Grade breakdown for the Eagles after a 38-20 loss
Written by: Joseph Mooney
26/40, 306 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 71.4 QBR
Carson Wentz played to standard, it’s hard to win games with receivers dropping balls and penalties negating positive plays. The entire game Wentz faced an uphill battle, the passing game couldn’t truly develop with the lack of the run game. Doug Pederson needs to create a better offensive game plan if the Eagles expect to beat a motivated Dallas Cowboys team. Wentz needs help and play markers around him. Carson located running back Miles Sanders for a touchdown along with Alshon Jeffery but the conservative play and the chaotic offensive line, Wentz made best of what he had.
Running Backs: C
Jordan Howard led the Eagles with 14 carries for 49 yards
The team averaged 4.9 yard per carry
The rushing attack never truly got going. Anthony Barr and company contained the explosive Philadelphia rushing attack early and completely took it out of the game, making the Eagles one-dimensional. The rushing company was average all game long, they were evened out rushed by the Vikings 122-108.
Miles Sanders lead the receiving group with 3 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Alshon Jeffery lead the game with 10 receptions, he also found the end zone and recorded 76 yards.
A rare Zach Ertz fumble occurred.
Drop balls were again a topic of discussion during the game
Sunday was arguably the worst game of Zach Ertz’s career. Ertz dropped a third down conversion and then fumbled after being stripped by linebacker Eric Kendricks. He was a non factor the entire game. Zach Ertz finished the game with 4 catches for 54 yards.
Rookie Miles Sanders was spectacular out of the backfield in the passing game, on Sunday, against the Vikings. Carson Wentz dropped 3 passes directly into Sanders arms all for big gains, one being a touchdown. Without DJax the receiving core can’t seem to find any spark. Carson Wentz and company averaged only 5.1 yards per attempt on Sunday, which isn’t enough.
Offensive Line: C+
Another sad afternoon for Eagle fans as they watched future HOF Jason Peters sidelined for the majority of the game with an injury. Replaced Andre Dillard struggled, the rookie was matched up against Vikings edge rusher Everson Griffen for majority of the game. The offensive line could generate a true push to create holes for the run game against the powerful Vikings front.
The offense isn’t perfect, but they’re good enough to win. The Eagles need to stop starting the game so slow. The games become more frustrating as the Eagles trail because fans know they’re a few electrifying plays away from dominating any opponent. It really is crazy though that without a 34-year-old receiver, the team has no spark plug. There’s no big play ability on offense with Jackson missing. The receivers need to improve with catching the ball and finding space within the opposing team’s secondary.
Carson Wentz is playing good football. Pederson needs to call plays that allow Wentz to make plays. After following down 7-0 on the opening drive, a 3 and out (3 straight running plays) on your opening possession won’t cut it Doug. Pederson than called a fake field pass to Dallas Goedert, despite being down 24-10 before halftime. The run game, might be inconsistent week to week but it’s somewhat there. The offensive is easily fixable compared to the defense, but stupid penalties and the lack of confidence from our receivers needs to change.
Defensive Line: C+
Fletcher Cox had his best game of the season
Brandon Graham recorded his 4th sack of the season
Kirk Cousins looked as if he was front-runner for MVP against the Eagles. The Eagles recorded only one sack all game after coming off a 10 sack day against the New York Jets. The defensive line never got consistent pressure on Cousins and allowed him to get comfort in the pocket. Cousins was only hit 4 times in the entire game as well. The Eagles need to add a new piece to their defensive line or find new motivation for the play markers they have now. The defense (ranked first in run defense) gave up over 120 yards rushing, they could never truly contain the run.
Zach Brown released by the Eagles, after talking trash on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins prior to the game
Kirk’s threw for 333 yards on 22 completions with 4 touchdown passes.
Kamu Grugier-Hill recovers a fumble late in the 4th quarter
Nigel Bradham injured during Sunday’s contest
Linebacker Zach Brown, was released on Monday by the Eagles after the game against the Minnesota Vikings. Brown was signed in the off-season to a 1 year, $1.5 million deal. Brown cut because he simply didn’t fit within the Eagles’ defensive scheme. Schwartz prefers for his linebackers to be versatile across the field, Brown specializes in run stopping. Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill, both have seen tremendous playing time and both have made big plays with the time they get, Brown’s roster spot can be used for a different player as the trade deadline approaches.
Allowed 333 passing yards and 4 touchdowns
Jalen Mills and Cre’Von LeBlanc are set to make their return
Currently ranked 27th in pass defense
Andrew Sendejo had an interception
Jenkins forced a fumble
Not much to say about the secondary, other than Malcolm Jenkins, I’m not to sure who came to play Sunday in Minnesota. Whoever decided the game plan was going to be play Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen in man to man cover for 4 straight quarters should be fired. Both Diggs and Theilen accounted for 224 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns on Sunday. First it was Sidney Jones getting burnt on a double move by Adam Theilen in the end zone. Then it was Rasul Douglas (best corner to this point of the season, runs a 4.6 40 yard dash) getting beat over the top, twice, to Diggs on a 62 yard touchdown catch and a 51 yard touchdown catch. The Eagles desperately need more talent at cornerback. Former Viking, Andrew Sendejo was out for blood against his former team. Sendejo finished with 3 hard hitting tackles and an interception in his return to Minnesota. While Malcolm Jenkins recovered a Grugier-Hill fumble late in the game.
Special Teams: A
Elliott remains perfect on the year, 7/7
He made a 53 yard kick
He is also 16/16 on point after attempts
Howie has less than 2 weeks to address the problem in the secondary. With the Broncos, Cardinals, and Jaguars all with top tier corners on the market, Howie needs to be on the phone trying to create deals. With the loss of Nigel Bradham and the release of Zach Brown the Eagles linebacker group becomes very, very thin. The pass rush and the secondary need to complement one another, you can’t expect the defense to give the opposing quarterback all day to throw in the pocket and then be upset when the secondary won’t guard for 15 seconds downfield. I believe injuries have caught up to the once strongest point of the defense, and they’re still figuring out correct adjustments.