Eagles

A poor performance from Carson Wentz, the offensive line fails and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

A poor performance from Carson Wentz, the offensive line fails and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

A putrid performance from the Eagles’ offense in a 17-9 loss to the Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, though can you blame them?

No Jordan Howard. No Alshon Jeffery. No DeSean Jackson, or Nelson Agholor, or Darren Sproles, or Corey Clement, or Lane Johnson and no Brandon Brooks for most of the game, either. The Eagles probably deserve to be graded on a curve.

And yet, even grading on a curve, the Eagles can only be excused so much. With more turnovers than points until a garbage time touchdown with 20 second left, there’s no saving this week’s report card.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz:

Look at the list of names the offense is missing – you can’t possibly pin all the issues on one player. That said, Wentz delivered one of his worst performances as a pro. He was inaccurate, held the ball too long and generally didn’t see the field well. It didn’t help the defense was in his lap every other snap and seldom was a receiver open on any route of consequence. Regardless, 5.7 yards per pass attempt with four turnovers doesn’t get the job done in the NFL.

Grade: F

Running backs

Miles Sanders:

Sanders and Jay Ajayi combined to average a ho-hum 3.5 yards per carry in the first half, but Sanders looked electric in the second half, carrying five times for 36 yards — a 5.7 average. Too little, too late, unfortunately. The rookie also failed to record a reception until garbage time, though that’s hardly any fault of his own.

Grade: C

Wide receivers and tight ends

Zach Ertz:

The names change, but the results largely remain the same. Greg Ward piled up a bunch of catches, but for not many yards (6 REC, 40 YDS), while anybody else not named Ertz was invisible, or worse. The rest of the receivers combined to produce five catches for 70 yards, mostly in garbage time, while Dallas Goedert’s miniscule line (7 REC, 32 YDS) was negated by a fumble. Yes, there are injuries, but bottom line, this collection of weapons isn’t good enough.

Grade: F

Offensive line

Easy to sit here and second-guess the decision to start rookie Andre Dillard at right tackle when he only previously played left — he spent the first half on roller skates and was subsequently benched. But after Brandon Brooks exited the game (illness), the Eagles were deploying a right side made entirely of backups regardless. Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Matt Pryor weren’t good, either, contributing to the unit’s overall woeful performance. Almost any sack, turnover or negative play can be traced back to one of those three up front.

Grade: F

Defensive line

Brandon Graham: 2 TKL, 1.5 SK

Great job of containing the quarterback in the pocket, which is not easy to do to Russell Wilson. Josh Sweat added a sack via a Fletcher Cox pressure, but mostly the unit held its ground at the point of attack and allowed linebackers and defensive backs to clean up. A 58-yard rushing touchdown up the gut marred an otherwise strong effort up front.

Grade: B

Linebackers

Nigel Bradham: 9 TKL, TFL

Give Nathan Gerry six tackles, a half-sack — part of six total by the defense on Seattle’s quarterback — and a fumble recovery as well. Kamu Grugier-Hill had a chance to make it seven sacks, but left Wilson slip away. Solid outing overall.

Grade: B

Secondary

Rodney McLeod: 4 TKL, SK, INT, FF

Possibly the unit’s best performance of the season. McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins combined for three sacks, while the former’s interception on Ronald Darby’s deflection was one of three passes broken up on the back end. In the end, Wilson completed just 52.0 percent of his passes, though the weather and a couple drops helped.

Grade: B+

Special teams

Jake Elliott:

Little of note here. Greg Ward replaced Boston Scott on punt returns this week, and while it did not result in more productivity, at least the kicks were fielded cleanly.

Grade: C

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 5-6

Again, the talent isn’t there, but neither was the game plan to suit what the Eagles have. Where were the designed rollouts to move the quarterback out of the nonexistent pocket? Where was the commitment to running the football when the passing attack is clearly broken? Where were the gadget plays to misdirect their opponent – the type of trick plays that worked against the Eagles in back-to-back weeks? Doug Pederson may not have much talent at his disposal, but he sure didn’t out-scheme the defense this week, either. Nice job by Jim Schwartz, who’s completely turned around this team’s defense, but that’s about the only positive thing you can say.

Grade: D

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Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

Eagles might play a road game in Mexico City in 2020 NFL season

The Arizona Cardinals announced Friday that one of their home games in 2020 will take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which means the Eagles might play in Mexico City in 2020.

Fun! (Probably.)

Just two years after playing the Jaguars in London, the Eagles are one of six possible opponents for the Cardinals' game in Mexico. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss is reporting Friday that the Lions and Dolphins will not be the opponent:

This will mark the fifth straight season that the NFL has a game scheduled for Estadio Azteca, and the 13th time a game has been scheduled at Estadio Azteca all-time.

The Eagles actually have a super interesting, and kind of wacky, history with Mexico City games. 

They were scheduled to face the Detroit Lions in an exhibition on Aug. 11, 1968, which would've marked the first football game ever played in Mexico City, but the game was cancelled - without much explanation, according to the Associated Press. Half the stadium's tickets were going for about 40 cents at the time, according to the AP.

Ten years later, the Eagles actually ended up participating in the first NFL game held in Mexico City after all, a 14-7 exhibition loss to the Saints. According to Ron Jaworski, the locker rooms were tiny and the goal posts were crooked, which sounds fun.

All-time, the Eagles are 2-3 in international games, a record that probably doesn't mean much because they've played outside of the country once since 1993 - and that was a win.

Vamos Eagles.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON, LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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