The Eagles lost on Sunday but they certainly weren’t embarrassed.
This was a game the Eagles could have won, but ultimately didn’t, falling to the Chargers 27-24. They are now 3-6 on the season.
Here are the grades:
Jalen Hurts: 11/17, 162 yards, 1 TD; 10 carries, 62 yards
Hurts played really tough and made some great plays in the second half. The second-half drive to tie the game at 24-24 was about as good as we’ve seen from him as the Eagles’ quarterback. Those two conversions on third downs on that drive were big-time plays. But Hurts also threw for just 162 yards and the missed throw to DeVonta Smith at the end of the first half was one he needed to hit.
Jordan Howard: 17 carries, 71 yards (4.2), 1 TD
In his two games as a practice squad call-up, Howard has 128 yards. He is running very tough right now and the Eagles are going to have to figure out a way to get him on the active roster. In addition to Howard, Boston Scott had 10 carries for 40 yards and Kenny Gainwell got just two carries but punched in a touchdown. Ground and pound worked against the NFL’s worst rushing defense.
DeVonta Smith: 5 catches on 6 targets, 116 yards, 1 TD
Smith was fantastic on Sunday, doing most of his damage in the second half. But the rest of the receivers combined for 3 catches for 3 yards. Quez Watkins had 2 for 9 and Jalen Reagor had 1 for -6. The Eagles need someone else to start producing at this position. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be Reagor, so it’s probably time to get a few more targets to Watkins.
Dallas Goedert: 3 catches on 6 targets for 43 yards
The receiving numbers for Goedert weren’t huge in this game but all three tight ends — Goedert, Jack Stoll and Tyree Jackson — were asked to block quite a bit. The Eagles ran 13 personnel and 12 personnel to get the run game going in this game. So the production as receivers wasn’t there, but the tight ends still played a major role in the offense on Sunday.
Upon first watch, Jack Driscoll gave up some pressure but the rest of the offensive line was pretty solid. Hurts was sacked just one time and the O-line led the way for a big rushing performance. The Eagles had 176 yards on the ground against the Chargers.
Fletcher Cox: 3 combined tackles
To start off with the positives, the Eagles’ D-line did a decent job on Austin Ekeler until that 16-yard run late in the game. Aside from that? The highest-paid unit on the team didn’t register much pressure at all on Justin Herbert. Some of that was because the coverage was loose and Herbert was getting the ball out quickly, but it’s fair to expect more pressure from the Eagles’ line, especially going against an offensive line that hasn’t been very good recently. This was the 23rd game of Herbert’s career and it was the first time he hasn’t been sacked.
T.J. Edwards: 12 combined tackles
When’s the last time the Eagles’ linebackers got the highest grade on defense? No, it wasn’t a perfect performance. There were missed plays from Edwards and Davion Taylor. But Edwards has added some physicality to a defense that desperately needed some. With Taylor, there are going to be ups and downs — there were plenty of each on Sunday — but that’s to be expected. The Eagles need to let him learn on the job.
Rodney McLeod: 8 combined tackles
Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox were forced out of the game with injuries and that led to Andre Chachere and Zech McPhearson seeing the field. They weren’t too bad. Some of the secondary’s issues were tied to scheme, but regardless Herbert still completed 32 of 38 passes for 356 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Birds.
Arryn Siposs: 3 punts, 130 yards (43.3), 1 downed inside 20
The good was that Siposs had a fantastic punt downed on the 1-yard line and that Jake Elliott hit his only field goal attempt and all three PATs. But John Hightower had a bad decision to return a kick that cost the Eagles 10 yards and they also gave up a 39-yard kick return in the second half to set up a touchdown drive.
Eagles record: 3-6
Nick Sirianni doubled down on his commitment to run the football and ended up calling a pretty balanced game. On the other side, Jonathan Gannon went back to his passive ways, allowing another quarterback to carve up his defense. It works if they force turnovers or get off the field. They didn’t force any turnovers and late in the game when they needed to get off the field, they couldn’t.
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