LANDOVER, Md. – The Nelson Agholor Redemption Tour took a big step forward on Sunday in the 30-17 win over Washington as the third-year wide receiver caught six passes for 86 yards on eight targets, and scored on a spectacular 58-yard touchdown catch and run from quarterback Carson Wentz.
And you know what? Agholor had "fun" in the season opener. How refreshing after a very difficult second NFL season for the Eagles' 2015 first-round draft pick.
"We won the game and everyone contributed and that was the fun part of it," Agholor said. "It was amazing. I look around at the guys I'm in the huddle with and I owe it to them to play hard and have fun. We owe it to each other to focus every day and give it up for your brother."
On the touchdown play that capped the Eagles' first offensive possession, Wentz made a remarkable series of moves to keep the play alive in the pocket and then escaped to his left side, adjusted his feet quickly, and threw downfield for an open Agholor at the 20-yard line. Agholor leaped to make the catch and then shrugged off safety D.J. Swearinger and trotted – very happily – into the end zone.
"I've learned to keep my eyes on the quarterback, because he's great at keeping plays alive," Agholor said. "In the scramble drill, you just kind of find your lane. He made the throw and I was able to finish.
"I enjoyed the moment. I felt great about it and it was an opportunity to have some fun and make a play to help this team win. That's what it was all about to me."
Agholor had a rough season after a high ankle sprain marred his rookie year of 2015. After catching just 23 passes as a rookie, Agholor upped the number to 36 last season, but it wasn't enough. The Eagles added big-time talent in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency and then traded Jordan Matthews in the preseason. Agholor, who played outside receiver his first two seasons, moved into the slot when Mathews was traded, playing that position for the first time since his college days at USC.
He will move around the formation, as he did on Sunday, but Agholor gives the Eagles quickness inside in the slot.
On Sunday, he started his season the right way. He made tough catches in traffic. He gained yards after the catch. He inspired trust and confidence from Wentz and the coaching staff.
"It's one game and I'm happy we won," Agholor said. "I've just got to stay focused and have a great week of practice and do it again next week. It's about consistency in this league and that's what I am working toward, being more consistent."
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins, 30-17, at FedEx Field in their season opener. Check out photos from the victory.