Former Longhorn Jordan Hicks shines amid Eagles loss

Isaac Gutierrez

Texas football is known for its influx of talent that makes the leap to the next level. During Week Five, plenty of former Longhorns showcased that exact talent which helped them move from the Forty Acres to the NFL.

Here’s how some of them performed in the NFL this past weekend:

Jordan Hicks

The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL through five weeks. Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the expectations are exceptionally high for Philadelphia fans. But the results haven’t matched.

Most Super Bowl champions find it difficult to reach a similar level of success in the following year due to much of their talent being snatched away by teams in free agency.

The Eagles did not have this problem. In fact, they managed to enter 2018 with arguably an even more talented roster than they had in their championship season.

So what has caused the Eagles to start the season with an underwhelming 2–3 record? Well, it definitely hasn’t been the play of middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, who has consistently been a bright spot on an otherwise mediocre defense.

Hicks had a total of nine combined tackles against the Vikings last Sunday. His play was a critical reason as to why the team was so effective against the run, allowing just 77 rushing yards.

Despite the stout run defense, the Eagles still maintain one of the worst pass defensive units in the NFL.

The Eagles will need the rest of their defense to play up to the same level Hicks has exhibited if they hope to have an opportunity at a repeat.

Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker is one of the greatest kickers off all time. This is undeniable. Through five weeks, Tucker has lived up to his status by converting on 12 of his 14 field goal attempts. The only two “misses” were both blocked.

Tucker’s individual performance this season has been as close to perfect as any player can get. This was also the case in Week Five. The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Cleveland Browns, to no fault of Tucker.

The Ravens scored just nine points in this loss. Tucker made three field goals, with a fourth attempted kick that was blocked. He was the team’s only source of points, which is no recipe for success.

This game put on display the massive weaknesses possessed by the Ravens offense. It also showed that no matter how poorly you perform on that side of the ball, having Justin Tucker will keep you in the game.

Adrian Phillips

Adrian Phillips is not a starting safety on the Los Angeles Chargers, as Jahleel Addae and Derwin James occupy those slots. But he performed like a player who should be starting during a Week Five matchup against the Oakland Raiders.

Since last season, Phillips has filled the role of the team’s third safety — checking in on specific nickel and dime packages. And he’s filled it quite well. He was a significant reason why the Chargers fielded one of the league’s best passing defenses in the second half of last season. He was also a primary factor in Los Angeles’ dominating win over the Raiders last weekend.

Phillips registered a total of six tackles, but it was his coverage ability over the middle of the field that made the biggest impact. His primary opponent, Raiders tight end Jared Cook, managed to produce just 20 receiving yards Sunday. Phillips, as he has done many times this season, shut down his competition to boost the Chargers to their third victory of 2018.