Grading the Eagles' 30-17 win in Washington

Grading the Eagles' 30-17 win in Washington

Grading the Eagles' 30-17 season-opening win Sunday over Washington:

Carson Wentz: 26/39, 307 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Once again, Wentz is able to do things physically many other quarterbacks simply cannot. That much was evident on his 58-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor. Wentz escaped what looked like a sure sack and flicked a pass down the field with ease. The 24-year-old wasn't exceptionally sharp, but he was able to keep the chains moving in the face of consistent pressure. The interception was tipped at the line of scrimmage. That being said, Wentz is not doing his offensive line or himself any favors holding on to the ball so long.

Grade: B

Running backs
LeGarrette Blount: 11 ATT, 37 YDS, 1 TD REC
Darren Sproles: 5 REC, 43 YDS

The Eagles didn't have a ton of opportunities to carry the football, but weren't very effective with the chances they got, either. Say what you want about the blocking — if a defender meets Blount in the backfield, there's almost zero chance he will make that man miss. Blount and Wendell Smallwood had some issues in pass protection as well.

Grade: C

Wide receivers
Nelson Agholor: 6 REC, 86 YDS, 1 TD
Alshon Jeffery: 7 TAR, 3 REC, 38 YDS, 2 PTS

For Jeffery, not a debut to remember. Jeffery was far from the focal point of the Eagles' offense, despite the fact he was not shadowed by Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman. Jeffery had some opportunities to come up with highlight reel catches, but he wasn't able to finish. Meanwhile, for Torrey Smith, a debut to forget, as well. He had a single reception for 30 yards, but it was lack of interest in jumping on a loose football after he whiffed on a block that people will still be talking about on Monday.

Grade: B-

Tight ends
Zach Ertz: 8 REC, 93 YDS
Brent Celek: 1 REC, 11 YDS

Ertz led all receivers in receptions and yards and was the security blanked Wentz desperately needed this week (see 10 observations). The fifth-year tight end caught everything that was thrown his way, quite a few of the grabs going for first downs. Did not see or hear much from Trey Burton.

Grade: A

Offensive line
Jason Peters: Left game in third quarter (groin)

Difficult to asses the play up front. Pass protection was an issue early, but Wentz isn't doing his O-line any favors with all that running around back there, either. Washington had 2.0 sacks and 10 quarterback hits — many of those Wentz's own doing. The unit settled down in the second half despite calling upon Halapoulivaati Vaitai to replace Peters at left tackle, although the group never did give backs much room to run. The Eagles averaged 2.6 yards per rushing attempt, minus kneel downs.

Grade: C

Defensive line
Fletcher Cox: 1.0 SK, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD
Brandon Graham: 3 TKL, 1 TFL, 2.0 SK, 1 FF

There's no question the officials blew the call, but Brandon Graham was credited with a sack and a forced fumble, which Fletcher Cox recovered and returned 20 yards for the score. Whatever. It counts, and essentially sealed the deal for the Eagles. Tim Jernigan added a sack as well, and Vinny Curry hit the quarterback twice. The D-line disappeared for a stretch, but came back strong in the fourth quarter and delivered a victory.

Grade: A-

Jordan Hicks: 7 TKL, 1 FR
Mychal Kendricks: 3 TKL

Hicks also should've had a sack, but the play was negated by a defensive holding penalty against Nigel Bradham. Kendricks had the hit of the game and was used frequently and effectively as a blitzer. Solid effort from the front seven as a whole, limiting Washington's offense to 3.8 yards per carry.

Grade: B

Defensive backs
Jalen Mills: 9 TKL, 2 PD, 1 INT

Mills was battling through an up-and-down game before an interception floated into his waiting arms. It was less a good play by Mills than it was a matter of good fortune, but he held on and it was an important play, ending a Washington drive in the red zone. Still, nine tackles is not a good statistic for a cornerback. Malcolm Jenkins and Patrick Robinson each had four tackles, and Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins had three each. Washington averaged a pitiful 4.5 yards per pass attempt, so while the secondary bent, it did not break.

Grade: B+

Special teams
Caleb Sturgis: 3/3 FG, 1/2 XP
Donnie Jones: 42.5 AVG, 1 IN20

Special teams arguably had a larger hand in this victory than the offense. Sturgis rebounded from a missed extra point to connect on field goals of 50, 42 and 37 yards. Jones pinning Washington at its own 1-yard line (give Jaylen Watkins with an assist) with 6:43 remaining in the fourth quarter led to a huge three-and-out as well. Impressive debut for Corey Clement on kickoff coverage, too (see rookie report).

Grade: A+

Zach Ertz reveals secret origins of the dog mask

USA Today Images

Zach Ertz reveals secret origins of the dog mask

Dog mask mania has swept through Philadelphia ever since Lane Johnson and Chris Long donned the creepy masks following the Eagles' divisional round win over the Falcons. We know why the duo wore them but where in the world did they get the idea?

Well, thanks to Zach Ertz — and his article on The Players' Tribune — we now have the answer.

The Friday before the game, Long, Johnson, Ertz, Jason Kelce and Brent Celek were having dinner when Johnson just couldn't contain his excitement for the idea.

“You know how everyone keeps saying we’re underdogs?" Johnson said. "Even though we’re the No. 1 seed? Well … we were on Amazon last night, and we ordered these dog masks.

“Yeah, and when we win, because we’re gonna freaking win, we’re going to do everything in the masks. Media. Postgame. Everything. Dogs.”

And the rest is history. The dog masks have become a must-own for Eagles fans — if you managed to buy one before they sell out that is. The Linc will surely be filled with tens of thousands of rabid German shepherds. But will Long and Johnson get to gloat in the masks postgame again? 

For the full origin story of the masks and a ridiculous Carson Wentz story, read Ertz's full article here.

Is there an NFL conspiracy against the Eagles?


Is there an NFL conspiracy against the Eagles?

Updated: 6:17 p.m.

Somebody jumped the gun this week in a promotion for Super Bowl LII. Or did they?

This year's Super Bowl will feature either the Patriots or Jaguars taking on either the Eagles or Vikings. Unless there is some conspiracy afoot!

You see, there is an image going around that the NFL posted a promo of Super Bowl LII featuring only the Patriots and Vikings along with some head-scratching text. Just another attempt to disrespect the Birds!

It included the following text:

Your team is headed to Super Bowl LII...and you could too! When you donate to United Way, you could score 2 club-level seats to watch the PATRIOTS vs. the VIKINGS battle it out for the coveted Super Bowl title! But...that's not all! You could also WIN pre-game sideline access + other cool perks! Don't pass up this touchdown experience - donate TODAY for your chance to WIN big


The NFL, rightfully so, apologized for the mistake.

"It was a regrettable mistake," an NFL spokesman told NJ Advance Media. "The ads were mocked up using all the [possible] combinations, but weren't supposed to go until Monday when the matchup is known. Obviously, someone jumped the gun." 

So are the conference championship games fixed?!? Unlikely. 

Via CBS/