Eagles

Eagles Week 6 report card: Straight A’s … well, almost

Eagles Week 6 report card: Straight A’s … well, almost

The Eagles bounced back with a decisive 34-13 victory Thursday over the Giants in North Jersey, improving to 3-3 in the process (see Roob's observations). Still, several groups saw room for improvement on this week’s report card.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz: 26/36, 278 YDS, 3 TD, 122.2 RT

The first touchdown was sensational — extended the play, rolling right, cross-body throw in a tight window. Wentz was nearly perfect on third downs and in the red zone. Got a little sloppy with the football under duress, at one point throwing an intercept-able pass right into the arms of a D-linemen, but made few mistakes otherwise.

Grade: A

Running backs

Corey Clement: 11 ATT, 43 YDS, 1 TD, 3 REC, 26 YDS

Wendell Smallwood served as the primary back, though he was not as effective as Clement, plus he almost turned the ball over. Fumble aside, Smallwood ran hard but found little space, totaling 51 yards from scrimmage with 2.8 yards per carry.

Grade: B-

Wide receivers/tight ends

Alshon Jeffery: 8 REC, 74 YDS, 2 TD

Despite big numbers from Jeffery and Zach Ertz (seven receptions, 43 yards, one touchdown), Nelson Agholor came up with the Eagles’ two longest plays of the game. Agholor snatched a tipped pass away from a Giants defender for a 32-yard gain, and later broke off his route and produced a 58-yard catch-and-run. Even Jordan Matthews pitched in a pair of third-down conversions.

Grade: A+

Offensive line

Gritty effort. Neither Jason Peters nor Lane Johnson finished and weren’t 100 percent going in, but got the job done long enough to help the Eagles amass a nice lead. Pass protection was an issue early, but the unit settled down, largely keeping the quarterback clean even as starters were exiting.

Grade: A-

Defensive line

Michael Bennett: 6 TKL, 1 TFL, 1.0 SK, 3 QH, 1 FF

Six tackles for Fletcher Cox. One sack and one tackle for loss each for Cox, Bennett and Destiny Vaeao. Three quarterback hits each for Cox, Bennett and Derek Barnett, 12 total by the D-line. Just relentless.

Grade: A

Linebackers

Jordan Hicks: 10 TKL, 1 PD

Kamu Grugier-Hill was credited with the interception, but it was Hicks’ deflection that made it possible. Either way, huge play by the linebacker corps to set the Eagles up in Giants territory. Nigel Bradham (five tackles, one tackle for loss, 1.0 sack, one pass defensed) had a line, too, but was left flatfooted on a 50-yard touchdown run.

Grade: A-

Defensive backs

Ronald Darby: 2 TKL, 4 PD

Aside from one obligatory deep ball over Jalen Mills’ head, the secondary was solid. Darby was lockdown-corner good. The Giants were held to 6.5 yards per pass, while All-Pro wideout Odell Beckham Jr. managed six catches for 44 yards. Filling in at safety, Rasul Douglas was also to blame on the 50-yard run.

Grade: A

Special teams

Jake Elliott was responsible for 10 points. Cameron Johnston averaged 48.0 yards per punt with two inside the 20. DeAndre Carter averaged 9.4 yards per punt return with a long of 53.

Grade: B+

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 3-3

The only thing Jim Schwartz didn’t have an answer for was Saquon Barkley, and most of that was plain inability to tackle him. The rookie sensation racked up 229 yards from scrimmage, accounting for 60 percent of the Giants’ production. Doug Pederson could’ve called more runs early on, but it didn’t matter against an inept opponent.

Grade: B+

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Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

Andre Dillard's switch from left tackle to right tackle is like trying to write left-handed

How challenging is it for Andre Dillard to move from left tackle to right?

"Think about it like this," Dillard said. "You probably write with your right hand, right? So all of a sudden, say you had to write a big essay with your left hand. Right now. That's basically it. Write with your left hand. Think about how that would feel."

Dillard, a left tackle since he was 14, will make his first lifetime start at right tackle on Sunday when the Eagles face the Seahawks at the Linc.

Dillard said he's never played right tackle in a game on any level.

"Your brain kind of acts like a muscle in this case," he said. "You do one thing one way for 10 years, like I have, then everything about you is geared toward that. You flip it, your brain's like, 'Oh heck.' But this week's been a good week of preparation."

Dillard replaced injured left tackle Jason Peters in the second quarter of the Vikings game and stayed there through the Bills game, making his first three career starts and playing at a high level. Peters returned for the Patriots, but when right tackle Lane Johnson got hurt in the second quarter, it was Halapoulivaati Vaitai that entered the game at right tackle.

That didn't go so well. The Eagles, up 10-0, didn't score another point.

So Dillard spent this past week practicing at right tackle, and unless Johnson is somehow cleared through concussion protocol before Sunday, the rookie first-round pick will make his first career start on the right side against the Seahawks.

"Anytime you go from left to right side, it's a lot harder than people think," right guard Brandon Brooks said. "Not only are you flipping all the plays completely opposite but the muscle memory, your stance, everything's completely different. I have nothing but faith in Andre Dillard. Everything he's done, busting his ass out there, all the reps, all the extra time I've seen him after practice and stuff? It's different obviously. You don't replace Lane Johnson. He's a one-of-a-kind talent, a one-of-a-kind player. But at the same time, Dillard has more than enough talent. He's more than capable of handling his own out there."

The Eagles went with Vaitai to finish the Patriots game since Dillard hadn't taken any right tackle reps other than "a couple" in training camp and has never played the position.

"In the heat of the game I think Stout (offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland) for sure felt that Big V had more work on the right side," Jason Kelce said. "Andre, he's a tackle by trade and there's a little bit of a difference and a little bit of balance and body control that you have to get used to going on the right side, but he'll be able to get it done. He's a really athletic kid."

Now Dillard has had a full week of work on the right side, and he said the process of transitioning to a new position will continue up until game time as he watches film, works on his technique and talks to his teammates and coaches.

But so far?

"Smooth as can be," he said after practice Friday. "It's obviously going to be a challenge, but I'm up for it. I'm perfectly capable."

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Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Seahawks 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (5-5) are hosting the Seahawks (8-2) at the Linc on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know:

12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
1 p.m.: Eagles vs. Seahawks on FOX
4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP
6:30 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP

The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Kevin Burkhardt (play by play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Pam Oliver (sideline).

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP.

The Eagles opened up as 2.5-point home favorites against the Seahawks.

The referee for this game is Walt Anderson. Anderson has been the ref for two Eagles games in the Doug Pederson Era: A win over the Giants in November 2018 and the first game under Pederson in 2016, which was a win over Cleveland. Oddly enough, the Eagles had seven penalties for 46 yards in each of those games.

You’ll get to sleep early

This game was initially scheduled to be an 8:20 p.m. start, but the Packers-49ers game was flexed into that spot, so the Eagles and Seahawks got bumped to 1 p.m. That’s good news for anyone who values their sleep going into a new work week, but bad news for out-of-town fans who were relying on a national broadcast.

Russell Wilson is a problem

Wilson was already a Hall of Fame quarterback before this year, but now he’s having the best season of his career. Lamar Jackson is probably the front-runner to be the league’s MVP, but Wilson is right in the mix.

In three career games against the Eagles, Wilson is 3-0 and the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 74-39 in those games. Wilson has thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions in those three wins.

Things get easier from here

After this game, the Eagles’ schedule gets much easier. Coming off their bye week against the Patriots and Seahawks was a tough task. But check out the rest of their schedule after this:

Week 13: at Miami (2-8)
Week 14: vs. New York Giants (2-8)
Week 15: at Washington (1-9)
Week 16: vs. Dallas (6-4)
Week 17: at New York Giants (2-8)

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