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September 28, 2016

Ranking the Eagles’ ten touchdowns through three weeks

Through three games, the Eagles are second in the NFL with a scoring average of 30.7 points per game. That includes ten touchdowns, which I’m going to arbitrarily rank in reverse order in terms of their excitement level. Even if you don’t agree with the rankings, relive all of the tuddies below:

10. Wendell Smallwood, 1-yard run vs. PIT

Smallwood looks like he has the chance to be a good one, to score some highlight reel touchdowns. This is not one of them.

9. Ryan Mathews, 1-yard run vs. CHI

I didn’t totally understand why Doug Pederson went for it on fourth down here, but the play call (specifically, the fake jet sweep) worked out well enough.

8. Trey Burton, 2-yard reception vs. CHI

Who runs screen passes from the goal line? Pederson, it seems. On this play, the Eagles were using backup tackle Matt Tobin as a tight end. He threw a key block to spring Burton.

7. Jordan Matthews, 12-yard reception vs. PIT

This was an nice concept by Pederson— While we’re at it, Fran Duffy’s All-22 posts are essential reading — to have Brent Celek create room for Jordan Matthews in the middle of the field. And after Carson Wentz makes an accurate throw, hey, there’s that handshake:

6. Ryan Mathews, 1-yard run vs. CLE

Mathews is not a small man. He weighs around 220 pounds, but Jason Peters catches him in midair and casually sets him upright like a parent would with their three-year-old child. Winding down an incredible career in Philadelphia, J.P. is still one strong dude:

5. Kenjon Barner, 8-yard run vs. PIT

Barner makes a sharp cut to get the Eagles six points, and then he celebrates in the end zone with the “Robin Hood” (which  I just made up), earning a 15-yard penalty. “No Fun League” just feels like something Mike and Mike like to say, but it really is an accurate description. Why exactly are we discouraging this?

4. Ryan Mathews, 3-yard run vs. CHI

Three-yard runs aren’t usually considered highlight plays, but Mathews’ second effort here is excellent. He gets pushed back three yards, somehow keeps his balance, and then finds daylight on the outside to score.

3. Jordan Matthews, 19-yard reception vs. CLE

Wentz’s first career drive finished in style as he dropped a perfect pass right over Matthews’ shoulder. And we got our first taste of the touchdown celebration:

2. Nelson Agholor, 35-yard reception vs. CLE

Wentz hasn’t come close to turning the ball over yet, which is remarkable considering he’s willing to go right after the likes of Joe Haden. When you think back at how well the first three weeks have gone for the rookie quarterback, it still somehow doesn’t seem real.

1. Darren Sproles, 73-yard reception vs. PIT

This is the best play of the Eagles’ season, and we might still be saying that in January. You have, in order:

•    A+ pocket awareness by Wentz to move up and to his right when Allen Barbre gets beat on the stunt.

•    Some more A+ awareness from Wentz (who kept his eyes down the field) to run parallel to the line of scrimmage and force Ryan Shazier to make a split decision.

•    Darren Sproles, originally a checkdown option on the play, adjusting his route on the fly, forcing Shazier into a tough spot.

•    After an easy pitch and catch, Sproles turned defensive back Sean Davis into the human embodiment of the Mr. Krabs meme.

•    A strong celebration by Sproles:


That was one of the most exciting plays we have ever seen at The Linc. If Wentz goes on to have a long career, that could be the play we look back at as the start of something truly special.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann