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Redskins vs Eagles Week 4 Player Spotlight: Jordan Matthews

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If the Redskins are going to beat the Eagles on Sunday, their defense is going to have to contain Jordan Matthews.

Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Matthews

Wide Receiver

Age: 23

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 212 lbs.

College: Vanderbilt

NFL Draft: 2014 - Round: 2 - Pick: 42

Form

Matthews, unlike much of the 2015 Eagles, has been pretty good so far this season.  However, he seems to have a bit of a case of the dropsies so far this year... to the extent that he was second in the league in drops after the first two weeks.  He dropped three over the first two games, one at the end of their week one game against the Falcons which turned into a game-clinching INT, and two in week two against the Cowboys.  Matthews, however, did a good job not dropping a single pass against the Jets this past Sunday.  It's not just a problem that Matthews is struggling with, though.  The Eagles as a team had six drops over the first two weeks which put them at #2 as a team for the most drops through the first two weeks of the year.

Of course, a WR's job becomes increasingly difficult when a team has a poorly performing OL (check), a non-existent running game (check), and terrible, inconsistent QB play (check).  Basically, the Eagles entire offense is coming into this week's match-up in poor form.  It's been a debacle.

Still, aside from the drops, Matthews numbers have been pretty good.  He's tied for 10th in the league in receptions with 22 and 22nd in yards with 231.  Last week in a win against the Jets, Matthews caught six of his eight targets for 49 yards.  His receiving yardage has decreased each game this season.  Still, he's probably been the Eagles best player so far this year and is clearly their top receiving option.

Skills

Matthews was a stand-out as a rookie last year.  He amassed 67 catches for 872 yards and eight TDs.  After spending a majority of his time last year in the slot, Matthews is being moved around so far this year.  He's got a very big body for a WR and uses it very well to create separation.  That's what allowed him to excel from the slot last year where you typically see smaller, quicker WRs.  He's also very quick in and out of his cuts.  He's very polished, mature, and hard-working... especially for a 23-year-old man.

Something else that isn't talked about a low with Jordan Matthews is just how tough and strong he is.  This guy had 21 reps on the bench at last year's combine.  That was tied for second most out of all the WRs at the combine last year.  He's the SEC's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards after having an absolutely stellar collegiate career.  He's a very long, big target which can really be beneficial in the red-zone.  Solid route runner with good leaping ability.  And while he doesn't have the best short-area quickness or explosion, his top speed is solid.

Potential Against the Redskins

I can probably keep this section short and sweet.  Just go back and look at Odell Beckham, Jr. and Reuben Randle in last week's game.  That's Jordan Matthews' potential against the Redskins this week.  He's the best receiver on the team and I expect he'll have plenty of passes thrown his way against the 'Skins.  Judging from how our secondary played OBJ last week, I don't think Culliver will shadow Matthews in this one.  He'll likely get time against Cully, Breeland, and whoever lines up as our slot CB (probably Will Blackmon).  I like Culliver's chances against Matthews and think he can contain him.  Chris has been one of the better CBs in the league this year and is generally shutting opponents down.  If they're not going to shadow him though, I think we'll need to keep Goldson nearby to help backup Breeland and/or Blackmon when they're tasked with staying with Matthews.  Of course, all of this would be made way easier if our front seven can apply some pressure in the pass rush and get home a few times against this banged-up, underwhelming Eagle OL.  Sam Bradford hasn't played very well this year and all QBs play even worse when they're getting hit.  Matthews' potential against the Redskins is directly linked to how Sam Bradford plays, so objective #1 has to be to apply pressure on Bradford and help out our secondary.

Interesting Facts

Jordan Matthews is related to Jerry Rice.  His mother is Rice's cousin.  That also means he's the second cousin of former Redskin WR Jerry Rice, Jr.  Also, the Eagles traded up 12 spots in last year's draft to draft Matthews.  Matthews is in the Eagles rookie record books for man reasons.  Last year he had the second-most receptions ever by an Eagles rookie (behind only Keith Jackson), second-most receiving yards ever for an Eagles rookie (behind only DeSean Jackson), and tied for second-most receiving TDs behind only Calvin Williams.  He was also the Eagles #2 WR in every major receiving category last year behind Jeremy Maclin.

Jordan didn't begin playing football until a bunch of kids at school started making fun of him for being a soccer player.  He used to be a pretty good soccer player, even got asked to join a few travel teams, but after being made fun of by some of his best friends, he decided to switch to football.  I guess that switch worked out pretty well for him.  Who says peer pressure is a bad thing?

  • If Matthews could be a superhero: Spider-Man
  • Three items Matthews would want on a deserted island: boat, the Bible, and Kanye West's Graduation album
  • Wishes he could play piano
  • Nicknamed J-Matt
  • First jersey he ever owned: Jerry Rice, SF 49ers
  • If he could play another sport: SF, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Favorite athletes growing up: Jerry Rice and Ray Allen
  • Favorite TV show: NFL Top 100
  • Favorite movie: Remember the Titans

You can check out Jordan Matthews on Twitter at @jmattjmattjmatt.