Patriots: Philadelphia Receiver Salty About Drop-Kick Play


The Patriots’ odd second-quarter drop kick ruffled some feathers with the Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off one of the most out-of-nowhere upsets so far this season against the Patriots on Sunday, so you’d think they’d all be kicking back and enjoying the win with a Yeungling or whatever people drink there, but at least one Eagle is still salty about…a play that worked out in Philly’s favor.

No, really.  Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews made sure to complain about Nate Ebner’s drop-kick play to CSN Philadelphia after the game:

“I don’t think anything surprises you with the Patriots, I mean, they ran like a triple reverse pass to Tom Brady, so nothing can really surprise you. But in a sense it is kind of like, man, you know, that’s disrespectful. They’re trying to go ahead and get the ball back that quickly so they can put points on us. We’ve got men in our locker room, too. …

“When a team’s trying to do that and trying to impose their will on us the way they were trying to, it was important for us to go out and score that next drive. And we were able to go do that.”

Philadelphia recovered the kick at their own 41-yard line, and, of course, went on to score 35 points while holding the Patriots to the 14 points they scored earlier.  And while the Eagles scored a boatload of points, Jordan Matthews was pretty much an afterthought in the passing game, getting targeted six times and catching three passes for 36 yards.  Fortunately for him, one of those catches went for a touchdown.

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Teams whining about other teams running up the score is nothing new, especially when the Patriots are involved.  Back in 2007, after New England played tether-ball with the Washington Indigenous People With An Ethnic Slur For A Name and beat them 52-7.  After that embarrassment, Washington defensive end Phillip Daniels was not stoked about the Patriots, well, scoring lots of points.

From the Boston Globe:

“They could run the ball. That’s what most teams do when they get ahead like that in the fourth quarter,” said Daniels. “They run the ball to knock the time off the clock. It’s better to kick the field goal. I would be satisfied more if you kicked the field goal rather than throw the ball or go for it on fourth down. You’ve already got a giant lead and you still want to go for it on fourth down, to me, that’s running up the score, no matter how you look at it.”

So salty players after the Patriots drop a ton of points on them happens all the time.  What makes Jordan Matthews’ claim of disrespect so silly, aside from the fact that the Eagles won the game, is that Eagles coach Chip Kelly has literally structured his offense to run as many plays as possible in a game – and thus give his team more chances to hit pay dirt in the end zone.

Here’s Chip Kelly explaining his philosophy all the way back in 1999:

“We want to run 80 plays offensively. If we don’t get to 80 plays, we’ve failed.”

And here’s, writing about how Chip Kelly’s Eagles were ripping off plays so fast last year that the only thing holding them back, speed-wise, was the referees:

“Against the Dallas Cowboys the Eagles ran a play on average three times per minute in the first half while building a 14-point lead. In the first two drives against Dallas, the Eagles called a play at a hyper-quick rate of one every 19.1 seconds.”

“Looking ahead to Sunday’s showdown with the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, the stated mission of running the offense at an even higher tempo is so obvious this week that it might as well be emblazoned above the locker room, weight room and trainer’s room doors.”

“It’s no secret that the Eagles use tempo as a weapon unlike any other team in the league, but at no other point was it so obviously illustrated than against the Cowboys whose defensive players just seemed to get more and more worn down by the speed of the game as the afternoon wore on.”

“The one obstacle that appears to be standing between Kelly and the Eagles in accomplishing their goal this week isn’t conditioning. It isn’t a lack of communication. It is the referees.”

“Especially in the early stages of Thursday’s blowout victory over Dallas, it seemed as though the Eagles could have easily ran a play even quicker than their historic rate had it not been for the officials holding the ball for what appeared to be even a fraction of a second longer than usual.”

That being said, every team in the league lives and dies by the old joke “How many touchdowns is enough? More”.  Just a few years ago, in 2011, the New Orleans Saints barbecued the Indianapolis Colts 62-7.

A year after that, the Seattle Seahawks embarrassed their division rival, the Arizona Cardinals, 58-0.  And if you’re reading this blog, surely you remember New England’s 59-0 snow game against the Titans, if you can call that a game.

Next: James White Becoming Valuable Weapon for Patriots

It’s not like Jordan Matthews is a dumb guy – all four years of his college football career were played at Vanderbilt, so he’s clearly intelligent.  It is, however, pretty sorry when a guy whose team just pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year is whining about a trick play that his own team recovered because the other team was trying to add to a lead early in a game.

Then again, maybe he’s just cranky that Chip Kelly got rid of Taco Tuesday.