Alshon Jeffery became an easy target for blame following the Philadelphia Eagles' divisional round loss to the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday. After all, the Eagles' final drive -- one that could have won them the game -- came to an abrupt end when Jeffery let a pass go right through his hands and into the hands of a defender for a crucial interception.
After the game, the Eagles' wide receiver was willing to accept that blame. When asked about the play, he gave a brutally honest response that made it clear he was taking it all pretty hard.
"It's a play I didn't make," Jeffery said. "It went through my hands. Nick (Foles) gave me a catchable ball. I gotta make that play. It's on me. I'll take that loss. It's on me. I let all my teammates down, the city of Philadelphia. That's on me. I'll take that."
And while Jeffery and plenty of fans were willing to point the finger, his teammates weren't. In the immediate aftermath of Sunday's fourth quarter blunder, Foles and Philly head coach Doug Pederson were among those who were spotted consoling Jeffery on the sideline.
After the game, the wideout revealed what they had to say.
"Just that I'm a hell of a player," Jeffery said. "I mean, we wouldn't be here if it weren't for me, stuff like that. We wouldn't have won the Super Bowl if it wasn't for me last year. But that was last year. But hey, things like that happen. It happens to the best of us. You gotta move on. It hurts right now. But I guarantee we'll be back next year for sure."
Of course, his teammates aren't wrong. Jeffery also most definitely a huge part of the reason that the Eagles were even there in the first place. Even while battling a significant rib injury, the receiver remained one of the team's top passing threats and delivered some gutsy performances.
Alshon Jeffery NOT the guy to blame for Eagles playoff loss.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 14, 2019
2017 playoffs (all with torn rotator cuff):
4 catches, 61 yards
5 catches, 85 yards, 2 TD
3 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD
6 catches, 82 yards
5 catches, 63 yards (broken ribs)
As consistent/tough as it gets.
But sometimes even a ton of built-up goodwill can't save a player from scorn when they come up short in a big situation, especially when it comes to the playoffs, even if it's just a single play. Even with his strong contributions this year (and last), the missed catch on the final drive will be the memory that sticks around the longest for a lot of people, and that's just how it goes sometimes.