The Stock Watch
Jordan Matthews (WR, Phi) – Matthews’ big night in Chicago – 6 catches for 71 yards on 9 targets – could have been much bigger if he hauled in a near-perfect throw from Carson Wentz at the end of the first half, which would have resulted in a long TD and made Wentz’s impressive game look even better. Drops have been an issue for Matthews throughout his career, but it’s very evident that he has the trust of Wentz as the young QB’s #1 receiver. With 22 targets through the first two games of the season, Matthews is tied for 4th among all WRs. He’s a couple of drops away from being one of the top fantasy scorers too – he’s already 13th in total points, but would be top-5 had he hauled in that long catch. At this point, Wentz has been better than could have reasonably been expected, and Matthews is taking to Philly’s new offense very well – he’s lining up both inside and outside, and is winning. He’s a weekly start until further notice, especially in PPR.
Jay Cutler (QB, Chi) – A bad start to the season for the Bears is about to get worse. Cutler left the Week 2 loss to Philadelphia with a right thumb injury, and every indication now is that it’s an injury that will cost Cutler some time, perhaps significant time. In the event Cutler is out, the starting QB will be Brian Hoyer, and while Hoyer is totally capable of filling in decently, the Bear offense will absolutely take a hit without him. We’ll keep our ears to the ground, but initial reports – the Chicago Sun-Times suggested ligament damage – are not good.
Jeremy Langford (RB, Chi) – Langford had a massive snap share in Week 1 – 96.4%. Apparently he didn’t impress the Bears enough with that share, because he was down to 59.6% in Week 2, and may have played even fewer snaps if Ka’Deem Carey (who actually started the game) didn’t get hurt. He posted 11/28/1 rushing and 1/6 receiving, while losing a fumble. His TD was of the one-yard variety, as Langford managed to simply fall forward at the point of attack. Otherwise, he was mediocre at best and downright negative value to his team at worst (the fumble). The Bear backfield doesn’t have a lot of talent, but we have to wonder if Carey or rookie Jordan Howard will get more snaps going forward. It has not been a good start to the year for Langford.
Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles (RBs, Phi) – It was looking very dicey for Mathews to produce in this game, when the Eagles came out on their opening drive and ran empty sets with no-huddle for nearly the entire series. When doing this, Sproles was the Eagles’ starting RB, and Sproles ended up playing the most snaps in the Eagle backfield for the second straight week. With a 56.9% share, Sproles managed 12/40 rushing and 2/8 receiving. He didn’t really get it done for fantasy, but his usage through two games is a clear sign the Eagles view him as an important part of their offense. Meanwhile, Mathews got just 9 carries for 32 yards and 1 catch for 3 yards, but scored 2 short rushing TDs despite playing just 29.2% of the Eagles’ snaps. This was clearly a game-planned attack for Philadelphia, spreading out the Bears’ defense while avoiding the interior of the defensive line, which gave C Jason Kelce fits. Nonetheless, it’s obvious that Mathews is the Eagles’ best option when they choose to run it between the tackles.
Carson Wentz (QB, Phi) – Wentz’s final stat line against the Bears is merely solid – he went 21/34 for 190 yards with a TD, and for the second straight game he didn’t turn the ball over. But Wentz played better than the stat line. He had two bad drops, one on a potential TD to Jordan Matthews, and another by Nelson Agholor on a bomb that was a little underthrown but still hit Agholor right in the hands. Wentz also rushed 6 times for 10 yards, and needs to do a better job of not opening himself to hits. That being said, he has command of the Eagle offense, with the freedom to make audibles and checks at the line of scrimmage, and at times Wentz resembled Philip Rivers or Peyton Manning with how aggressively he was communicating with his offense at the line of scrimmage. Moreover, coach Doug Pederson came out firing the ball in empty sets and no huddle, showing extreme faith in his young QB. For now, Wentz is merely a QB streamer, and it has to be noted he’s taken on a couple of poor secondaries. But if you’re not impressed by what you’ve seen, you’re just hatin’. Wentz looks the part of a top-2 pick.
Alshon Jeffery (WR, Chi) – Jeffery had 5/96 receiving on 7 targets against the Eagles, including destroying CB Jalen Mills on a 50-yard grab, and also drawing a pass interference penalty in the end zone to set up the Bears’ lone offensive touchdown. However, it looks as if QB Jay Cutler is going to miss some time, perhaps significant time, with a thumb injury. Brian Hoyer is a capable backup, but there’s no doubt Jeffery’s production could take a hit if Cutler is out. Fortunately, he’s the type of receiver who can go get inaccurate throws, and it’s not like he isn’t used to them from Cutler.
Inside the Boxscore
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
- WR Jordan Matthews had 9 targets and 6 receptions for 71 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. His long was 32 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7.9, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
- WR Nelson Agholor had 7 targets and 4 receptions for 42 yards. He also had 3 deep balls. He had 3 red zone targets. His long was 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6, Catch Rate: 57.1%.
- TE Trey Burton had 7 targets and 5 receptions for 49 yards, and 1 TD. He had 2 red zone targets, including 1 goal line target. Yds/Tgt: 7, Catch Rate: 71.4%.
- WR Dorial Green-Beckham had 4 targets and 2 receptions for 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 4.5, Catch Rate: 50%.
- RB Darren Sproles had 2 targets and 2 receptions for 8 yards. Yds/Tgt: 4, Catch Rate: 100%.
- RB Wendell Smallwood had 1 target and 0 reception for 0 yards. Yds/Tgt: 0, Catch Rate: 0%.
- RB Ryan Mathews had 1 target and 1 reception for 3 yards, and 2 TDs. He had 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 3, Catch Rate: 100%.
- TE Brent Celek had 1 target and 0 reception for 0 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. He had 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 0, Catch Rate: 0%.
- WR Josh Huff had 1 target and 1 reception for -1 yards. Yds/Tgt: -1, Catch Rate: 100%.
- WR Alshon Jeffery had 7 targets and 5 receptions for 96 yards. He also had 3 deep balls. He had 2 red zone targets. His long was 49 yards. Yds/Tgt: 13.7, Catch Rate: 71.4%.
- WR Kevin White had 6 targets and 4 receptions for 36 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. He had 2 red zone targets. His long was 19 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
- WR Eddie Royal had 6 targets and 4 receptions for 52 yards. He had 1 red zone target. His long was 31 yards. Yds/Tgt: 8.7, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
- TE Zach Miller had 5 targets and 4 receptions for 33 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6.6, Catch Rate: 80%.
- RB Jeremy Langford had 2 targets and 1 reception for 6 yards, and 1 TD (rushing). Yds/Tgt: 3, Catch Rate: 50%.
- RB Jordan Howard had 2 targets and 2 receptions for 9 yards. Yds/Tgt: 4.5, Catch Rate: 100%.
- RB Ka'Deem Carey had 1 target and 1 reception for 3 yards. He had 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 3, Catch Rate: 100%.
- The Eagles were just 3/15 (20%) on 3rd down attempts.
- The Eagles opened up the game with 6 straight pass plays on their first drive.
- A Brent Celek 19-yard reception was nullified by an offensive holding penalty.
- Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point in the third quarter as it hit off the upright.
- Connor Barth missed a 31-yard FG in the first quarter.