If you look at the stat sheet from Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, Jeremy Maclin’s day looks pretty good. 8 catches, 93 yards, TD. He even had a great one-handed catch on a badly thrown quick out from Nick Foles. Here’s that catch:
Maclin has a world of talent. 4.4 speed, yada yada yada. But there were three plays in the Cowboys game that really bugged me. The first was a drop on what would have been a tough catch. Maclin jumps and has the ball cradled in both hands against his body, when Cowboys safety Charlie Peprah takes out his leg:
With his legs taken out, Maclin is going to hit the ground hard. I can certainly forgive the drop if the ball came out on impact with the ground. However, as you can see below, it looks like Maclin lets go of the ball in mid-air because he’s worried about the impending collision with the turf:
Again, it’s hard to blame him for dropping the pass on this play, but not before he actually took the hit.
The next play is completely unforgivable. Maclin is running a quick slant, and Nick Foles delivers a bullet that is going to lead Maclin into safety Gerald Sensabaugh:
Watch those hands come down:
During the telecast, Troy Aikman summed up the play accurately:
Jeremy Maclin saw Sensabaugh sitting there at the safety position, and he didn’t want any part of him. He knew it was going to be a bigtime collision if he had continued to go in and make a play on that ball, and he just said “No, thank you.”
And he got popped anyway. Easy for me to say, but you may as well just catch it.
The third play is a little bit of a gray area. Maclin is running up the seam, and Foles delivers a high pass (Maclin and the ball are circled):
FOX didn’t show a replay of this play, but it looks to me like that ball isn’t completely out of reach. In fairness to Maclin on this one, it looked like he got his head around back to the QB a fraction late, and perhaps he didn’t have adequate time to react to the high pass by going up to get it. However, before the ball is even by him, Maclin’s head is already spinning around to locate the safety to brace for impact:
Last season, Maclin missed almost the entire offseason with a mysterious illness, and had a decent year. This offseason, Maclin came in and looked ripped. The thinking among Eagles’ coaches and teammates was that Maclin was primed for a big season. It hasn’t happened.