Wide receiver DeVonta Smith ended the 2021 regular season with a new franchise record — the most receiving yards by a rookie.
In Philadelphia’s Week 18 game against the Dallas Cowboys, Smith had three catches for 41 yards, surpassing DeSean Jackson’s record (912) made in 2008. Smith finished with 916 yards.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 9, 2022
The Eagles’ last regular-season game, flexed to Saturday night, ended in a 51-26 loss to their NFC East rival. But the outcome of the game didn’t matter. Head coach Nick Sirianni rested his starters with the exception of DeVonta Smith (and Jason Kelce), giving his rookie WR a shot at history.
Smith entered the game 38 yards short, leaping into record books at the end of the first quarter. After returning for the start of the second quarter, Smith exited early in an attempt to maintain his health for next week.
The rookie will see his first playoff game as the Eagles likely remain in the No. 7 seed as the postseason approaches. With an 80% chance of facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Eagles are now preparing for a game fans thought was unlikely back in September.
“That’s been the goal the whole time — get to the playoffs and try to win it all,” Smith said. “That’s what it’s all about. We didn’t come this far just to stop now.”
Smith finishes the regular season with 64 receptions on 104 targets for 916 yards and five touchdowns. Though Smith played one extra game compared to Jackson, he did it with 16 less targets. The future looks bright for the “Slim Reaper”.