Some Eagles fans on social griped that Matthews should have made the catch. Others claimed Wentz's throw was off target.
Matthews, though, said he doesn't read Twitter or worry about outside opinions, so he wasn't interested in lamenting the incompletion. Instead, he said Wednesday he wanted to ensure the Eagles could connect on similar plays in the future.
And during practice, they did just that. Matthews said he lined up in the slot during a live red zone drill, ran the same fade he did in the fourth quarter and, this time, hauled in the touchdown catch from Wentz.
"From the quote-unquote disappointment of it, we've moved on from that, because that's a play we've hit plenty of times," Matthews said. "We hit the same throw earlier that game, it just happened to be in the field, so in the field it's a totally different feel for that throw as opposed to the red zone. But as far as getting better from it, and making sure it's something we can perfect, it's definitely something that we're still staying on."
Moving on from a disastrous game.
Moving on from getting beat by Odell.
Moving on from beating himself up about it.
“It’s over with,” McKelvin said on Wednesday afternoon. “You can’t do nothing about it. It ain’t like you got a time machine that could be able to take you back into time and [you’ll] be able to go over these plays again and correct it.
“That’s the nature of the game. As a defensive back, that’s how games go. Gotta come back this week. Just gotta take it week by week. S---… S---. Before that nothing was happening. Come back, go to work, get back to your roots of how you got here and your technique and everything else and just go back to work.”
Mathews' last rush against Dallas came with 3:41 remaining in the second quarter -- a 1-yard touchdown. That was it. The Eagles went with Wendell Smallwood in the fourth quarter to give Sproles a blow, and the rookie lost a fumble, which helped spark a Cowboys comeback.
This move to put Sproles atop the depth chart seems to be about not only productivity but availability and dependability as well.
This is not the ideal set-up for the Eagles. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich, while affectionately referring to Sproles as a "freak" and a "genetic and physical specimen," acknowledged that they have to be careful not to overuse the 12-year vet.
Pederson has that on his mind as well. "I mean, [80 percent of the snaps], that’s a lot," Pederson said. "We talked about it coming out of the Dallas game, and we’ve just got to make sure we're doing the right thing. We’ve got to make sure with Darren [that we are] keeping him available, especially as the season wears on. Keep him healthy and keep him going."
This season's an investment in Eagles' future - Daily News
His fourth-quarter interception against the Lions? An invaluable lesson he wouldn't have learned on the bench. Same with the two picks he threw on the Eagles' first two possessions Sunday against the Giants. Same with the fourth-and-10 incompletion to Jordan Matthews in the end zone on the Eagles' final possession.
Those learned lessons are going to be much more important in the long run than a win or two now. But that can be a little tough for fans to swallow at the moment, given the league's current state of parity; with the notable exception of the Patriots, there appear to be as many as 15 teams on comparable talent footing.
All four of the Eagles' losses have been by seven or fewer points. They lost one on a late fumble (Lions), blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead in another one (Cowboys) and came up 17 yards short of beating the Giants.
When scouts opine on what's different this year about Ryan, they are drawn toward the technical stuff: How House helped add a little distance on his deep ball and how Ryan's instinct to go for the jugular is meshing in the second year with a coaching staff that, unlike the Falcons' previous one, considers a red zone field goal as a kind of moral failing. But the biggest difference is subtle, noticeable only to those who have studied him. He is liberated. He is unfazed. He is not thinking. He is carrying his team. Atlanta's defense is horrible, and Ryan has led the Falcons to games of 35, 45 and 43 points on the road. But he doesn't seem encumbered by it.
In late October, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came to Atlanta. Rodgers has always been Ryan's measuring stick, as Montana was for Young, and it always ate at Ryan that Rodgers came of age in a 2011 playoff win at Ryan's expense. This time, though, Ryan fit a bomb between two defenders for a touchdown to third-string receiver Taylor Gabriel in the first quarter. And in the fourth, Ryan threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds left. It has taken years, and any theory might be undone by another second-half collapse, but it's no stretch to say that, right now, Ryan has realized that being a truly elite quarterback is not about trying to be the next Montana or the next Rodgers. It's not about deciphering every defense. It's not about folding his hands into origami as the play clock winds down to check into the perfect play. It's about unlocking what's already ingrained in him.