Eagles

C-average for quarterbacks, struggling defensive line and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

C-average for quarterbacks, struggling defensive line and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

The Eagles’ season came to an end Sunday, which is never a good feeling. Yet, it’s difficult to be too hard on the team after a 17-9 loss to the Seahawks considering franchise quarterback Carson Wentz was knocked out of the game in the first quarter.

There will be more to say on the injury and hit that caused it as well as what the Eagles need to do to get back on top in the offseason ahead. For now, we simply hand out one last report card — and the grades aren’t too bad despite a crushing defeat.

Quarterbacks

Josh McCown: 18/24, 174 YDS

Wentz completed 1 of 4 passes for three yards with a sack before exiting the game with a concussion, which obviously changed the complexion of the game. Once he found a rhythm, McCown was able to move the offense quite capably between the 20s. The operation bogged down however on all three trips inside the red zone. Plus, the veteran backup took far too many sacks — six — largely a product of holding the ball too long. Tough spot to come off the bench cold like that. Regardless, it wasn’t good enough.

Grade: C

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 14 CAR, 69 YDS, 3 REC, 8 YDS

You can’t say enough about Sanders’ development as this season progressed, and he had another nice game on the ground here, with a bum ankle no less. But a fourth-down drop in the fourth quarter simply can’t happen. The throw wasn’t perfect, still he needs to slow down and secure the football in such a pivotal moment in the game. Boston Scott was a vision once again, pitching in six carries for 25 yards and three catches for 23 yards.

Grade: B

Wide receivers and tight ends

Dallas Goedert: 7 REC, 73 YDS

Another big day for the tight ends, but the sheer inability of any of the wide receivers to reliably get open was a serious issue. Behind Goedert and Zach Ertz with two catches for 44 yards, the Eagles’ leader was Greg Ward with three for 24. Ward and Shelton Gibson also drew pass interference penalties of 20 and 39 yards, respectively — unfortunately, those plays went for twice as many yards as the entire receiving corps combined.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Considering it was without Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, the play up front actually wasn’t bad. Eagles backs ran the ball effectively, carrying 20 times for 94 yards — a 4.7 average. And while the Seahawks racked up seven sacks, much of that was the direct result of tight coverage in the secondary.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Fletcher Cox: 6 TKL, 2 TFL, FF

With the exception of Cox, the performance up front was largely disappointing considering all the injuries to Seattle’s O-line. The front four did stifle Seahawks running backs (17 carries for 19 yards) and account for five quarterback hits. Yet, too often, Russell Wilson had ample time to sit in the pocket and either throw the ball down field or take off (nine rushes, 45 yards). It didn’t play poorly, but it didn’t exactly dominate against a patchwork front, either.

Grade: C

Linebackers

Nathan Gerry: 6 TKL, 3 TFL

This unit doesn’t make enough impact plays for mistakes to go unnoticed — like Nigel Bradham’s missed tackle resulting in Wilson scrambling for a first down on 3rd-and-15. Putting that aside, the trio of Bradham, Gerry and T.J. Edwards combined to account for 12 tackles and two quarterback hits. Not inconsequential, but certainly not difference-makers.

Grade: C

Secondary

Malcolm Jenkins: 9 TKL, TFL, SK

Surprise, surprise, big plays through the air were backbreakers. Cre’Von LeBlanc broke up a couple passes, but a missed tackle on third down resulted in a 38-yard gain to set up Seattle’s first touchdown. Then D.K. Metcalf got so wide open in the Eagles’ secondary, he had time to fall down, get back to his feet and cross the goal line to complete a 53-yard score.

Grade: C

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 3/3 FG

Vinny Curry’s blocked field goal in the first quarter turned out to be a significant play, as it kept the Eagles within striking distance later in the game, as did Elliott’s field goals from 46, 26 and 38 yards. Cameron Johnston dropped one of three punts inside Seattle’s 20-yard line.

Grade: B

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 9-8

We’ll never know how this game would’ve turned out were it not for Wentz’s injury, and really, so many injuries over the course of the season. The defense and special teams did all it could here, and the offense was down to just four starters from Week 1, so it’s difficult to say how much more coaching could’ve squeezed out of that group. Maybe a few more shots downfield would’ve been in order, but the bottom line is the Eagles ran out of talent.

Grade: B+

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

us_ee_edwards.png
USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank is joined by a tired Dave Zangaro, still in Indianapolis at the combine. 

They guys break down Howie Roseman’s recent comments about the linebacker position and Howie’s radio remarks about the Jadeveon Clowney hit. 

The latest on Malcolm Jenkins, the proposed CBA and Rich Scangarello’s role in the Eagles’ offense. 

• Still not ready to spend on linebackers 
• Howie speaks out about Clowney’s hit
• Latest on the Malcolm Jenkins situation 
• A closer look at the proposed CBA and why it’s going to pass 
• Figuring out Rich Scangarello’s importance to the offense 
• And what if the Eagles bring back Alshon Jeffery? 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

Jadeveon Clowney is Public Enemy No. 1 for Eagles fans right now, after his dirty hit in the Wild Card round injured Carson Wentz and ended the Birds' playoff hopes.

Can you imagine facing Clowney twice in 2020? That might end up a reality, according to a report from none other than ESPN's Josina Anderson, another villain from the Wentz hit fallout.

Anderson reports that Clowney is opening to returning to the Seahawks in 2020, but is also open to other opportunities, and could be courted by an Eagles rival:

Ignoring the football implications for now - Clowney, antics aside, is good at football - let's think instead about the absolute mayhem that would meet Clowney when the Giants visited The Linc.

It would probably be... a lot. For a fanbase willing to boo its own guys, that's nothing compared to the wrath Philly fans unleash when they feel they've been wronged by a player, justified or not. Just ask Sidney Crosby how his last decade-plus of visits to this side of the state have been, without anything nearly as malicious on his rap sheet.

The entire organization was angry about the play, from guys like Jason Peters in the hours after the hit to Howie Roseman talking about its lingering effects just this week (see story), which means we'd likely see a fired-up team take the field in that first Giants game, especially if it happened to be at home, emotions swirling in the South Philly winds.

Roseman encapsulated most fans' feelings when he spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday:

We thought that was a foul. We’re sick to our stomach about the way our season ended for our team and Carson in particular. (...) Doug’s sick. Jeffery’s sick about it. Our whole organization is sick about it. We’re there, we have a home playoff game, eight plays in? Come on.

Luckily for Eagles fans seeking to voice their frustration, even if Clowney goes back to Seattle, he'll still visit the Linc next year. But it would be doubly satisfying to beat him while he plays for a division rival.

Can you imagine the roar of the crowd as Wentz spins out of a Clowney sack attempt, rolls to his right, and rifles a pass to Dallas Goedert to go up by two scores? The Linc might not survive.

We'll see what happens.

More on the Eagles