After a loss like the Eagles just endured — 37-10 to the NFC East rival Cowboys, dropping the team back below .500 — we could just as easily give the whole team an F or unsatisfactory for a grade.
There will be no polishing this turd, no individual performance or moment to point to as a silver lining. It was a total catastrophe.
On to the report card. And these guys better get their parents sign these things, because it’s bad.
Carson Wentz: 16/26, 191 YDS, TD, INT
Typically one of two players you can point to as having a good game — the other, punter Cameron Johnston — this wasn’t Wentz’s best. Granted, he was under a ton of pressure, and the Eagles were down 20 when Doug Pederson decided to start throwing the ball. Regardless, Wentz wasn’t seeing the field well. He didn’t see open receivers and failed to diagnose blitzes, and late in the game, he got reckless with his decision making, too. He was far from the biggest issue here, but certainly not his best work either.
Jordan Howard: 11 ATT, 50 YDS, 2 REC, 6 YDS
Howard ran the ball fine, even effectively, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Miles Sanders continues to flash the instincts of a rookie, most notably on a 3rd-and-4 carry in which he appeared to be looking straight into a crease to a first down, but instead danced his way to a three-yard gain and a punt. Six carries (for 21 yards) were arguably too many.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Dallas Goedert: 4 REC, 69 YDS, TD
While Goedert finally showed value as a receiver, he got the ball rolling in the wrong direction with his fumble on the Eagles’ opening possession. No one else recorded more than two receptions for 38 yards, Mack Hollins had zero catches, and while it was hard to tell, it sure looked like Nelson Agholor (two catches, 24 yards) could’ve at least extended for an overthrown pass in the fourth quarter. Doesn’t seem like these guys are getting open all that much.
So afraid of the Cowboys’ pass rush, the Eagles ran the ball 18 times to 19 dropbacks through three quarters while trailing almost the entire time and by as much as 20. Given the pressure on the quarterback — three sacks and a fumble — you can almost understand why. It was Andre Dillard’s first start, so some struggles were to be expected, but Lane Johnson was getting wrecked, too.
Derek Barnett: 2 TKL, TFL, SK
It’s no coincidence the two drives the defensive line got the quarterback on the ground for sacks were the only drives the defense actually stopped. And in addition to a generally ineffective pass rush — three quarterback hits in 31 dropbacks — Cowboys ball carriers got to the second level much too easily, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Nathan Gerry: 11 TKL
Gerry made it so Zach Brown and even Nigel Bradham version 2019 weren’t really missed, which isn’t saying a lot. But of the unit’s 17 total tackles, there were few true impact plays, and nothing remotely like a tackle for loss, sack, interception or so much as a pass breakup. What there were, though, were plenty of missed tackles. Of course, that goes for all three phases.
Lack of pass rush does them no favors, but a 77.8 completion percentage and 8.9 yards per pass attempt are big numbers. Mills’ late interception is the only time an Eagles defensive back even got their hands on a pass. When Malcolm Jenkins is out there getting trucked by running backs or blowing his assignments (last week), you know all is lost.
Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 1/1 XP
Penalties by Kamu Grugier-Hill (holding) and Rudy Ford (block in the back) caused two Eagles possessions to start inside their own 15-yard line. Miles Sanders choosing to run a kickoff out of the end zone pinned the offense deep a third time. The average starting field position for the night was the 19. You’re not going to win a lot of games like that.
Eagles’ record: 3-4
When people say Pederson should run the ball more, they don’t mean while the Eagles are down 20. And it’s no wonder Jim Schwartz doesn’t like blitzing, because he sure doesn’t seem to know when to call one or how to scheme anybody free. Special teams are bad. This team constantly has the wrong number of players on the field in all three phases. They weren’t ready to play, and Pederson’s talking trash and putting a target on their backs didn’t help.
You can only hope this is like the Saints game in 2018 and becomes the low point of the season from which the Eagles bounce back.
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