Jony Ive, the famous Apple product designer, often describes his creations as being essential or obvious, because every decision that goes into their completion seems to make just so much damn sense and you wonder how the world ever existed without them. That’s how I feel about this blog post. I could try to get cute and write a lengthy Bird Droppings about all the things that went wrong, almost as expected, against a team that is doing its annual transformation into a Super Bowl contender. Or, I can just write about how Nelson Agholor unequivocally, unabashedly, unscruptisoiadufsdisaoly, sucks and is ruining football.
Yeah, let’s do that.
There were two key plays that just stopped the Eagles’ momentum dead in its tracks and essentially nuked (Donald, no!) any chance they had of pulling off an upset.
First up, six minutes to go in the first half, the Eagles trailing 13-7, Zach Ertz does his annual transition from a boy into a man, and the Eagles score on a long, well-designed, well-blocked screen pass. If it stands, they’ll potentially take a lead into the half and get the ball back at the start of the third quarter. BUT NOPE. Nelson Agholor lined up behind the line of scrimmage, illegally, much to the chagrin of wide receivers coach Greg Lewis (who, ah, DO SOMETHING!):
Kyle – did you notice Greg Lewis on that Agholor penalty on the Ertz TD? he knew ! pic.twitter.com/xFjNcNr7IC
— TheAmishTerp (@TheAmishTerp) November 20, 2016
It’s bad enough that Agholor screws up his own plays. It’s bad enough that even his catches usually come with a rub– penalty, bobble, vomiting all over the field, etc. But now he’s proactively negating his teammates’ successes.
A few plays later, Agholor ruined what was a beautiful read by Carson Wentz, who looked off multiple receivers and hit a wide open Agholor, who was being covered by Richard Sherman:
Gross. Fucking gross.
This shit has to stop. I’m not sure what may be in Agholor’s rookie contract that prevents the Eagles from cutting him, nor do I care, but he needs to stop playing. He needs to not dress. He’s actively hurting the team. He cost the Eagles one touchdown and at least another three points in the span of about three minutes yesterday. Those are backbreakers on the road against a team like the Seahawks when you’re facing a steep up-hill climb to being with. If he just… does his job, the Eagles likely have at least 10 more points on the board and the entire complexion of the game is different. The Eagles lost 26-15.
In college sports, the difference between good and great, bad and terrible is often obvious to the viewer. The discrepancies in talent are so great that even the untrained eye can usually spot the better team or player. I’d argue it’s one of the things that often makes college sports more exciting than pro sports– because they lend themselves to mismatches, big plays and even chaos. Rarely in pro sports are deficiencies so glaring. The margin between winning and losing, the best and the worst, is razor thin. Sure, you can tell obvious superstars, and other degrees of talent, but rarely does one player – or in this case one unit – stand out as being so atrociously awful that they don’t even belong on the same field as the competition. That’s the case with Nelson Agholor and the band of misfits Carson Wentz has to throw to.
After the game, Doug Pederson was again wishy washy and defended Agholor:
On whether it’s all Agholor’s fault:
“It’s a little bit of him, a little bit of the quarterback, a little bit of me. I’ve got to make sure that everybody understands situational football, and formations, and the types of things we do. We just have to coach that better.”
On what’s going on with Agholor:
“I’m going to keep encouraging the kid. He works hard every single day now. I’m going to keep talking, keep loving on him, encouraging him. By no means am I going to be down on him. This loss today, this was on me. I’ve got to make sure I’m doing everything I can to get these guys ready to play.”
The silver lining in this is that the last guy Doug Pederson loved was Josh Huff, and he’s currently sitting in a court room in New Jersey.
“I got to get out of my own head,” Agholor said at his locker. “Pressing so much and worried about so many things. I got to go out there and (just) try to catch the ball … because I’m thinking too much and got so worried.
“And it’s such a selfish thing that I need to stop. I need to give my energy to my teammates and this organization and not myself. I’m feeling so much pressure to make every single (play). Just have fun.”
Go have fun somewhere else, you’re ruining ours.