Eagles

Coaching, Eagles' secondary receive failing grades in embarrassing loss to Cowboys

Coaching, Eagles' secondary receive failing grades in embarrassing loss to Cowboys

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.

Quarterback

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.

Grade: C-

Running backs

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.

Grade: C

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.

Grade: D

Offensive line

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.

Grade: C-

Defensive line

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.

Grade: D

Linebackers

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.

Grade: C-

Secondary

Jalen Mills

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.

Grade: F

Special teams

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.

Grade: D

Coaching

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.

Grade: F

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Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Jalen Reagor hasn't yet set foot on a football field wearing midnight green, but the Eagles' first-round pick is already a pro at comebacks.

Professional Talker Skip Bayless popped off about Reagor's (admittedly unexpected) draft slot late last week, making fun of the Eagles for taking Reagor at No. 21 overall.

Here's what Bayless had to say:

I about fell out of my chair over that, for the wrong reason. Jalen Reagor went way higher than any draft expert had mocked him. I'm mocking that pick right now, because I thought it was a silly pick, because there were four, five other receivers I would've taken over Jalen Reagor.

There are, of course, different ways to responds when a person like Bayless (loud, looking for attention) singles out a player.

You can try to argue the points made, and point out that while Reagor going at No. 21 overall may have been a surprise, you'd be hard pressed to name four wideouts who went after Reagor and are widely seen as better players.

Justin Jefferson at No. 22? Fine. Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25 is a pick 'em, as is Tee Higgins at No. 33, and most basically everyone would give Reagor the edge over guys like Laviska Shenault, K.J. Hamler, and Chase Claypool.

You can take the petty angle and remind Bayless, a noted Cowboys fan, which team is the reigning NFC East champion. (It's the Eagles.)

Or you can be Reagor, and simply tell Bayless that you heard what he thinks, and keep it moving:

Nice and subtle. Reagor is keeping a list, but he's unbothered. Perfect.

Something tells me this clip will be re-shared plenty when Reagor scores his first touchdown against the Cowboys.

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How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

ESPN's decision to seize on the success of "The Last Dance" by teasing a similar documentary about Tom Brady has grabbed sports fans' attention, even if the doc doesn't come out until 2021.

And while reliving Brady's greatest accomplishments isn't an ideal way to spend several hours, the way the Eagles are intertwined with Brady's Patriots legacy certainly suggests there will be tons of insights for Philly fans in the final product.

Like, maybe, Brady saying he feels the fabled 'Patriot Way' began because of the Eagles.

Here's the doc's producer Gotham Chopra, talking to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, on the way Brady viewed his time in New England:

CHOPRA: There was something we recently did on that 2004 Super Bowl, where he talked about the culture of that team. All this stuff you hear about Patriot Way, and Do Your Job, stuff that Bill has created over the years, the philosophies, this is the year that really happened.

He’s like, ‘First year, kind of a miracle. The next Super Bowl, O.K., now we’re getting our feel. And that first Eagles Super Bowl, this is where the Patriot Way was born.’

Welp.

Odds are good the Patriots would've been great for the last 15 years no matter what, but it's sort of frustrating to know the Eagles losing to Brady helped, at least in Brady's mind, establish New England's brand of success.

Who knows: If Donovan McNabb & Co. managed to pull out the win, maybe we would've had a very different last 15 years.

One thing Eagles fans can get excited for, at least, is Brady's reaction to losing Super Bowl LII to the Eagles.

It's unclear how much behind-the-scenes stuff we'll see from the game - Chopra said Brady suddenly got cold feet about filming in Minneapolis that week - but It sounds like it really changed him as a person:

CHOPRA: What he told me about that Eagles loss, it was dealing with it as a father, dealing with it as a husband. He was a very different person than with the Giants losses, he had a different perspective that I think poised him for that game. I thought, ‘Wow, it’s really interesting how a guy who’s still at it is learning like that.’ Because he’s like [Michael] Jordan, he’s incomparable. There’s no one else who has that story, has that perspective.

It's so strange to think how, despite playing in a different conference, the Eagles have played a pretty significant role in shaping the way the world sees Brady and the Patriots.

For better, and for worse.

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