FOXBORO, Mass. - The numbers don't do Arrelious Benn justice. One catch for 6 yards does not tell the tale of the impact Benn made in Friday night's 42-35 loss to New England, nor does it indicate just how significant his performance was as he tries to make the Eagles' 53-man roster.
Benn blocked a punt in the second quarter and then recovered it at the New England 31-yard line, and four plays later the Eagles turned that big special teams play into a touchdown. Then, with 47 seconds remaining in the first half, Benn alertly caught a pass from Mark Sanchez that deflected off of a diving Ifeanyi Momah into the air to give the Eagles a 21-21 tie at the half.
With a wide receiver corps currently battling some injuries and a roster spot potentially to be won, Benn made his touches count at Gillette Stadium.
But he insisted after the game that he wasn't thinking that way at all. A player who missed all of last season with a knee injury, Benn just wants to get back to full health to show that he is still a solid NFL player.
"Each game, I'm just building my confidence out there and just getting back to myself and going out there and playing football," said Benn, whom the Eagles acquired from Tampa Bay in a trade during the 2013 offseason.
The Eagles aggressive went after Ryan Allen's punt and Benn extended his body to get his hand on the ball. It was Benn's first-ever punt block and, in fact, he hasn't had any real experience at the job. But he had good leverage and made a huge play.
"We called a great play on them. We had been physical all week and so we kind of knew what to expect from them," said Benn. "We were physical against them and made a play, an explosive play."
On the touchdown catch, Benn stayed with the play as Momah dived for the Sanchez pass. The ball popped out of Momah's hands into the air and Benn made the catch.
Now the question is: How much did the game help Benn's roster chances? The Eagles have Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Brad Smith and Josh Huff possibly penciled in to roster spots. Who is the sixth receiver?
It could very well be Benn.
"I'm not thinking of any of that," he said. "I can't control any of that. I am just going out there, being a great teammate and having fun playing football. None of that stuff, the roster, where I'm at, I don't care about any of that."