Eagles

Doug Pederson, Eagles' secondary receive poor grades in report card from loss to Vikings

Doug Pederson, Eagles' secondary receive poor grades in report card from loss to Vikings

There are close losses, and then there’s plain getting beat. Sunday was the latter for the Eagles, who fell, 38-20, to the Vikings in Minnesota (see Roob's observations).

There weren’t a whole lot of positives to take away — a few on offense maybe, but the defense was bad, and the coaching highly questionable, from the game plan to one particularly erroneous call.

The red pen got a lot of use in Week 6, and this report card even goes so far as to hand out a rare F.

Quarterbacks

Carson Wentz: 26/40, 306 YDS, 2 TD, INT

Not sure how much more Wentz can do. To win, he would’ve needed to score more than 38 points while overcoming dropped passes in clutch situations and his head coach’s horrendous decision-making against a really good defense on the road. Wentz’s line was quality — he completed 65 percent for 7.7 yards per attempt and a garbage-time interception. This one isn’t on the quarterback.

Grade: B+

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 3 CAR, 6 YDS, 3 REC, 86 YDS, TD

Don’t look now, but Miles Sanders is third on the team with 219 receiving yards this season — both a compliment and an indictment of the team’s wideouts. Jordan Howard helped keep the chains moving with 49 yards on 13 carries, though a missed assignment in pass protection helped kill a late drive.

Grade: B

Wide receivers and tight ends

Alshon Jeffery: 10 REC, 76 YDS, TD

Not that it really mattered, but Zach Ertz’s fourth-quarter fumble slammed the door on whatever faint comeback hopes may have existed. Ertz also dropped a third-down pass, and Jeffrey dropped one on fourth down — tough balls, maybe, but these are supposed to be star players.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Jason Peters exited in the second quarter but Andre Dillard held up reasonably well in the future Hall of Famer’s absence. The Eagles averaged a solid 4.2 yards on designed runs (excluding garbage time), and the quarterback was hit just five times in 41 dropbacks — though he escaped pressure a number of times.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Brandon Graham: 4 TKL, TFL, SK

The front four combined for six tackles for loss, including two for Hassan Ridgeway, and did its part in limiting a dangerous Vikings running game to 3.5 yards per carry. But Graham’s sack was one of just three hits on the quarterback by the D-line, which simply wasn’t enough.

Grade: C

Linebackers

Nate Gerry: 6 TKL, TFL

Zach Brown, who had some things to say leading up to this game, had a chance to notch a sack and get the ball back for his offense. Instead, he took a bad angle, the quarterback escaped the pocket and the drive continued. The unit was solid against the run but had no impact otherwise.

Grade: C

Secondary

Malcolm Jenkins: 8 TKL, PD, FF

What a disaster. Back-to-back 50-yard touchdowns over Rasul Douglas, with Rodney McLeod and then Jenkins nowhere to be found. Sidney Jones got beat on a double move at the 8-yard line. They were better in the second half, but abysmal for the first 30 minutes.

Grade: F

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 2/2 FG, 2/2 XP, INT

Can’t really fault Elliott for the pick — that fake field goal was dead on arrival. Rudy Ford’s holding penalty on the Eagles’ opening kick return pinned the offense at its own 7-yard line and helped set the tone for the whole day.

Grade: B-

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 3-3

Here’s the thing about Doug Pederson’s ill-advised fake field goal with time winding down in the first half — even if the pass is complete, unless it’s a touchdown, there’s a good chance the Eagles are lining up for three again moments later. It wasn’t the time. Perhaps taking the three or leaving the offense out there would’ve produced the same outcome, but Pederson hurt the team’s chances of completing a comeback with that decision.

Grade: D

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Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

A few years ago, Rick Lovato was working in his family’s restaurant, Joyce’s Subs and Pizza, in Lincroft, New Jersey, just waiting for a chance.

He wasn’t the best at making pizza, but Lovato could make a mean breakfast sandwich. 

Maybe he still can, but Lovato won’t have to worry about picking up an apron again anytime soon. He’s in the middle of what might end up being a long and profitable NFL career. 

The Eagles on Tuesday signed the 27-year-old long snapper to a four-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2023 season. 

Lovato has been playing this season on a one-year deal he signed in February and was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. It’s worth noting that kicker Jake Elliott and punter Cameron Johnston are also in the final years of their contracts, so perhaps another move or two will be coming. 

While this deal won’t break the bank the way Brandon Brooks’ extension did last week, the Eagles seem interested right now in re-signing some players they want to keep around. 

The Eagles initially signed Lovato in December of 2016 after Jon Dorenbos broke his wrist. Lovato performed well enough that the Eagles traded Dorenbos the following August and made Lovato their full-time long snapper. 

Lovato has played in 45 regular-season games and five playoff games with the Eagles, including Super Bowl LII. He has a giant Lombardi Trophy tattooed on his side. 

Being a long snapper is kind of like being an offensive lineman in some ways. The less you hear about the long snapper, the more likely he’s performing well and not making mistakes. So, for Lovato’s sake, hopefully this is the last time you hear his name for a few years.  

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Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

We've got some overall defense, some Zach Ertz and some Miles Sanders in this week's edition of 10 Roob Stats.

Yes, we can always come up with positive stats even when the Eagles lose!

—> The Eagles have held three straight opponents to 17 or fewer points and fewer than 300 yards. This is only the second time that’s happened in the last 11 years. They also did it against the Steelers, Bears and Browns — the first three games of the Doug Pederson Era. Only the Patriots and 49ers have also had such streaks this year.

—> Carson Wentz’s current streak of 13 straight games with a touchdown pass is 3rd-longest in Eagles history, behind Wentz’s 22-game streak over the 2016 through 2018 seasons and Randall Cunningham’s 18-game streak in 1987 and 1988.

—> Wentz played his 50th career game Sunday. Among all QBs in NFL history in their first 50 games, he ranks 9th in most TD passes, 9th in passing yards, 12th in accuracy, second in completions and 3rd in interception percentage and has the 4th-highest passer rating.

—> Zach Ertz’s nine catches Sunday give him 55 this year. He’s the first player in Eagles history with six straight 50-catch seasons. Keith Byars [1988-92], Jeremy Maclin [2009-14], and Brian Westbrook [2004-08] had five.

—> Zach Ertz now has 17 career nine-catch games. Only Tony Gonzalez [25] and Jason Witten [20] have more in NFL history among tight ends. The last two games mark the fourth time in his career he’s had nine catches in consecutive games. The only other players in Eagles history to do that once are Pete Pihos in 1955 Terrell Owens in 2005.

—> One more Ertz: He’s increased his career total to 492 receptions, 20th-most in NFL history by a tight end. He only needs 14 to pass six more tight ends and move into 14th place. At his current rate, he’ll be in the all-time top-10 by Week 3 of next season.

—> The Eagles allowed 14 TD drives of 60 yards or more the first six games of the season. They’ve allowed 4 the last four games.

—> They’ve also held six straight home opponents under 100 rushing yards, the 6th-longest streak in franchise history and 3rd-longest since 1955.

—> The Eagles are on pace to allow fewer than 1,400 rushing yards ad fewer than 3.8 per carry in the same season for only the second time since 1991 and the sixth time since 1955.

—> He didn’t have a huge game Sunday, but Miles Sanders did add 47 scrimmage yards to his 2019 total and now ranks second among all rookie NFL running backs with 688 scrimmage yards, behind only Josh Jacobs of the Raiders, who has 1,067 (and 97 more touches).

—> Sanders’ 688 yards are most ever by an Eagles rookie running back after 10 games (35 more than Lee Bouggess in 1970) and second-most by any rookie, behind only DeSean Jackson (732). Sanders needs to average 52 yards from scrimmage the rest of the season for 1,000. The only Eagles rookie to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards was Jackson (1,008 in 2008). The most by a running back was LeSean McCoy’s 945 in 2009.

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