Eagles

The Eagles' defense finds themselves on the receiving end of a bad report card after loss to Dolphins

The Eagles' defense finds themselves on the receiving end of a bad report card after loss to Dolphins

After failing grades for members of the Eagles’ offense in back-to-back weeks, this time the defense is on the receiving end of a bad report card after a 37-31 loss to the lowly Dolphins.

The Eagles blew leads of 10 and 14 points to an opponent that entered the game with two wins and has been widely accused of tanking, so you better believe the letter F is back in full force.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz: 28/46, 310 YDS, 3 TD, INT

Far from great, which will no doubt keep the debate about Wentz’s franchise-worthiness going for another week – though he certainly did enough to win. A few inaccurate throws, but take away the Hail Mary interception at the end, and negative plays were kept to a minimum with only two sacks and no other turnovers. Bottom line, he led the offense to 31 points.

Grade: B-

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 17 CAR, 83 YDS, 5 REC, 22 YDS, TD

Sanders put the Eagles offense on his shoulders for much of the first half, carrying 10 times for 54 yards with three receptions for 24 yards, including a 15-yard catch and run. Lack of explosive plays the only gripe.

Grade: B+

Wide receivers and tight ends

Alshon Jeffery: 9 REC, 137 YDS, TD

Who are these guys and what did they do with the Eagles receivers who drop everything? And we’re talking tough catches and clutch catches. Jeffery had his best game all season. Dallas Goedert managed to post a line (6 REC, 66 YDS) without a fumble. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside hauled in his first career touchdown – 15 yards on a scramble drill – and Nelson Agholor followed it with a two-point conversion. Zach Ertz, of all people, was the worst of the bunch, leaving two potential touchdowns on the turf.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Solid, but unspectacular up front. Eagles running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry, and Wentz was hit just five times in 48 dropbacks – yet Miami’s defense ranked 31st against the run and dead last in sacks entering the game, so those numbers really aren’t that impressive.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Derek Barnett: 6 TKL, 2 TFL, 4 QBH, SK

The pressure on the quarterback was immense for much of the first half, with sacks for Barnett, Vinny Curry and a Fletcher Cox/Josh Sweat split. In all, the unit racked up 10 hits on the quarterback. Yet, the pass rush vanished in the second half while Miami marched into the end zone three straight times and kicked a field goal. Stopping Miami’s completely worthless ground attack was meaningless and inconsequential compared to the inability affect the passer.

Grade: D

Linebackers

Nigel Bradham: 4 TKL, PD

Where were these guys? Bradham, Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill combined for 11 tackles. And the one play Bradham needed to have – an interception in the fourth quarter – was in and out of his hands for a harmless incompletion. Not good enough.

Grade: F

Secondary

Grabbed the turnover on the first play from scrimmage, then it was pretty much all downhill from there for the Eagles corners. Ronald Darby gave up the 43-yard bomb on fourth down, while Jalen Mills was beat on jump balls not once, but twice on scores of 17 and 14 yards. Generally speaking, 365 yards through the air is a lot against any opponent, let alone one of the worst offenses in the NFL.

Grade: F

Special teams

The Dolphins’ punter threw a touchdown to their kicker. That’s all anybody needs to say.

Grade: D

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 5-7

Give Doug Pederson a modicum of credit: he moved the pocket a lot for his quarterback on Sunday, to some degree of success. Unfortunately, that’s about the only positive remark for this staff. Jim Schwartz’s defense was dismantled by one of the worst teams in the league, and Pederson refuses to stick with the run despite an inconsistent passing attack. Penalties – 10 for 91 yards – were an issue, too. This team isn’t very good, but they’re not exceptionally well-coached, either.

Grade: D

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Good injury news! Eagles to get Kamu Grugier-Hill back

Good injury news! Eagles to get Kamu Grugier-Hill back

Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill has been cleared through concussion protocol and is expected to return to practice on Thursday and will be able to play against the Redskins Sunday.

The circumstances around Grugier-Hill’s injury are a little mysterious, since he played the entire Dolphins game and didn’t appear on the Eagles’ injury report Thursday, four days after the game.

The Eagles didn’t practice Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday after the Dolphins game because they had a long week leading up to the Monday Night Football game against the Giants this past Monday.

Grugier-Hill missed the Giants game, the fourth game he’s missed this year. He missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury that he suffered the first week of training camp. Thursday’s practice will be the Eagles’ first since the Giants game.

Head coach Doug Pederson said Grugier-Hill first reported concussion symptoms last Thursday morning when he reported to the Nova-Care Complex.

Grugier-Hill has averaged 33 snaps per game in the nine games he’s played, third-most among Eagles linebackers, behind Nigel Bradham (60) and Zach Brown (46), who’s no longer with the team.

The Eagles were required to issue an injury report on Wednesday even though they didn’t practice because of the Monday night game.

That report lists players’ status as projections based on whether they would have participated if the Eagles did have a practice Wednesday.

According to that report, Nelson Agholor (knee), Derek Barnett (ankle) and Lane Johnson (ankle) would have missed practice.

Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is also listed on the injury report as “did not practice” since he is technically still on the 53-man roster, although his season is over and he’s expected to be placed on Injured Reserve later this week.

Agholor said on Wednesday that his knee injury has been an issue much longer than he had let on.

The Eagles also listed Jalen Mills (elbow) and Jordan Howard as limited, which means they would have participated in parts of practice if there were one.

Howard has missed four games but has been listed as limited throughout his shoulder injury since he’s cleared for non-contact drills but not contact.

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Doug Pederson highlights 6 young players in postgame speech

Doug Pederson highlights 6 young players in postgame speech

The Eagles snapped their three-game losing streak on Monday night with a gutty 23-17 overtime win over the Giants. 

They were down 14 nothing and lost a few key players during the game, which was a big part of Doug Pederson’s postgame message. 

“I’ve been around a long time in this league as a player and a coach and I can’t tell you that I’ve seen a team hang together like we did all night long,” Pederson said in the video above. “The way you guys battled. Offensively through adversity. We lost a couple more guys tonight. Through adversity, you hang tough. Our young guys stepped up!”

Then Pederson mentioned six younger Eagles by name. Here they are in the order he said them:  

Greg Ward: A practice squad call-up earlier in the year, Ward caught four passes for 34 yards. 

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: The second-round pick caught two passes for 29 yards, including what might have been the best catch of the season. 

Josh Perkins: Playing tight end and receiver, lining up all over the field, Perkins caught five passes for 37 yards. 

Boston Scott: The 5-6 running back had 128 yards from scrimmage and was the star of the night. 

Sidney Jones: He played just one snap but he made it count on a crucial third-down PBU. 

Halapoulivaati Vaitai: After Lane Johnson went down, Big V stepped in at right tackle. 

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