Philadelphia Eagles: Nelson Agholor just can’t be a number one receiver

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After the ugliest 100-yard game imaginable in Week 2, Nelson Agholor proved once and for all that he can’t be the Philadelphia Eagles’ top receiver.

With the pressure significantly ramped up after an injury scourged Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Philadelphia Eagles handed Nelson Agholor the keys to the car and an opportunity play the role of Carson Wentz‘s top receiver.

He soiled it.

Now granted, Agholor squandering opportunities to play hero when the Eagles need him most is nothing new, as frequent Section 215 readers will remember that he put up arguably the strangest 100-yard performance in NFL history against the Falcons (more on that here) but this week was different.

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With (hopefully) his best opportunity of the season to be the focal point of the Bird’s passing game, Agholor was targeted early and often on the afternoon, and as per usual, the results were incredibly mixed.

If one were to look solely at the stats sheet, the numbers aren’t bad – eight catches on 12 targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns  – but even the most casual fan with the most cursory knowledge of the game of football could see a handful of plays that were truly maddening.

I mean, one blown snap of kick return coverage could very well have cost ‘special teams ace’ Rudy Ford his job going into Week 4 – the NFL can be cruel.

So fantasy football stats aside, and frankly, that double spin move touchdown should be lauded beyond measure, Week 3 proved once and for all that Nelson Agholor can’t be counted on as a number one receiver, even if it’s just for a week or two due to injury.

Much like point guards in the NBA, there is no hard and fast rule for what a top receiver in the NFL looks like. Some receivers, like Julio Jones and Keenan Allen win with size, others, like Tyreek Hill and DeSean Jackson win with speed, and still others, like Week 3’s high man on the night Marvin Jones Jr. win with precision, elusiveness, and shiftiness with the ball in their hands – Agholor falls into that category, but alas, he is no star.

However, unlike Agholor, Jones took his six catches for 109 yards, as opposed to 50 on two more catches. Granted, six catches on nine attempts is the very same catch percentage as catching eight on 12, but Jones averaged almost ten more yards on each of his catches.

While Agholor had one more touchdown than Jones, as Pro Football Focus so often declares, red zone touchdowns are not an accurate depiction of consistent success.

With 12 targets on the afternoon, as many as Zach Ertz, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Darren Sproles, and Jordan Howard combined, Agholor could have used his elite elusiveness to weave through the Detroit LionsDarius Slay-less secondary and pick up chunk plays to keep the game moving, but instead, he looked like a glorified possession receiver more focused on hauling in the pass than making any moves once it arrived.

Granted, actually catching the ball should be lauded at this point, as JJAW and Mack Hollins accounted for more drops in one game than Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson have in 2019 combined, but they are young backups getting their first taste of on-field NFL experience: What’s Agholor’s excuse?

Look, I get it; numbers matter, stats matter – especially in a contract year – but do you know what matters even more? Wins.

Next. If you can’t rush the pass, you can’t win games. dark

Over his first 67 games in the NFL, Nelson Agholor has seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows both on the field and personally, but through it all, consistency has, well, consistently eluded the USC product. And in Week 3, with a depleted roster across the board, the Philadelphia Eagles needed their fifth-year ‘veteran’ receiver to step up, carry an expanded role, and make a statement – but the only real statement we were left with was that Howie Roseman should have re-signed Jordan Matthews when he had the chance.