As Philadelphia fans open their eyes to a March clipper storm, they are bypassing the white and focusing on all green. After suffering through an abysmal year where their offense consisted of constant drops and miscues, bringing in the top free agent wide receiver to push this team to the next level gives them hope. Granted, hope is always predicated on percentages, but these are odds no one was prepared to receive.
Alshon Jeffery’s career has been full of trending storylines and front page news stories. He has battled through numerous soft tissue injuries, a PED suspension, and an offensive system that has seen more highs and lows than this year’s weather scale. However, when he was on the field he easily played the role of a top 10 receiver and at times squeaked his way into the top five.
He is freakishly strong and instantly becomes the sure set of hands Carson Wentz was left searching for throughout the 2016 season. Just imagine how many targets he would have received last year in Dougie P’s 40+ pass attempt game plan. Now the question is: can he produce for a full 16 game schedule as a true No. 1? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
2013 – 16 games…. 89 receptions, 1421 yards, 7 TD’s
2014 – 16 games…. 85 receptions, 1133 yards, 10 TD’s
After looking at 174 receptions for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns in a two-year span, one would be crazy not to speculate on his eventual stardom. However, after only playing in an average of 10 games per year in 2015 and 2016, football people began to question his ability to stay healthy long enough to produce at a high level. This became increasingly evident when he accepted a one-year, $14 million “prove it” deal from Philadelphia. Obviously, there is the looming PED issue that led to his short-term fortune, but there were also questions about his ability to be the main guy in a high powered offense.
Fans, Twitter GMs and highly credible sports reporters continue to press the hot Brandon Marshall impact button when discussing Jeffery’s past production. I have to admit, I, too, thought about it at length, but after looking inside the stats started to feel a little more comfortable in his overall assessment. Here’s the breakdown below.
Jeffery – 2014 – 16 games…. 85 receptions, 1133 yards, 10 TD’s
Marshall – 2014 – 13 games….61 receptions, 721 yards, 8 TD’s
For those who say Jeffery caught more balls in 2014 because of constant coverage on Marshall, I would beg to differ. I look at this as the point where Jeffery started to take hold on the number one receiver spot in the Bears’ offense. Marshall played in three less games that year and Jeffery undoubtedly shined. Afterwards, Chicago let Marshall walk thinking they found their new shiny toy that was going to propel them to the next step. Unfortunately, the following two years didn’t go as planned. But now, 2017 gives Jeffery all the reason to rewrite his own chapter. In an offense that will consistently throw the ball, Jeffery instantly becomes a top seven fantasy receiver and has every opportunity to round out the top five. We all remember the first season the Eagles finally got Donovan McNabb the weapon he so openly desired in Terrell Owens. That was a special year and the making of an unforgettable journey. With that being a clear vision in our heads, we can now begin to say, “Get your popcorn ready!” … Take two!
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