A good first impression is the best way to endear yourself to an Eagles fan. And with a bevy of Eagles starters sitting out Sunday’s 36-10 preseason win against the Colts, rookie wide receiver Nelson Agholormade the most memorable play for Chip Kelly’s new-look Eagles.
The first-round pick scored a touchdown on a 34-yard scamper to the end zone after leaping and fully extending his arms to snatch an overthrown ball along the sideline.
“I am very grateful [Mark Sanchez]thought enough of me on that play to throw it to me,” the receiver said.
The score helped pick up the Eagles passing game, an attack that had seenSanchez go just 1-for-6 prior to the impressive Agholor catch on the high pass.
“The onething with Nelson is when he gets the ball in his hands he’s explosive,” Kelly said. “What we saw today is one of the reasons we drafted him.”
But Agholor’s youth did eventually show as the USC product got two hands on a Matt Barkley second-quarter pass and was unable to haul it in for a needed first down.
“I definitely would love to have two third down situations back,” Agholor said.
But mistakes at this time of year are expected, and Agholor is glad he can get things worked out now, before the games actually count.
“At the end of the day I like the fact it happened today,” he said.”I will look back at what messed up my timing.”
The wideout would tally five catches for 57 yards, showing he can be a big threat in open space as he used his legs to turn short gains into more palatable pickups pretty frequently. Second-year wideout and Agholor’s mentor on the squad, Jordan Matthews, had two catches for 44 yards in very limited time on the field himself.
Perhaps just as visible as the Eagles who suited up Sunday and made an impact — and in some instances a case for a roster spot — were the players who did not play a single down.
As announced by Chip Kelly last week, Sam Bradford sat out the game, but so did all three of the Eagles’ inside linebackers: Kiko Alonso (recovering from a concussion), DeMeco Ryans (returning from ACL surgery) and Mychal Kendricks. DeMarco Murray did not suit up to play but was listed as active and Zach Ertz also was inactive (groin).
The Eagles defense did a good job filling in for several missing pieces holding the Colts to 153 yards of offense in the first half, (when the top two units played). They also forced a pair of fumbles (with a third coming from the third team in the fourth quarter). In the second half, Ed Reynolds made a ferocious argument for a spot on the secondary with two interceptions.
Aside from Agholor’s circus catch, the other biggest offensive highlightcame as the second quarter wound to a close, with No. 4 running back hopeful Kenjon Barner taking a punt 92-yards for a score.