Alshon Jeffery's dropped pass led to a Marshon Lattimore interception in the waning minutes of Sunday's NFC Divisional Round between the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
Nick Foles threw a quick slant pass to a wide open Jeffery, but the ball bounced off his hands and right to Lattimore. The Saints star cornerback iced the game there, and the Eagles saw their hopes of a Super Bowl repeat come to an end.
But a second-grader and huge Eagles fan wrote an extremely sweet and moving letter to Jeffery, emphasizing that she doesn't want him to be upset about the drop.
Though Jeffery wasn't able to secure the ball, it'd be unfair to pinpoint all of the blame on the stud wide receiver. He still led the team in receiving on Sunday with five catches for 63 yards.
Plus, there's absolutely no guarantee that Jeffery's catch would have led to a game-winning score. The Eagles still had to get into the end zone, and their sluggish defense would have had to stop Drew Brees from leading his team downfield for a chance to win it.
Philadelphia jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, but they never scored again. That's not on Jeffery. Philly's pass protection broke down, the receivers couldn't get open and their defense couldn't hold off the Saints. Thus, putting all the blame on Jeffery is extremely unfair. He's a key reason why they managed to get to the playoffs for a second straight season, after all.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champions for 14 years, and the Eagles came closer than some of the more recent winners. There is no reason for Jeffery or Philadelphia to feel any shame.
What This Means
The second-grader's kind letter is another reminder that athletes are humans, just like us. Everybody makes mistakes, but it's always about how we bounce back from them. Jeffery will certainly learn from this, as he promised after the game.