The Eagles should’ve beaten the Lions. They didn’t, and you can largely pin that on a few units or even individual players.
That’s what the Week 3 report card reflects after the Eagles were defeated, 27-24, at home on Sunday — plenty of solid or even good performances marred by absolutely disastrous play by a select handful (see observations).
Carson Wentz: 19/36, 259 YDS, 2 TD
Not to sound like a Wentz apologist, but honestly not sure what else he was supposed to do. Thwarted by drops, offensive pass interference penalties, and more drops, the quarterback still managed to put the potential game-winning touchdown in his receiver’s hands in the fourth quarter. Wentz isn’t the problem here.
Miles Sanders: 13 CAR, 53 YDS, 2 REC, 73 YDS, 2 FUM
The rookie got off to a slow start but eventually was getting north-south for some nice gains. Then he turned the ball over three snaps after his teammates bailed him out on the first fumble (see story). Jordan Howard should get more opportunities, though his success (11 CAR, 37 YDS, TD) came to a screeching halt in the second half.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Nelson Agholor: 7 REC, 45 YDS, 2 TD
Agholor’s scores were too little, too late. He had already doomed the team with his inexplicable unforced fumble. Then JJ Arcega-Whiteside (1 REC, 10 YDS) dropped potential game-winning touchdowns, too (see story). The Eagles were without Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, but these guys still get paid to catch and hold on to the football, right?
Eagles running backs averaged just 3.6 yards per carry, which is passable, but the O-line was solid in pass protection, allowing only five quarterback hits — some of those the result of good coverage. More than adequate to beat the Lions.
Brandon Graham: 3 TKL
The front four registered just two quarterback hits, both by Vinny Curry, on 32 Lions dropbacks. Fletcher Cox didn’t even make it on to the stat sheet! They were tremendous against the run, but the pass rush was nonexistent on all but a handful of plays. Granted, the Lions used a lot of max protection, but the D-line needs to be better.
Zach Brown: 7 TKL, TFL, PD
All Nigel Bradham (4 TKL, PD) needed to do was turn around and he had an easy interception. Instead, he defends the intended receiver coming back for an underthrown football as if he’s trying to stop a point guard from driving to the basket. He was lucky it wasn’t called pass interference. The unit was otherwise OK, minus some awareness issues.
Rasul Douglas: 2 TFL, 2 PD
The Lions completed only 56.3 percent of the passes for 6.3 yards per attempt, with a long gain of 27 yards. Not a dreadful game by any means. The defensive backs seemed to improve after Ronald Darby exited with a hamstring injury — he somehow led the unit with six tackles despite leaving in the first half. Sidney Jones surrendered a touchdown though.
Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 3/3 XP
Rough game for the coverage units, which allowed a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown and a 24-yard punt return. Then Malcolm Jenkins nearly stole the game for the Eagles with his blocked field goal, so between that and fine outings from the kickers, it’s roughly a wash.
Eagles’ record: 1-2
Doug Pederson can’t make backup receivers catch the ball. Jim Schwartz can’t prevent a kickoff return for touchdown. The coaching staff can’t keep good players from dropping like flies with injuries. Not going to hand out a great grade for a loss, but not unlike the quarterback, the game plan had this team in position for a win — the available talent just couldn’t pull it off.
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