The Philadelphia Eagles have some playmakers worth paying attention to. That's a big change from 2016, when the receivers finished 31st in receiving yards, quarterback Carson Wentz was on the rookie roller coaster and the running backs were wildly inconsistent. Offseason spending coupled with growth from several of the homegrown players has the Eagles offense looking up entering the second quarter of the season.
Doing his best "BeastMode" impersonation, Blount rumbled and stiff-armed his way for a 68-yard fourth-quarter run against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, part of a 16-attempt, 136-yard performance that clearly energized his teammates -- particularly the offensive line. Per ESPN Stats & Information, Blount had 109 rush yards after contact, which is the fifth-most by a player in a game over the last five seasons. He's rolling downhill now following a slow start with 203 yards on 28 carries (7.25 avg.) over the last two games. Coach Doug Pederson appears to have re-commited to the run. So long as that continues, Blount should remain productive despite sharing carries with Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement.
Jeffery's numbers through four games (17 catches, 215 yards, 2 TDs) aren't stellar, but there are some positive signs. He found the end zone for the second time in three weeks against Los Angeles, and seems to be developing more of a rhythm with Wentz. The other plus is Jeffery has managed to stay healthy to this point. The chemistry should only get better from here, and as teams begin to key more on the run, plenty of opportunity should present itself over the remainder of the season.
WR Torrey Smith
Smith is in a bit of a funk, which he acknowledged after Sunday's game.
In the middle of the worst stretch of my career...I'll bounce back...proud of the team— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) October 1, 2017
Smith had a bad drop against the Chargers Sunday and has had a slow start to the season overall with 10 catches for 134 yards and no touchdowns over the first four games. He's still having an impact, though, by stretching the field and opening up space underneath for the other skill position players. Pederson says he plans on sticking by Smith. A boom or bust style of play, it wouldn't be surprising if he had a big day before long.
QB Carson Wentz
Wentz is middle of the road in touchdown passes (6) and quarterback rating (90.5). He ranks 26th in completion rate (60.5) and ninth in passing yards (1,058). Stats don't tell the whole story. Wentz has been playing winning football. He's running the offense well, extending plays and generally making smart decisions. The second-year QB won't always light it up through the air, but some big performances could be in store with opposing defenses now forced to respect the run. Wentz went 7-of-12 for 135 yards off play-action Sunday. That’s the second-most pass yards for Wentz off play-action in his career.
TE Zach Ertz
Ertz is on fire. He led the team with five catches for 81 yards Sunday, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards (326). He leads all tight ends in receptions (26), yards and targets (36). His connection with Wentz got off to a slow start but began to click in as the 2016 season went along. It shows in the numbers: Ertz has 95 receptions for more than 1,000 yards and 5 TDs over his last 16 games. The one area of production that could use a boost is in the touchdown department. Ertz has one so far on the season. To fully make his way into the upper echelon, he'll have to find the end zone more.
RB Wendell Smallwood
While Blount stole the show in L.A., Smallwood had 79 all-purpose yards and found the end zone following Blount's 68-yard run. The veteran back was hoping to finish off the drive himself but said he was happy that Smallwood got the TD. "He got in the locker room and he was like, 'I appreciate the touchdown,'" said Blount. "I was like, 'Hey, man, share the wealth.'" Smallwood has seen a bump in reps and production over the last two weeks following season-ending injuries to Darren Sproles. He'll be asked to take many of the reps that once belonged to Sproles, and could very well end up as the team's leading rusher a good amount over the final 12 games of the season.
Agholor shook loose for a 36-yard reception down the right sideline against the Chargers, demonstrating the speed and ability that got the coaching staff excited this summer. His numbers are respectable (173 yards, 2 TDs), the mistakes have been few and far between and he's making the most of his opportunities (12 receptions on 18 targets) for the most part. This is the best version of Agholor that we've seen, though he does seem to drop off the radar for long stretches and is still far from a volume receiver.