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The Wonders of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith

Nick Sirianni can't remember being on a team where two receivers went over 1,000 yards the way Brown and Smith have for the first time in Eagles history
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PHILADELPHIA – It’s hard to believe that just two years ago Tavis Fulgham was the Eagles leading wide receiver with 539 yards.

The four years prior to that, the Eagles’ receiving corps was so undistinguished that it was tight end Zach Ertz who led them in receiving yards, though there was 2018 when Alshon Jeffrey put up 843 and Nelson Agholor had 736 to go along with Ertz’s 1,163.

Those numbers look laughable now compared to what A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith have done this year.

For the first time in Eagles history, two receivers have eclipsed 1,000 yards.

“I don't think I've ever been part of a team where two guys have a thousand yards,” said head coach Nick Sirianni, “but what makes them unique is it's just hard to take one away. So not everybody has two corners or not everybody will say I'm going to match this guy here or not everybody has in their scheme to roll.

“They're just hard to take away because sometimes you can attempt to take a guy away, but when you have two of them, like OK, you're taking that guy away, you can work here.”

Nothing it seems can slow them.

Each has gone over 100 yards in three of their last four games. They both topped that number against the Cowboys and, truth be told, had the Eagles found a way to win in Dallas, Smith would have been the talk of the town.

What he did in that game was…magic?

Yeah, magic.

“He's very unique,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “Man, that catch he made on the sideline, he can just turn his body better than you and I can turn our bodies…What's so amazing about it is he's doing it in all these different ways.

“He made some unbelievable catches, and he continues to do so throughout the year and throughout the last two years we've been there, and it's not anything new because he was doing that at Alabama, as well.”

Brown leads the way numbers-wise.

He has 80 catches for 1,304 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Smith has 79 catches for 1,014 yards and seven touchdowns.

Both are on pace to break the record for most catches in a single season held by Irving Fryar, who had 88 in 1996 and 86 in 1997.

“I think we play well together,” said Brown. “We’re versatile. I was excited for him to go over 1,000 yards, but we’re playing for bigger reasons. We stay true to ourselves, and all the other stuff will happen.”

Brown raved about the catches Smith made against the Cowboys.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s fun to watch. Those are big catches in the fourth quarter. We needed those. He was coming up clutch. That drive, I told him, ‘This is why we’re special.’ He went on to show why he was special.”

Brown can break the Eagles’ record for most yards receiving in a season held by Mike Quick from 1984.

“I’d be lying to say it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, “but I’m trying to channel my focus in other directions. Me doing what I have to do to make plays for my team on critical downs. We’ll handle all the records and all the other type of stuff (when it happens). It’s a blessing to even be that close to his record.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at or and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.