After being blanked by Falcons, Eagles' Mike Wallace promises better days ahead


Targets: 3.

Catches: 0.

That was the sum total of Mike Wallace’s Eagles debut, and needless to say it wasn’t the debut he was looking for.

The Eagles signed Wallace to a one-year, $1.915 million contract to make plays down the field, and it sure wasn’t all his fault, but he didn’t make any plays down the field, up the field or across the field in the Eagles’ opener on Thursday night against the Falcons.

Nick Foles targeted Wallace three times, twice on deep routes that would have been huge if they connected.

They didn’t.

Late in the second quarter, with the Eagles at their own 18-yard-line, Foles went deep to Wallace for what would have been a 45-yard gain, but the ball fell incomplete as Falcons safety Keanu Neal appeared to be holding Wallace’s right arm.

Foles threw out of bounds on the next play looking for Wallace at the Eagles’ 40. 

Wallace’s next target didn’t come until 4:48 remaining in the game with the Eagles just inside midfield, when Wallace got a step on corner Robert Alford down the middle of the field but Foles underthrew him at the 5. 

“We’ll be fine,” Wallace said. “Those will come.

“I’ve been playing for a long time, I’m not panicking over one game. Those big plays will come from everybody. No one had the big plays they wanted. Not myself, not Nelly (Nelson Agholor), not (Zach) Ertz, nobody. It was one game, but we won so that’s all that matters.”

It was only the sixth time in 148 career games Wallace has been held without a reception.

Wallace averaged 60 catches for 900 yards and 6 ½ touchdowns per season from 2009 through 2017.

So he can play.

We just haven’t seen it yet.

“It’s been a lot of guys in and out throughout training camp, a lot of guys down, a lot of guys up, so it’s just a timing thing,” Wallace said. “We’ve been all over the place as far as players consistently working with Nick. 

“I’ve been out of practice, Nelly’s been out of practice, Nick’s been out of practice, everybody. We’ve been all over.

“We’ll jell. I think we had a pretty good day today (Monday). We hit some of those deep shots that we wanted, obviously it was practice and not the game but it was a start and you have to start somewhere. “

The defense carried the Eagles Thursday night, limiting the Falcons to one touchdown on five red-zone possessions and just 12 points in all. 

This is an elite defense, but Wallace knows at some point the offense will have to hold up its end of the bargain.

“Lean on our defense, we need them, they’re one of the best in the league,” he said. “They proved that Thursday and hopefully we can help them out Sunday and they won’t have to make as many big plays.

“We still want those big plays but we wouldn’t be counting on them so much as we were Thursday.

“We don’t want to be, ‘We need you to do this.’ If we do our job on offense and make some big plays and score some touchdowns, it’s going to score a lot of pressure off those guys and make life a lot easier.”

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