Eagles

Boston Scott impresses, Carson Wentz has a signature win and more in Eagles-Giants report card

Boston Scott impresses, Carson Wentz has a signature win and more in Eagles-Giants report card

Amazing what 30 minutes can mean for a football team. At halftime, the Eagles were barreling toward a loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL in the NFC East rival Giants and another report card filled with F’s. Then, out of nowhere, the Eagles with a ragtag offense and much maligned defense launched a comeback, turning a 14-point deficit into a 23-17 overtime victory.

Good grades for all! Well, good grades for most, and satisfactory grades for all, as a home win over New York shouldn’t have been quite that difficult.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz: 33/50, 325 YDS, 2 TD

For two-and-a-half quarters, it appeared Wentz was headed for another uneven performance everybody could nitpick all week. Then, improbably, with only two healthy wide receivers and his right tackle sidelined, he got into a rhythm. Wentz completed 22 of 31 for 228 yards in the second half and overtime, leading three scoring drives on the Eagles’ final five possessions. And when you consider the supporting cast he did it with, it’s even more surprising. Giants or no, this was a signature win for the fourth-year signal caller.

Grade: A

Running backs

Boston Scott: 10 CAR, 59 YDS, TD, 6 REC, 69 YDS

The numbers weren’t stellar, but Miles Sanders (15 CAR, 45 YDS, 4 REC, 24 YDS) gave maximum effort, running with a purpose, jumping and juking, trying to create explosive plays. Protected his quarterback, too. The big gainers just weren’t there – couldn’t make that last guy miss or slip one last tackle. With Sanders apparently hurting, Boston Scott got an extended look in the second half and went off, which played a huge part in changing the game.

Grade: A

Wide receivers and tight ends

Zach Ertz: 9 REC, 91 YDS, 2 TD

Once Alshon Jeffery was lost to injury, the Eagles were extremely shorthanded here, so it’s no surprise Ertz was the only member of either unit with better than 5 catches (Joshua Perkins) or 41 yards (Dallas Goedert). The cherry on top was Greg Ward dropping a touchdown pass right on is hands, one of five in nine targets that went for incompletions. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside came up with a highlight-reel over-the-shoulder grab for 22 yards on the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter though.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Jason Peters will have nightmares about this one. The future Hall of Famer was tossed aside like a rookie when his man sacked the quarterback into Lane Johnson, causing the right tackle’s nasty-looking ankle injury. The line was only adequate otherwise, paving the way for a ho-hum 3.7 yards per carry on the ground and allowing 10 quarterback hits and three sacks in 54 dropbacks.

Grade: C+

Defensive line

Vinny Curry: 2 TFL, 2.0 SK

The Eagles limited the Giants to 3.9 yards per carry on the ground, then the front four turned up the rush in the second half, with Curry killing a pair of drives. It was clear New York’s game plan was to get the ball out quickly, so there were only five hits on the quarterback, but the line definitely affected the passer.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Nate Gerry: 5 TKL, PD

Not hugely impactful in terms of volume, as Gerry and Nigel Bradham combined for nine tackles. However, the duo also combined for a couple of pass breakups, which were no small potatoes.

Grade: B

Defensive backs

Malcolm Jenkins: 4 TKL, TFL, 2 PD, FF

Hope you like your Ronald Darby extra crispy. The corner missed a tackle to turn a short slant into a 35-yard score, then was involved in a mix-up with Rodney McLeod on a 55-yard bomb for another six, which Jenkins accepted the blame for postgame. The secondary settled down after that, allowing just 24 yards through the air in the second half – but those plays almost proved costly.

Grade: B-

Special teams

Cameron Johnston: 48.4 AVG, 5 IN20

Are the Eagles even in this game if Johnston doesn’t continuously pin the Giants in their own end? Probably not. Jake Elliott missed a 47-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that, as it turned out, would’ve helped the Eagles put the game away in regulation – no harm, no foul, I guess.

Grade: A-

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 6-7

Was all set to give the staff an F after a pitiful first half, but look at what this team accomplished. Jim Schwartz’s unit limited the Giants to two first downs and 29 yards of total offense in the second half, and Doug Pederson’s offense put together three touchdown drives with Boston Scott, Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Joshua Perkins among Carson Wentz’s primary targets, not to mention with Lane Johnson out of the game. They rallied the troops, and Giants or no, took care of business in dramatic fashion.

Grade: A-

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Eagles have reportedly hired Marquand Manuel as the new secondary coach

Eagles have reportedly hired Marquand Manuel as the new secondary coach

Marquand Manuel is the Eagles’ new secondary coach, according to a tweet by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

The 40-year-old Manuel replaces Cory Undlin, who had served in that role since 2015, first under Chip Kelly and the last four years under Doug Pederson. Undlin was named Lions defensive coordinator two weeks ago.

Manuel and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz go back a ways. Manuel played for the Lions in 2009 when Schwartz was their head coach.

Manuel was not in the NFL this past year. He spent the previous four years under Dan Quinn with the Falcons, two years as secondary coach and two years as defensive coordinator before getting fired following the 2018 season.

The Falcons reached the Super Bowl in his second year in Atlanta, losing to the Patriots in Houston.

Before Atlanta, Manuel spent three years working under Quinn with the Seahawks, holding a variety of titles on the defensive staff.

Manuel, who played for Steve Spurrier at Florida, was the Bengals’ 6th-round pick in 2002 and spent eight years as a safety in the NFL with six different teams — the Bengals, Seahawks, Packers, Panthers, Broncos and Lions.

He played in 116 games, starting 58, with two interceptions and a pick-6 while he was with the Packers in 2006 off Jon Kitna of the Lions.

The Eagles also reportedly interviewed Browns defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker for the position.

The Eagles already have a safeties coach on the staff, former Eagle Tim Hauck. He was Pederson's teammate with the Eagles in 1999 and has been on Pederson's staff since 2016.

Quinn had this to say about Manuel on the Falcons’ web site back in 2018:

From the time I've met him from now, one thing that's cool to see that has stayed consistent is the energy and enthusiasm he has for players. He made the transition from player to coach really seamlessly because he knew the boundaries of coach, but he also stepped across to say, I can push you. That's not easy to do. He's always had mental quickness of a quarterback or someone who gets concepts really quickly. That transferred into this coaching fast. He can communicate concepts and ideas quickly to people on the run, in the moment, that's a really valuable asset as a coach.

The Eagles still have openings to replace the three assistant coaches Doug Pederson fired: offensive coordinator Mike Groh, wide receivers coach Carson Walch and defensive line coach Phillip Daniels.

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Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Eagles might lose executive Andrew Berry after all

Just a few days ago, it seemed like the Eagles weren’t going to lose Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry because it looked like the Browns were going to hire someone else.

Well, that someone else has dropped out of the race.

Vikings assistant GM George Paton has taken himself out of the running to be the Browns’ next general manager, which means Berry is now the new favorite, according to Cleveland.com

This is certainly an interesting turn of events.

According to Cleveland.com, “Paton was reluctant to accept the initial interview because he assumed the job would go Berry.”

Now it might.

It would have made plenty of sense for the Browns to hire Paton, who has a long-standing relationship with new head coach Kevin Stefanski from their time together in Minnesota. But according to reports over the past few weeks, it seems like Berry has been a favorite of ownership and the front office.

While Berry and Stefanski have never worked together, they did get to know each other during the coaching search in Cleveland a year ago. After that search, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens and Berry left for Philly. But now, Berry and Stefanski might actually get a chance to work with one another.

The Harvard-educated Berry, 32, was with the Browns from 2016-18 as their Vice President of Player Personnel before he joined the Eagles last season in a role they created for him. Berry initially came up in the Colts franchise, first as a scouting assistant and finally as a pro scouting coordinator. He’s been a quick-riser in the NFL world.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a Vice President job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

Final say is something Berry will likely never have here in Philadelphia. Despite a few missteps in recent years, Howie Roseman has pretty solid job security and he isn’t going anywhere. If Berry is going to become a GM, it’s going to be in another city. And it seems like that day might be coming soon.

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