The700Level

Grading the Eagles' 26-24 win over the Chargers in Week 4

Grading the Eagles' 26-24 win Sunday afternoon over the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center (see breakdown):

QUARTERBACK
Carson Wentz: 17/31, 242 YDS, 1 TD

Wentz's completion percentage (54.8) doesn't tell the full story here (see Roob's observations). The 24-year-old signal caller was much more accurate down the field this week, averaging 7.8 yards per reception — and was not exactly aided by stellar outings from his receivers, either. He also avoided sacks and was throwing the ball away on occasion when nobody was open. Most of all, Wentz did his part to keep the chains moving for the Eagles and did not commit a turnover. Impressive road win for the young QB, even if the numbers weren't stellar.

Grade: B+

RUNNING BACKS
LeGarrette Blount: 16 ATT, 136 YDS
Wendell Smallwood: 79 TOTAL YDS, 1 TD

Have the Eagles discovered a new thunder and lightning? Blount is running with a purpose — especially on his career-long gain of 68 yards — while Smallwood did a nice job replicating Darren Sproles as a receiver out of the backfield and change of pace. Corey Clement's numbers weren't as strong (10 ATT, 30 YDS), but the rookie ran hard and saw a lot of action in the fourth quarter to help ice the game, too (see rookie report). What a turnaround.

Grade: A+

WIDE RECEIVERS
Nelson Agholor: 3 REC, 58 YDS

Alshon Jeffery simply could not get open against the Chargers' secondary. The Eagles' prized free-agent acquisition was targeted six times, finishing with three receptions for 29 yards. Sure, he scored a touchdown in there, but Jeffery's day overall did not rise to expectations — lofty though they might be. Torrey Smith was much worse, with two of his three targets going for drops. Simply put, the Eagles are not getting what they're paying for, which was a couple of playmakers on the outside.

Grade: C-

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz: 5 REC, 81 YDS

Ertz's big year continues. He has clearly become the quarterback's go-to receiver, especially on third down. The fifth-year player also threw a key block to help spring a 68-yard run, so an all-around quality outing for one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

Grade: A-

OFFENSIVE LINE
Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack: Rotated at LG

The Eagles' O-line is officially back. This looked like a different offense the past two weeks in terms of the ability to run the football. On Sunday, the big uglies cleared the way for 214 total yards on the ground with a 5.1 average. The protection is improved as well, with Wentz taking a lone sack. Against a Chargers front featuring Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, that's impressive. This is exactly the kind of dominant performance in the trenches everybody was expecting, and Jason Peters and Co. are finally delivering.

Grade: A

DEFENSIVE LINE
Chris Long: 1.0 SK, 1 FF
Beau Allen: 1.0 SK, 2 TFL

You think the Eagles missed Fletcher Cox? The front four was able to generate a reasonable amount of pressure without its most dangerous pass rusher, managing two sacks. That being said, the pressure didn't consistently get home, allowing Philip Rivers of all people to break the pocket on numerous occasions. Rivers was forced to throw quite a few away, and L.A. only gained 58 yards on the ground, so it was a nice effort overall. But clearly, Cox is a huge part of what goes into making this D-line great.

Grade: B

LINEBACKERS
Jordan Hicks: 9 TKL

Typically thought of as one of the Eagles' strengths, the performance from the linebacker position has been sporadic so far this season. Nigel Bradham has missed some tackles, perhaps none bigger than his whiff on a 3rd-and-15 conversion. And for the second time in three weeks, Hicks lost gap responsibility and was at least partially responsible for a long touchdown run, this time a 35-yarder.

Grade: C

DEFENSIVE BACKS
The secondary surrendered some massive gains through the air. It's unclear who was responsible for a 75-yard touchdown to Tyrell Williams — cornerbacks Rasul Douglas and Jalen Mills were trailing, but free safety Rodney McLeod may have been at fault. There is no question Douglas was at fault for a 49-yard catch-and-run by Keenan Allen to set up L.A. for a field goal to close out the first half. McLeod was also the last line of defense on a 35-yard touchdown run, so not the happiest return after missing last week with a hamstring.

Grade: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jake Elliott: 4/4 FG, 2/2 XP

No surprise, a 61-yard game-winning field goal can do a lot for a kicker's confidence. Elliott was perfect for the first time since joining the Eagles, knocking down three-point tries from 45, 40, 53 and 47 yards. Donnie Jones had both of his punts downed inside the Chargers' 20-yard line.

Grade: A

COACHING
Eagles record: 3-1

To his credit, Doug Pederson has flipped the script on his play-calling, specifically as it relates to run-pass ratio. Pederson went to the running game early, and he went to the running game often, and it was successful. The offense is a vastly more efficient unit when not entirely reliant on Wentz. They are in more manageable down and distances, even breaking long runs, while avoiding the occasional fluky turnover that happens when the ball is always in the quarterback's hands.

Much more difficult to evaluate Jim Schwartz's job with the defense. The unit simply isn't the same without Cox and is still without its most talented cornerback in Ronald Darby as well. There may have been some questionable calls, but Schwartz's crew did just enough here to beat a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.

What more can you really ask for?

Grade: A