, it’s more likely he’ll be back after this week. 

• Cre’Von LeBlanc (foot) is still on Injured Reserve and isn’t ready to practice yet. Pederson said LeBlanc is “still working.” 

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10 reasons to be optimistic about the Eagles

10 reasons to be optimistic about the Eagles

There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the Eagles right now, and some of it is understandable considering how disappointing the wide receivers have been, how badly the Eagles were blown out by the Vikings and Cowboys and how high expectations were coming into the season.

Still, despite it all, the Eagles are 5-4, tied for first in the NFC East, winners of four of their last six games, and they have a 62 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Sometimes we all have to be reminded that maybe things aren’t quite as bad as they seem.

There’s two ways to do that: 1) Stay off Twitter for a while, and 2) Read this list of 10 reasons for Eagles fans to be optimistic going into the final seven games of the season.

1. DOUG: He has his quirks, but the bottom line is Doug Pederson is 38-24 as an NFL head coach, and that .613 winning percentage is 4th-highest among the 32 active NFL head coaches. The Eagles have the 8th-best record in the NFL since Pederson took over as head coach in 2016. Bottom line is the Eagles are in good hands. Pederson knows how to get the most out of his players, and he knows how to win.

2. CARSON: It’s mindblowing that there are still fans out there blabbering about Nick Foles. Dude’s a folk hero around here but it’s time to move on. It’s impossible to argue with the job Wentz has done this year with minimal contributions from his wide receivers. How do you have 15 TDs and 4 INTs without any wide receivers consistently contributing? Over the last three years, Wentz has started 33 games and had two bad ones – Saints last year, Falcons this year. In his 31 other games, he’s got 68 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s 21-12 since opening day 2017, the 7th-best winning percentage among NFL. As long as he’s the Eagles’ quarterback, they have a chance to win every game.

3. THE LINC: The Eagles have the second-best home record in the NFL since 2016 at 23-7 for a .767 winning percentage. Of those 30 games, there’s only been one the Eagles lost by more than a touchdown – that was a 14-point loss to the Packers in 2016, and even that was a four-point game in the fourth quarter. The Eagles are in every game at the Linc, where they play four of their next six games.

4. FLETCHER: One of the most encouraging developments of the past couple weeks has been Fletcher Cox really returning to form. Cox is finally healthy after that foot injury he suffered in the playoff loss to the Saints, and having their one-man wrecking crew back at full strength is going to be huge down the stretch.

5. THE CORNERBACKS: Not that long ago the Eagles were running Craig James, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and Orlando Scandrick out there. Now Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox are all back, and Cre’Von LeBlanc will be back soon.  That’s a monumental upgrade.

6. JORDAN MATTHEWS: He became their best wide receiver when he walked through the front door of the NovaCare Complex. Hey, I don’t know how much Matthews will help, but he’s a solid pro, he’s got great chemistry with Wentz, and he knows the offense. He instantly makes this a better wide receiving crew.

7. THE RUNNING GAME: Over the past seven weeks, the Eagles are averaging 140 rushing yards per game, 6th-best in the league. The Miles Sanders-Jordan Howard tandem behind this massive o-line has proven to be formidable. It’s not the offense the Eagles planned on, but their running game has developed into one of the league’s best.

8. PASS PRESSURE: After recording an NFL-low three sacks the first four games of the season, the Eagles have 22 in their last five games, second-most in the NFL. Brandon Graham has come to life, Derek Barnett is showing flashes and Cox has been his old dominating self. The Eagles are 20-7 under Pederson when they get three or more sacks. They’re 18-17 when they don’t.

9. THE COWBOYS: The Eagles’ only competition in the division is a team that lost to the Jets. That’s not only embarrassing, it’s huge for tiebreaker purposes. The Eagles have wins over the Packers and Jets, and the Cowboys lost to both. If the Eagles and Cowboys split the season series and both finish with 4-2 division records, the team with a better record in common opponents wins the division. If the Eagles take care of business, that will be them.

10. THE SCHEDULE: Which leads us to the schedule. Even if the Eagles lose to the Patriots and Seahawks, as long as they beat the Cowboys at home they’ll reach 10-6 by beating the 2-8 Giants twice and the 1-8 Redskins and 2-7 Dolphins. In that case, the only way the Eagles lose the division is if the Cowboys go 6-1 in all their other games. That is not going to happen.

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