According to Delaware0nline.com's Martin Frank, Nelson Agholor
handled every question thrown his way Tuesday, reaching out to a group of reporters in explaining why it might have appeared like he didn't reach out to catch the deep ball that eluded him Sunday in the Eagles' 37-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Agholor had plenty of reasons, none of them having to do with a perceived lack of effort, something offensive coordinator Mike Groh went out of his way to emphasize.
"I thought he gave tremendous effort, played with great speed down the field," Groh said. "I do want to say this: In terms of Nelson's effort in our games, and the things he does for the team, I don't think his effort should ever be questioned.
"He has poured his heart and soul over the last five years, done everything he has ever been asked to do. Because we didn't connect on that one, I don't think is a reflection of what he's done for our team."
The play in question took place early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles were already losing 30-10 when Carson Wentz
fired deep down the field for Agholor, who had gotten behind the Cowboys defender. The ball landed just beyond Agholor, who didn't reach out to catch it.
Agholor said he spent so much time faking out the cornerback and the safety that he didn't track the ball until it was too late. Groh agreed with that assessment.
"I thought he located the ball, maybe a little later in the down than we would have liked, then made it difficult because he located it late, he wasn't able to catch up to it," he said. "Had he located it sooner, maybe it would have taken a little different course
and would have been there."
In the two days following the game, Agholor's effort was questioned repeatedly. Some of that could have been implied from Wentz himself, who said, "When I threw it, I thought it was a touchdown."
Wentz continued that he didn't see the result of the play because he was under a heavy pass rush and was on the ground after he threw the ball. Then he added: "I could have made a better throw, obviously."
That was unusual coming from Wentz, who typically takes the blame for a play like that, whether it's warranted or not.
Agholor was asked Tuesday if the criticism in general from fans and media was unfair.
"Man, I’m a professional," he said. "I know I work hard. At the end of the day, no one feels sorry for me. And they don’t need to. I’m in this position because I’m a tough player and a tough person. I’m just going to keep on fighting."
For now, the Eagles don't have much choice but to keep trying. Agholor is by no means the only problem on offense. And it might not get better soon.
DeSean Jackson has yet to practice this week
and seems unlikely to play again this week.
In the last four games, Agholor has just 7 catches for 96 yards and Hollins has just 1 catch for 13 yards. Alshon Jeffery
has the most receptions in that time, 21, but for only 204 yards, an average of 9.7 yards per catch.
Beyond that, Zach Ertz
has scored one touchdown and has yet to clear 72 yards in a single game this season.
After setting the all-time tight end reception record last season (116), Ertz is on pace for 80 catches this season.
As ESPN's Mike Clay notes, Ertz has posted career-low marks in both catch rate (59 percent) and yards per target (6.8), but on the plus side, he leads all tight ends in snaps (392) and targets (59).
Ertz is a candidate for some touchdown regression to the mean, but he's less the dominant fantasy tight end he was in 2018 and more of a solid TE1 option.
Meanwhile, Dallas Goedert
has back-to-back games with at least four catches and is a really talented (he could have easily been a 2018 first-round pick). One reason Ertz isn't seeing nearly the target share he did last season, is that Goedert has become an important part of Philly's passing game.
By the way, the Bills' 6.0 TE fantasy points allowed per game is second fewest, behind only the Patriots' 4.9. Buffalo held Evan Engram
to 10.8 PPR fantasy points in Week 2 and Delanie Walker
to 2.0 in Week 5.