Eagles

Nelson Agholor on nightmare vs. Seahawks: 'I got to get out of my own head'

Nelson Agholor on nightmare vs. Seahawks: 'I got to get out of my own head'

SEATTLE — It’s gotten this bad for Nelson Agholor.

He stood at his locker Sunday after the worst game of his career — which is really saying something — and basically psychoanalyzed himself for 10 minutes in front of a sea of TV cameras and microphones.

It was not easy to watch.

Agholor achieved the triple crown of wide receiver ineptitude in the Eagles’ 26-15 loss to the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field (see Instant Replay).

He committed a penalty that negated a touchdown. He dropped a pass that would have gone for at least 40 yards and maybe a touchdown. And he finished with zero catches for zero yards (see 10 observations).

Agholor was already struggling terribly.

And now this.

This was a nightmare.

“I got to get out of my own head,” Agholor said at his locker. “Pressing so much and worried about so many things. I got to go out there and (just) try to catch the ball ... because I’m thinking too much and got so worried.

“And it’s such a selfish thing that I need to stop. I need to give my energy to my teammates and this organization and not myself. I’m feeling so much pressure to make every single (play). Just have fun.”

Agholor, a first-round pick last year, has just 50 catches for 547 yards and two touchdowns to show for his first 23 NFL games.

No full-time starting wide receiver in the NFL has fewer yards than Agholor over the last two seasons.

But this was bad even for him.

With six minutes left in the second quarter on a 2nd-and-6, Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz appeared to hook up on a 57-yard touchdown play. The PAT would have given the Eagles a 14-13 lead.

But Agholor was called for lining up improperly — not covering the line of scrimmage.

Head coach Doug Pederson was yelling for Agholor to step up, but he never heard him and never moved.

“I should have checked with the ref,” Agholor said. “It’s usually the first thing I do when I line up. But I was just focused on what the coverage was, and I just didn’t do it. 

“That was disappointing because that was a big play and a mental error like that you can’t have. And I know better than that.”

On the first play of the next drive, after a Seahawks field goal made it 16-9, Wentz spotted Agholor crossing from right to left, as open as he’ll ever get.

Wentz put the ball right where he wanted, but it bounced off Agholor’s hands to the ground.

And that was pretty much it for Agholor and for the Eagles.

Agholor was asked how he got to this point.

“I did it to myself,” he said. “I started getting in my own head and trying so hard to think about being perfect, and when miscues were there, I let it just eat at me.

“I need to continue to work better at letting things go and just playing hard and practicing hard and letting the way I practice translate into Sundays.”

Agholor caught a 35-yard touchdown pass against the Browns on opening day but doesn’t have a touchdown since.

Which means Russell Wilson has more TD catches than Agholor over the past nine weeks (see standout plays)

Agholor has three career receptions over 21 yards. He has never had more than 65 yards in a game. 

The last five games, he’s averaged just 16.6 yards per game. The last two games, he has seven receiving yards.

Agholor was asked if he realizes how upset Eagles fans are with him.

“I apologize for that,” he said. “It’s just something that’s tough. They love this team and I love this team and they want this team to win games and because I’m a part of this team, I have a responsibility to them.

“Right now, I need to find a way to let go of my mental block and focus just on the moments that I have.”

Agholor was asked if he needs a change of scenery and he didn’t hesitate to say no.

“Football is a tough game for tough people,” he said. “No matter who I play for or where I’m at, I need to focus on understanding that it’s tough.

“I’m meant for this. My parents raised me for this. My other coaches I had before this, Coach (Doug) Pederson, Coach (Greg) Lewis prepared me for this moment. And I need to embrace that and take advantage of that.”

Agholor said he’s confident he’ll get through this.

“When you get through the storms, things clear up, and I really believe it’s going to clear up,” he said. “I just have to continue to fight. One thing I can’t do is give up.”

Nick Foles delivers powerful speech after winning Best Championship Performance award at ESPYS

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Nick Foles delivers powerful speech after winning Best Championship Performance award at ESPYS

A year ago at this time, Nick Foles was preparing for a season on the bench as he just tried to stick around the NFL after falling back in love with the game.

He has a little higher profile now.

While Foles is preparing to possibly head back to the bench in favor of Carson Wentz, he is now the reigning Super Bowl MVP and added another trophy to his case on Wednesday night, when he was given the Best Championship Performance award at the ESPYS.

During his acceptance speech, Foles thanked a bunch of folks, used the word “y’all” more than enough times to remind everyone he’s from Texas and spoke candidly about the incredibly unique path his career has taken.

Here is Foles accepting the award from comedian (and Jim Schwartz’s former college teammate … seriously) Jim Gaffigan.

No, an ESPY is no Super Bowl MVP, but it’s a pretty nice honor and Foles is certainly deserving after leading the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl. Just a reminder, Foles completed 65 percent of his passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl LII.

Here’s his full speech from Wednesday night at the ESPYS:

I’m honored to be in front of all y’all. I never planned a speech. I quite frankly never expected to win this award or to even be in this moment. I just want to thank the good Lord for giving me the ability to play the game I love. You know, thank my wife Tori, she’s gone through her own battles the last five years. You’ve always been an inspiration. A lot of my family is here, so thank y’all for always supporting me.

It’s been a crazy career. If any of y’all know my career path, it doesn’t make sense. But you know, I’m here right now. My teammates, coaches, you know what, we faced so much adversity this year, we have an amazing team. It’s so much fun to go to work in that locker room every single day. I couldn’t have done it without y’all. We see what happened. We won the first Super Bowl in Philadelphia history, so we’ve got a special group of guys.

And then to the Philadelphia fans. Y’all get a (bad) rap everywhere, but the passion, y’all bring it every single day. So thank y’all. And finally, there’s a lot of kids watching this and it’s kind of been the theme. There are going to be people who doubt you. Don’t listen to them. What matters is what’s in here (taps on chest) and the people who love you and support you. Go out there every day and be bold. Thank you.

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Roob's 10 observations: Brian Dawkins' Hall of Fame, Nate Gerry & Zach Ertz vs. Jason Witten

Roob's 10 observations: Brian Dawkins' Hall of Fame, Nate Gerry & Zach Ertz vs. Jason Witten

Carson Wentz's remarkable consistency, expectations of Nate Gerry, questions at wideout, a Zach Ertz stat you absolutely won't believe and the rarity of Eagles Hall of Fame teammates.

Roob's 10 random Eagles observations don't get much more random than this!

1. Can we take a moment to talk about how insanely consistent Wentz was before he got hurt? Wentz’s lowest passer rating last year was an 83.0 in the loss to the Chiefs. He threw for 333 yards with two TDs and one INT and that was his worst game of the year. Wentz is one of just four quarterbacks in NFL history to open a season with a rating of 83 or higher in every game through the first 13 games of a season. Which of course is when his season ended. Including the last week of 2016, Wentz goes into 2018 on a streak of 14 straight games with a rating of 83 or higher. That’s seventh longest in NFL history, and the longest active streak. Wentz’s 21 career games with a passer rating of 83 or higher are tied for third most in NFL history by any QB after two seasons, behind only Dan Marino (23) and Russell Wilson (23). And he missed the last three games of the season. What a talent.

2. I’m curious to see Gerry this summer. With Mychal Kendricks off to the Browns and Paul Worrilow out for the season, there are roster spots to be won and playing time to be earned behind Nigel Bradham (out for the opener) and injury-plagued Jordan Hicks. After starting his rookie season on the practice squad, Gerry got an October promotion onto the 53 and got into 10 games and all three playoff games, almost all of it on special teams. He looked bigger and stronger in spring practices as he continues to transition from safety to linebacker. With a good summer, he can definitely find himself in the mix.

3. Ertz had nine third-down catches for first down in the 2017 playoffs. Jason Witten had eight playoff third-down catches for first down in his 15-year career.

4. And Ertz’s nine third-down catches in last year's postseason are the most by any tight end in a single postseason — and second most by any player — in the last 30 years.

5. The Eagles converted 61 percent of their third downs during the 2017 postseason, which is insane. That’s the fourth highest in NFL history by any team in a single postseason (among teams playing at least two playoff games). The Broncos converted 75 percent in 1997, the Rams 63 percent in 2004 and the Colts 62 percent in 1995.  

6. You thought Vaughn Hebron was fast? His daughter, Sanaa, won the AAU national title for the 400-meter dash this weekend in 55.31. That would have placed her fourth in the Big East championships this year. She’s 13 years old. Vaughn’s sons, competing in the 17-18 age group, are no slouches, either. Savion ran 10.78 and 21.68 for the 100 and 200, and Savaughn ran a 2:00 split on the Trenton Track club’s 3,200-meter relay team. So Vaughn right now is at best the fourth-fastest person in his own family. But he does have a couple Super Bowl rings.

7. So many questions at wide receiver behind Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Will Mike Wallace slow down at 32? Can Mack Hollins make a big jump in Year 2? Will Shelton Gibson show enough in camp to work his way into the roster mix? Can Markus Wheaton regain the form that made him so dangerous with the Steelers in 2014 and 2015? Can speedy Bryce Treggs make any sort of impact in his third year? Potentially, an exceptional group.

8. Nick Foles is the third-youngest active quarterback in the NFL with at least three career playoff wins. Foles turns exactly 29 years, six months on Thursday. Cam Newton (29, 68 days) and Andrew Luck (who turns 29 in September) also have three postseason wins.

9. Interesting that during 2004 and part of 2005 the Eagles had two future Hall of Famers, Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens. What was the last Eagles team before 2004 with two Hall of Famers? It was actually 1997, when Dawkins and Richard Dent were briefly teammates. Before that, it was 1987 through 1989, with Reggie White and Cris Carter. Before that, you have to go back to 1968, with Bob Brown and Mike Ditka. So the 14 games that Dawkins and Dent played together during an otherwise forgotten 1997 season are the only Eagles games in the last 50 years where two future Hall of Famers played alongside each other on the same side of the ball.

10. Dawkins didn’t make a Pro Bowl until his fourth season and didn’t make All-Pro until his sixth. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding that “so-and-so can't play” two weeks into his rookie training camp.

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