Nick Foles is with the Jaguars now, and that might be bad news for Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery wasn’t nearly as effective last year when Carson Wentz was at quarterback.
Jeffery is probably Philadelphia’s No. 1 receiver. He’s bigger than Nelson Agholor and DeSean Jackson, and I think it’s fair to say he’s also better. But Jeffery didn’t have a great rapport with Wentz last year.
They played 10 games together, and Jeffery caught 49 passes for 542 yards and 5 TDs in those games, averaging 11.1 yards per catch. Plenty of catches (49 in 10 games projects to 78 over a 16-game season) but not enough big plays downfield. Not enough “chunk” plays, as Marty Schottenheimer used to call them.
When Foles came in, there was more potential to hit on the big plays downfield. Wentz likes to hang onto the ball, waiting for plays to develop. Foles tends to stay on script, with the ball coming out on time. And maybe he was more comfortable throwing high balls to Jeffery even when he was covered. Whatever the reasons, Jeffery has averaged 83 yards in his last eight games with Foles, and at 17.1 yards per catch – 6 more than Wentz.
With Wentz at quarterback, Jeffery averaged 7.3 yards per pass play last year (that’s including incompletions). He averaged 12.5 in the games Foles started.
I’m not saying we all need to kick Jeffery to the curb. Both he (shoulder) and Wentz (knee) missed all of the offseason last year, which no doubt was a factor. And despite their troubles, this combo has put up 13 TDs and 3 two-point conversions in the 23 games they’ve played together, which is just fine. (Jeffery has averaged 55 yards in those games, which is fine but not outstanding.)
But to me, Jeffery doesn’t look like a knock-out No. 1 receiver. He won’t be among my top-20 wide receivers. They’ve got plenty of other pass catchers there, and I imagine there will be plenty of weeks that Jackson or Agholor finishes with better numbers.
|ALSHON JEFFERY WITH THE EAGLES|
|Wentz||2017||at Was.||W 30-17||7||3||38||12.7||0+1|
|Wentz||2017||at K.C.||L 20-27||13||7||92||13.1||1|
|Wentz||2017||at LAC||W 26-24||6||3||29||9.7||1|
|Wentz||2017||at Car.||W 28-23||10||4||71||17.8||0|
|Wentz||2017||at Dall.||W 37-9||7||4||67||16.8||1+1|
|Wentz||2017||at Sea.||L 10-24||6||4||61||15.3||0|
|Wentz||2017||at LAR||W 43-35||11||5||52||10.4||1|
|Foles||2017||at NYG||W 34-29||10||4||49||12.3||1|
|Foles||2017||v. N.E.||W 41-33||8||3||73||24.3||1|
|Wentz||2018||at Ten.||L 23-26||9||8||105||13.1||1|
|Wentz||2018||at NYG||W 34-13||12||8||74||9.3||2|
|Wentz||2018||at Jac.||W 24-18||5||4||35||8.8||0|
|Wentz||2018||at N.O.||L 7-48||5||4||33||8.3||0|
|Wentz||2018||at Dall.||L 23-29||9||6||50||8.3||1|
|Foles||2018||at LAR||W 30-23||8||8||160||20.0||0|
|Foles||2018||at Was.||W 24-0||5||5||59||11.8||1|
|Foles||2018||at Chi.||W 16-15||9||6||82||13.7||0|
|Foles||2018||at N.O.||L 14-20||8||5||63||12.6||0|