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Eagles To Bench Nelson Agholor For Monday Night Football?

Nelson Agholor of the Philadelphia Eagles | Article by @GregSKennedy RWM VIA FLICKR


Should the Eagles bench Nelson Agholor?

PHILADELPHIA– Should the Eagles bench struggling WR Nelson Agholor? This is the question that is being heavily considered by rookie Head Coach Doug Pederson. My gut reaction to the question? Yes, Absolutely. But, then I began to really breakdown the idea of the upcoming weeks match up and began second guessing myself.

As a die-hard Eagles fan, I am far and away from the idea that Nelson Agholor will live up to expectation and production that is associated with players drafted in the first round. He has become a completely lost player at this point; however, there is a reason that other players on the team’s payroll were not given a shot before week 8 of the season. Agholor is simply the better athlete.

At this point, I know I have lost some readers, but I have to make my case anyway.

A few weeks ago, fans saw Bryce Treggs turn on the burners and really give the Eagles an opportunity to stretch the field. Many thought this was the teams saving grace, yet the following game, Treggs did not see a single target in his direction. Most fans were thrown off by this, but my initial thought was there had to be something more to it. Why would a player that had given the team an element that they had been lacking, just simply not be utilized as early as one week later?

Well sure enough, a glimpse of a very likely reason happened this past weekend in Seattle. Treggs took off down the field on a deep route over the middle accompanied by superstar corner-back Richard Sherman. With great coverage and help from his safety,  Sherman made an easy interception on a pass that seemed to forced by rookie, Carson Wentz. Now, the issue that I had on this play was not the forced pass; it was the lack of effort at the end of the route from Treggs.

Sherman was in press coverage at the line of scrimmage and was step for step with Treggs right from the snap. Wentz placed the ball a little long over the right shoulder of Treggs, who did not make an adjustment or move in the direction of where the ball was headed. He simply slowed down. It was not until he brought his head back downfield that he saw Sherman in pursuit of the ball and was left only to make a tackle. If you are running down the field, one on one with a defensive back, you absolutely have to make sure they do not have a play on the ball. If they have a shot at catching it, you need to switch immediately to a defensive mindset. That never happened and a turnover was the result.

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While I am sure this cannot be the only reason Treggs has seen minimal playing time, there has to be more to why Treggs has been active since November 6th. And why he has only recorded 2 catches on 6 targets. Especially considering all the mistakes and mental gaffes that are being made on the field by Agholor and company each week.

The next guy being talking about, I am actually pretty excited to see him get some playing time. That player is WR Paul Turner. Again, there has to be a reason that Turner has, until yesterday, been just a practice squad player. He had a great preseason showcasing his ability to aggressively make catches in tight coverage and run decent routes. Since then, there has not been much said about him leading up to the release of Josh Huff. For a team that has been plagued by drops for another season, it easy to assume that the coaches had not yet seen enough from Turner or Treggs to make a move, until they were absolutely forced to do so.

This wraps back around to my initial statement; Nelson is the better athlete. That is the only thing that makes sense, right?

After thinking about it a little more, Agholor is in dire need of a confidence booster, along with Carson Wentz, who has struggled to get into rhythm since returning from the bye week early this season. The Eagles are scheduled for Prime-Time at home, versus a dysfunctional Green Bay Packers this coming Monday.

The Packers are traveling for the third straight week, carrying a four game losing streak with them. That, paired with the fact that they have only won a single road game heading into week 12. Green Bay‘s pass defense is collectively one the worst squads in the league and  leaves room to argue this match-up could be very good for Philadelphia‘s struggling Wide Out group. When looking further into the Monday night showdown, there were some numbers that jumped off the page to me about Green Bay‘s defense:

  • Receiving Yards Allowed/Play:        13.3         (32nd in NFL)
  • Opponent Complete Percentage:     65.0%     (20nd in NFL)
  • Opponent Pass Yards/Game :          281.6      (28th in NFL)
  • Opponent Rec TDs Allowed:             22            (32nd in NFL)

Green Bay has over and over again displayed complete inability to consistently cover wide receivers corps in the in the NFL. With that being said, does it make sense to give Agholor one last shot here? Does Coach Pederson really believe that he is seeing enough in practice that this is very tough choice to make? Or is the sad truth that the man that Matt Miller once said had “the best hands in his draft class” is nothing but a really good college player that can’t hack it in the NFL?

Only time will tell, but as of right now, I am in the minority. Nelson Agholor should start this week against, what should be, a very easy Green Bay defensive unit to pass on. Even if he is bench during the game, Agholor needs every opportunity available before the door is shut on the former first round draft pick.