Philadelphia Eagles' Week 16 Stock Report
For the third time in five games, the Philadelphia Eagles scored no more than 17 points and allowed 40 or more. Yet despite another brutal loss, this time at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles' stock as a team may still be on the rise.
As long as the Eagles take care of business these last two weeks, they can make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. All they need to do is defeat NFC East rivals Washington and the New York Giants, and the Eagles are crowned division champions.
While the team's fortunes may be trending up, there are way too many individuals on this roster whose stocks are falling. That's our focus in this week's stock report, because if the Eagles are going to have any shot at making the playoffs, much less winning a game once they're in, they'll need to play much better than they did on Sunday.
Stock Down: Byron Maxwell
Byron Maxwell hasn't been as bad as his reputation might suggest. Then again, he hasn't been particularly great, either, and despite an injury knocking him out of the game early, Sunday's loss to the Cardinals only added to his blooper reel.
The most embarrassing moment for Maxwell came in the first series when tight end Darren Fells carried the cornerback for a good 15 yards before Maxwell finally brought him to the ground. Maxwell was also giving Cardinals receivers some absurd cushions, allowing for some uncontested catches. According to Pro Football Focus, it was the second game in a row he gave up at least 90 yards through the air.
Maxwell was injured in the game and is questionable to play in Saturday's pivotal Week 16 showdown with Washington. Based on the way he played in the last two games, some might say that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Stock Down: Nelson Agholor
Yes, Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson was covering Nelson Agholor for most of the game. Yes, quarterback Sam Bradford was probably looking other places. Any way you slice it, though, Agholor laid another egg against the Cardinals.
Bradford targeted Agholor just once against the Cardinals, and the rookie failed to record a catch. It was the second game in three weeks the first-round draft pick went without a reception, and the fourth time in the last five an opponent held him to 15 yards or less.
While the bar was undeniably set too high for the rookie wide receiver entering this season, Agholor's year has been worse than most people could've imagined. With just 19 receptions for 225 yards and one touchdown, he's essentially been a non-factor in the Eagles offense most weeks. It appears that's not changing—at least not in 2015.
Stock Down: Kiko Alonso
Speaking of players who were invisible on Sunday, Kiko Alonso continued his tour of making little to no impact for the Eagles on Sunday, finishing with just one tackle. This is not the same player who finished third in the NFL in tackles as a rookie linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in 2013.
The issue with Alonso doesn't appear to be injury-related, at least in the physical sense. He appears to be running just fine despite suffering a torn ACL last year and a strain earlier this season.
What's lacking is Alonso's awareness and instinct, particularly in run defense. He's not flying to the ball, letting the running back come to him and generally just a step behind most every play. Some of that is undoubtedly due to the time he missed earlier in the season and during training camp with various dings. After all, he's still a young player in a new system. Whatever the case may be, Alonso has been a big disappointment.
Stock Down: Bennie Logan
Earlier this season, there was talk of Bennie Logan warranting some Pro Bowl consideration for his thankless work stopping the run. Unfortunately for the interior lineman, a knee injury has hampered him recently, and his play has been slipping as a result.
Logan would routinely rack up three, four, upward of five tackles per game earlier in the season, usually with at least one run stuff in the backfield. Over the last three games, however, he has just six tackles total and zero stuffs.
After the Arizona game, Logan walked into the tunnel with a noticeable limp. There is no way he isn't limited on the field right now, and it's beginning to show. There's a chance he'll even miss Saturday's game against Washington, which would be a huge blow to an Eagles defense already struggling to stop the run.
Stock Down: DeMarco Murray
It's not as if DeMarco Murray is playing any worse than he was at any other point in the season. Now he's hardly playing at all. The reigning NFL rushing champion managed just two carries in the loss to Arizona, and he hasn't been the Eagles' lead back for the past three games.
At this point, you almost have to feel for Murray, who's done nothing but handle the demotion with grace. But the fact of the matter is he's not performing. While some people want to blame head coach Chip Kelly's offense, it's Murray who looks slow, is hesitant to hit holes and cut the ball upfield, who goes down on first contact almost every time. The explosion isn't there.
Maybe with a reduced workload and another offseason, Murray will improve next season. Right now, he looks like a running back who rushed the ball nearly 400 times last season, which happens to be the truth.