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A.J. Brown Eagles

Should Eagles Fans Be Worried About A.J. Brown?

  • Justin Melo
  • September 15, 2023
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Philadelphia Eagles superstar wide receiver A.J. Brown was displeased with his lack of involvement in Thursday’s 34-28 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Brown and starting quarterback Jalen Hurts were seen visibly arguing on the sidelines. It was a minor blowout that won’t have any lasting impact on Brown’s relationship with the Eagles and Hurts.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was unwilling to discuss the details behind Brown’s dissatisfaction.

“The conversations we have on the field are private,” Sirianni said during his post-game presser. “Y’all don’t need to know what was going on right there.”

Brown’s complaint was likely related to his target share. At that moment, Brown had been targeted on four occasions for an output of 29 forgettable receiving yards. The Eagles made a concentrated effort to involve Brown more frequently following the sideline argument. Brown finished with four receptions and had a touchdown grab eliminated by an offensive holding penalty.

Brown was out-targeted by Dallas Goedert (7) and at the moment of his outburst, was being out-targeted by DeVonta Smith (5) as well. Brown finished with six official targets, but it was Smith who dominated an overmatched Vikings secondary. Smith totaled 131 yards and was on the receiving end of a 63-yard touchdown from Hurts.

Brown’s four receptions matched the third-lowest mark of his career since joining the Eagles ahead of the 2022 campaign. His 29 receiving yards rank second-lowest, trailing just a 7-yard showing versus the Washington Commanders last season. And finally, Brown’s six targets were the second-lowest behind that same Commanders stinker. Brown isn’t accustomed to such showings since departing the run-heavy Tennessee Titans.

Philadelphia’s passing game generally took a backseat to their rushing attack. Hurts completed just 18-of-23 passing attempts for 193 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Eagles rushed for a haunting 259 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles were content to play the clock-control game against a Vikings front seven that couldn’t stop a nosebleed. Philadelphia finished the contest with a borderline unheard of 48 rushing attempts. They averaged 5.3 yards per carry and routinely ripped off five to eight yards per attempt. 

D’Andre Swift was unstoppable. Swift rushed for a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown via 28 attempts. It was a breakout performance for the former Georgia standout, who’s in the midst of a make-or-break campaign. Swift may have established himself as the Eagles’ every-down back.

Sirianni and his coaching staff must ensure that Brown understands no weekly approach looks identical. The Eagles were enjoying a resounding amount of success running the football. Going into pass-happy mode simply to satisfy Brown’s needs would have qualified as pandering and unnecessary.

Brown’s attitude was slightly disappointing given the Eagles were nursing a multi-score advantage during his sideline outburst. Ultimately, it’s to be expected from a hyper-competitive athlete who believes his outputs directly lead to victories. Brown and Hurts possess a strong enough relationship to quickly forget Thursday’s argument. Expect a massive performance from Brown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.

Written By

Justin Melo