These guys aren’t going to the Pro Bowl … but they might be going to the playoffs.
The Eagles are one win away from clinching the NFC East and if they get into the playoffs, their top three receivers in the wild card round will be Greg Ward Jr., J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Robert Davis.
That might sound like a ton of pressure on the young trio.
But it’s the exact opposite.
“You’re playing with house money,” Arcega-Whiteside said. “That’s how we’re approaching it.
“S—, don’t nobody believe in us. We believe in each other. We ain’t got no other choice. Whatever we do out there, they’re either going to not believe in us or they start to believe in us and we can build off of that.”
It’s not like this trio is setting the world on fire, but the Eagles are winning. While Ward has been stacking some productive games, the production hasn’t really been there as much for Arcega-Whiteside and Davis. But all three contributed in the win over the Cowboys.
• Ward had four catches for 71 yards, including a huge 38-yarder down the sideline on the third quarter touchdown.
• Arcega-Whiteside had just two catches for 39 yards but both came on the tone-setting field goal drive to start the game. One was a 27-yarder on the first play from scrimmage and the other was a 12-yarder on 3rd-and-10.
• And Davis had just one catch but it was a six-yarder to move the sticks on the touchdown drive in the first quarter.
These guys aren’t the trio of Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor that we all thought would be destroying defenses while catching passes from Carson Wentz. But they’re what’s left. And they’ve been a part of a youth movement with the Eagles this season.
The Eagles’ offense has completely changed from earlier in the season based on personnel. And with the younger players in there, the Eagles have benefitted from simplifying things from an offensive perspective, head coach Doug Pederson said.
“These guys, they are busting their tail for Carson,” Pederson said. “And Carson is trusting them and giving them every opportunity to make plays.”
Despite injuries, the older trio is still around. That’s something the younger guys stressed. Alshon and DeSean and Nelly are still in the meeting room, they’re still there to answer questions and to help their teammates prepare during the week.
They’re just not there on Sundays to get in the way of them playing.
“I would say we all learned from them,” Ward said. “Now, we’re just putting it to work right now. I’d say we’re all very mature, we’re all ballplayers, we’re all very professional. We’re just taking what we learned in the film room and learn from those guys and put it out on the field.”
There’s a glimmer of hope that if the Eagles are able to make it to the divisional round of the playoffs, Jackson might be able to join them. But the Eagles have two more games to try to win before they get to that point.
One of them will come on Sunday in North Jersey when they face the Giants. The Eagles are going into a game to decide the division with three pretty inexperienced receivers.
No big deal.
“We played tonight with just us three,” Arcega-Whiteside said after Sunday’s in over the Cowboys. “We played last week with just us three.”
These three have been gaining confidence and have been feeling more comfortable every week they’ve played. If you don’t think they can get it done, that’s actually a good thing. That’s what has them playing free right now.
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