EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Jalen Reagor sat on the Giants’ goal line who slipped past him during the game and loosened his chin strap as the rest of the offensive players started marching towards the sideline in loss.
In the decisive moments of the Eagles’ 13-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, they put the game in Reagor’s hands, and those hands couldn’t hold up.
With just over a minute to go and needing a touchdown to win, Jalen Hurts has targeted the 2020 first-round receiver three times on the pitch. The results: three incomplete and two withdrawals, both of which could have ended in a decisive touchdown.
The first error came on a first and 10 off the Giants’ 38-yard line. Hurts, who had his own difficulties throwing the ball on Sunday, gave Reagor a chance on a starting route. Reagor put both hands on it, but couldn’t secure it, in part due to contact from Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson.
Five games later, the Eagles faced fourth and 10 points against the Giants’ 27 and made up another play for Reagor. DeVonta Smith, the team’s main receiver, begged for his number to be called before play, yelling from the sidelines at coach Nick Sirianni, and it even opened up as he made his way to the strike zone. goals.
Still, Reagor was the target, and Reagor opened up. He managed to pull apart enough for Hurts to throw the ball at him and hit him in the hands as he jumped to the 2-yard line. The ball slipped through Reagor’s hands, hit the grass, and the game was almost over.
After the match, Reagor stepped onto the podium to accept responsibility for the role he played in the terrible defeat. Since the NFL changed its media policies to account for coronavirus concerns last season, reporters have no access to locker rooms and team officials dictate which players speak up after the game. As such, Reagor didn’t have to speak; he had to agree to answer journalists’ questions.
Why did he do it?
“Just to make it our own,” Reagor said. “It’s not about one person or one thing in particular, it’s about taking ownership of what happened in this scenario.”
Reagor did just that. He said he viewed the two potential touchdown targets as drops.
“Just two drops. I would say very unusual, ”he said. “You just have to go through the ups and downs and go to next week and play games.”
Sirianni, who put his arm around the receiver as they left the field together, defended Reagor after the game, highlighting the four turnovers that preceded Reagor’s late-game crashes.
“He’s going to want the one at the end of the game,” Sirianni said. “It never comes down to one game. We turned it over four times, okay?” There are a lot of other things at stake there. … I know why you are going there with the question. He’ll want to get that one back at the end of the match.
That’s right, there was enough gripe to explain why the Eagles offense only generated seven points against a defense that has allowed 24.6 points per game this season. Boston Scott made a critical fumble in the fourth quarter into Giants territory that killed a promising practice and Hurts threw three interceptions, including one in the red zone that cost the team at least three points in a close game.
It’s also fair to point out that Reagor could have made up for those mistakes if he had pulled one of the two slipping passes and gave the Eagles an ugly but memorable victory at the Meadowlands. Many fans and some commentators were quick to report it on social media after the game, which Reagor admitted at his press conference.
“You have to put up with the heat,” Reagor said. “I would say that now it doesn’t mean that much to me. It was for me to appropriate myself. Everything that is going to be said will be said anyway.
It has been a tough game streak for Reagor. The Eagles’ offense has been one of the most effective in the league over the previous four games, but the switch to an intensive approach has led to limited touches for the former TCU star. In the four games leading up to Sunday, Reagor had four catches for 5 yards and three rushing attempts for 13 yards, mostly used as a gadget player.
He led the team on Sunday in targets, registering seven assists and catching just two for 31 yards. One of those catches was a 21-yard acrobatic grab at the end of the second quarter.
Right now he doesn’t have a ton of production, ”Sirianni said. “It’s a bit based on how we play on offense, but we’ll need him as we continue this streak.”
“Is he explosive enough?” Without a doubt, ”added Sirianni. “In his body he’s got an explosive playmaker ability. He’s one of our fastest guys. He’s one of our fastest guys. He’s one of our strongest guys. We want to make sure we can give it some touches. The way we got it to him on some setbacks, laps, jet sweeps, screens. They didn’t work, so we have to find a better way to do it, and it’s my job to do something first.