After a solid start this past season, the 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles were a highly-discussed topic. The play of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had many fans in the City of Brotherly Love excited. The second overall pick in the ’16 draft threw five touchdown passes without an interception during the team’s strong start. Doug Pederson’s club did not commit a turnover in their victories over the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers. But then things started to get a little rough. And one of the Birds’ biggest weaknesses was exposed.

A look back at 2016

The Philadelphia Eagles’ leading pass-catchers in 2016 in terms of receptions were (in order) tight end Zach Ertz (78), wideout Jordan Matthews (73) and running back Darren Sproles (52). They were the only three players on the club to catch at least 50 passes. The Eagles finished 24th in the league in passing offense and one factor was the lack of production from their wide receivers.

Matthews got little or no help from youngster such as Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor. That duo teamed up for 72 catches (36 apiece) and each scored a pair of touchdowns. Enter blazer Torrey Smith, recently released by the San Francisco 49ers, and former Bears’ wideout Alshon Jeffery. Suddenly the Philadelphia passing attack had a different feel to it, and that was good news for Pederson and his team.

Here’s to the future

A few years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles had interest in Smith but he wound up signing with the Niners. He’s an ideal addition to this offense. He remains one of the better big-play wideouts in the game and can stretch the field for the Birds. Meanwhile, Jeffery is another potent performer who has had problems staying healthy recently. The talented performer also missed not being paired with Brandon Marshall these past two seasons.

Smith’s arrival opens things up for the entire passing game, and both he and Jeffery will prove to be solid tutors for Green-Beckham and Agholor. Things are suddenly looking up for this unit. Keep in mind that this was an offense that managed just 16 scores through the air this past year and 11 came in the final 13 games. It’s safe to say that Wentz must be smiling at the moment.

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