On Monday, the Eagles made it official when they announced that they had brought back WR Jordan Matthews. The 27-year-old Matthews was originally drafted by the Eagles in 2014. Matthews spent the first three years of his career in Philadelphia before he was traded to Buffalo back in 2017. After being released by the Patriots, he returned to the Eagles last September and played in 14 games for the team. This season, Matthews played one game for the 49ers before getting released by San Francisco back in October.
With WR DeSean Jackson out for the year, the Eagles are hoping that Matthews can help fill the void left at the wide receiver position.
“Oh shoot, we can just pull up his highlights,” Eagles OC Mike Groh said about Matthews. “The guy has made a lot of plays for the Eagles over the years. He has excellent football intelligence. He knows our system. He has familiarity there. I think there’s great comfort with him in the huddle. There’s rapport and chemistry with he and [QB] Carson [Wentz], which is important, so certainly nice to get him back.”
For most of his career, Matthews has been a slot receiver, but according to Groh, expect Matthews to be moved around.
“I think we’ll move him around,” Groh said. “I think he showed the capability to do both.”
Obviously, Matthews won’t be the savior for this offense. Matthews is solid at best, and there was a reason he was available, but as Groh said, you get a guy who is familiar with Wentz and the offense, which should help.
Last Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles got a much-needed victory on the road against the Buffalo Bills. Behind the running of Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, a workmanlike effort by Carson Wentz, and the play of the defense. Philadelphia was able to defeat the Bills 31-13. With the victory, the Eagles are now 4-4 at the halfway mark of the season.
Against the Bills, Wentz had to deal with a very good Bills’ defense and the weather. It was a rainy and very windy day in Buffalo, but through it all, the fourth-year quarterback was able to get it done. Wentz finished the game completing 17 of 24 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown. Also, he made some plays with his legs. Wentz rushed for 35 yards, which included two huge runs for first downs on the Eagles’ final scoring drive.
Wentz did his job, and Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh was happy with his performance.
“I think he did a great job handling the elements, number one, certainly bringing his team home a winner,” Groh said on Tuesday. “Seventeen-of-24 [passing], if I’m not mistaken, in very difficult circumstances. You saw a couple of the balls that he threw just the wind just knock it completely off target. So, the wind and not so much the rain, it wasn’t too bad from a precipitation standpoint, but he did a great job managing the game, getting us into the right plays, doing that on the road, and also handling our stuff at the line of scrimmage and getting everything communicated there.
“So, I thought he had great command of the offense both in the huddle and his decision making when to tuck it and run, get himself down, keep himself out of harm’s way, extend drives. Really productive game for him.”
The Eagles kept their season alive with this victory, and last season after eight games, the Eagles were 4-4. Philadelphia managed to go 5-3 the rest of the way to get into the playoffs. How they finish this season might be determined by how well Wentz plays the rest of the way. If Sunday was any indication, it might end well for Philadelphia.
There is a lot of excitement in Philadelphia about the return of WR DeSean Jackson. The 32-year-old Jackson, who was traded to the Eagles this offseason after spending two years with the Buccaneers, is back where it all started, as he played his first six seasons in Philadelphia.
Jackson joins an offense that is expected to do the big things this season, and with Jackson in the fold, the Eagles have a guy that is one best deep threats in football. The three-time Pro Bowler has 24 touchdown receptions of 60 yards or more, which is the most in NFL history. However, according to Eagles OC Mike Groh, Jackson can do more than just catch the deep ball.
“DeSean [Jackson] is a complete player,” Groh said on Monday. “He can do anything that he wants. As a coach, it’s really exciting because you can just say, ‘Hey, can you run this route or can you do it like this,’ and you can just tell him and he can do it. So from a coaching standpoint that makes it really easy, and we’re just trying to move him around and have him do a bunch of different things because he is such a weapon.”
2019 will be Jackson’s 12th year in the league, and you would think at this point of his career that he would have lost some speed. But according to Groh, that is not the case with Jackson.
“I think he’s still one of the fastest guys in the league,” Groh said. “So, he’s still playing at an elite-speed level. He’s one of the fastest guys out there every day on the field and still has absolute confidence in his speed and ability to win.”
Philadelphia has one of the better tight ends in football in Zach Ertz and another emerging talent at the tight end position in Dallas Goedert to go along with what they have at the wide receiver position in Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
Now, you add Jackson to the mix, which should give QB Carson Wentz and this offense all it needs to put up big numbers this season.
Eagles QB Carson Wentz comes into the 2019 NFL season with a lot of security. In the offseason, he signed a four-year, $128 million contract extension with Philadelphia, and with Nick Foles out the picture, the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles are completely his team.
While Wentz, by his own admission, struggled as a leader in 2018. The upcoming season gives Wentz an opportunity to take back the team and put Philadelphia in position to win their second title in three years, and according to Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Wentz is practicing at a high level and leading the football team.
“I always try not to get into comparisons, whether it’s one player versus another guy or year over year, things like that. All I can tell you is this: [QB] Carson [Wentz] is operating really well. I think he’s free of mind, body, and heart right now, and he’s a leader of our team,” Groh said on Wednesday. “He’s playing at a high level for us right now. He’s embracing everything that we’re giving him, and really doing a good job each and every day coming out here, being efficient with the football, spreading the ball around. Everybody is involved, and I think everybody is having fun right now playing offense.”
The pressure is on the 26-year-old Wentz, but with everything out the way, Wentz can play free, which was how he played when he was nearly the MVP in 2017, and with the many weapons the Eagles have on the offensive side of the ball, Wentz has the potential to be sensational. if he can prove that he can stay healthy, Wentz and the Eagles could have a repeat of that 2017 season.