Eagles

A-plus for running backs, disappointing defense and more in Eagles-Redskins report card

A-plus for running backs, disappointing defense and more in Eagles-Redskins report card

Another game-winning drive led by Carson Wentz and the defense does just enough to defeat Washington, 37-27, on Sunday — but there was one unit in particular that stood out and earned an A-plus on this week’s Eagles report card.

Quarterback

Carson Wentz: 30/43, 266 YDS, 3 TD

There’s plenty to nitpick about Wentz’s game, including a bad fumble in his own end, but he threw three second-half touchdowns. The second score was a 15-yard laser on the run, past the outstretched hands of two Washington defenders, and the third, a perfectly placed four-yard over-the-shoulder floater over tight coverage. Wentz also missed some throws that would’ve extended drives, but that’s back-to-back clutch performances for the Eagles’ franchise quarterback.

Grade: A-

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 19 ATT, 122 YDS, TD, 6 REC, 50 YDS, TD

The kid does it all. Sanders averaged 6.4 yards per carry, his vision and physicality on full display. And on his 15-yard touchdown catch, the rookie exhibited veteran instincts, finding a spot all alone in the corner of the end zone, and tremendous body control to stay in bounds. Boston Scott added 65 yards of total offense.

Grade: A+

Wide receivers and tight ends

Greg Ward: 7 REC, 61 YDS, TD

You can see why the Eagles waited until they were literally forced to put JJ Arcega-Whiteside on the field. He dropped one touchdown, killed another drive with a holding penalty and finished with zero catches. Good games by Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Ward, the latter of whom caught the game-winning touchdown, as all three finished with at least five receptions and 55 yards receiving.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Paved the way for a huge day on the ground, with 157 yards rushing on 5.6 yards per attempt. The pass protection was mostly reliable as well, minus a few hiccups, allowing only six quarterback hits and two sacks — one of which was entirely the result of the quarterback holding the ball too long.

Grade: B+

Defensive line

Brandon Graham: 5 TKL, 2 TFL

Not only did the Eagles fail to register a sack against Washington — they didn’t even hit the quarterback as far as the statkeepers were concerned. And a typically strong front against the run didn’t even do a particularly outstanding job there, allowing a 34-year-old running back to amass 66 yards with a 4.1 average. The front was a bit more disruptive than the numbers suggest, but not much

Grade: C-

Linebackers

Nathan Gerry: 4 TKL

It’s a good thing Nigel Bradham returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the game, otherwise an Eagles linebacker may not have had his name called all game. That’s a bit of an exaggeration obviously, as the unit combined to make nine tackles, but the unit’s missed tackles were certainly a lot more memorable.

Grade: C-

Secondary

Avonte Maddox: 3 TKL, 2 PD

Washington’s rookie quarterback entered the game completing 55 percent of his passes for 6.1 yards per attempt with three touchdowns and seven interceptions. So naturally, he was 19 of 28 with a 9.3 average, two scores and no picks against the Eagles. Maddox had a particularly rough day, with a missed tackle resulting in a 75-yard catch-and-run to the end zone and another touchdown in coverage — though he responded with a pair of pass breakups.

Grade: C-

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 4/4 XP

For the second week in a row, Cameron Johnston’s punts were once again critical plays, twice pinning Washington’s offense inside its own 15-yard line on three tries. Neither possession ended in points.

Grade: A-

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 7-7

Not sure how Jim Schwartz managed to make a rookie quarterback who had played poorly up to this point look like a stud, but he found a way. Doug Pederson almost got away from the run at one point mid-game, yet he went back to it and got some big plays. Bottom line, this team is fighting tooth and nail and doing just enough to win in the end. You just have to wonder if effort alone will be good enough to beat Dallas next week.

Grade: B

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Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Harold Carmichael learned back on Monday that he had finally made it into the Hall of Fame, but for logistical reasons he wasn’t allowed to tell anybody until after the official announcement on Wednesday.
 
As it happened, on Tuesday night, Harold found himself sitting next to his close friend and long-time coach Dick Vermeil at a dinner at NaBrasa Brazlian Steakhouse in Horsham.
 
For three hours.

Vermeil had just learned he didn't make it into the Hall of Fame. Carmichael had just learned he had.

And he couldn't say a word.
 
“It was killing me,” Carmichael said. “We talked about being disappointed that he didn’t get in, but I couldn’t say anything to him. He was promoting Dick Vermeil wines and we had about 160 people and they were asking me if I’d heard anything yet and I would just get off the subject. I really didn’t want to lie to anybody. I just couldn’t say anything about it. It was very, very tough for me. It’s still tough for me right now because I’m still trying to answer a lot of the texts. Got over 400 just in the past 24 hours and phone messages. My mailbox is full. They just gotta have patience. Like I did for 36 years.”
 
Carmichael’s wait is over.
 
This fall, he’ll be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside more than 300 other all-time greats.
 
Carmichael retired after the 1984 season, so he’s been eligible since 1989. Despite ranking 5th in NFL history in receptions when he retired, he was never even a finalist until this year.
 
“I didn’t know if I deserved to be in there,” Carmichael said Thursday. “I’ve been hearing I should be in there for the past 30-some years. It was not a lock for me. I didn’t know if I was good enough. I tried to do my best, but it was not for me to say I should be in the Hall of Fame. It was for me to try to put the numbers up and try to be the type of person they would want to represent the Hall of Fame.”
 
From 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL in yards (8,414), touchdowns (77) and catches (549). 
 
When he retired after playing two games with the Cowboys in 1984, Carmichael ranked 5th in NFL history in catches, 7th in yards and 7th in TD catches.
 
Today, 36 years after his last touchdown, Carmichael still ranks 24th in NFL history in TD catches.
 
This is all from a kid who didn’t get recruited to play major-college football, was a walk-on at Southern University in Baton Rouge and was drafted in the 7th round.
 
“When I got here, Harold Jackson and Ben Hawkins were the starting receivers,” Carmichael said. “They were veterans and I was trying to learn how to be a football player and questioning whether I could play in the National Football League.”
 
Now, nearly half a century later, Carmichael has been recognized as one of the greatest of all time. 
 
He’s only the 8th receiver drafted in the 7th round or later to make it into the Hall of Fame and the first whose career began in the 1970s or later.
 
Carmichael, 70, said the last 24 hours have been a whirlwind as congratulations have come in from 50 years worth of friends, teammates, coaches and associates.
 
“My son said to my wife, ‘Mom, I didn’t know so many people loved dad like this,’” Carmichael said.

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Eagle Eye podcast: What’s taking so long, Doug?

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Eagle Eye podcast: What’s taking so long, Doug?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro try to figure out what’s taking Doug Pederson so long to hire an offensive coordinator. 

Some top names have already found jobs. The guys update the remaining vacancies and speculate about the Eagles’ plan and toss out one new theory. 

They also look back at the biggest lessons from the 2019 season. 

• Coaches are getting hired all over the NFL 
• Updating offensive coordinator opening
• What are the Eagles’ waiting for? 
• Lessons from the 2019 season 
• Will Jordan Howard be back in 2020? 
• Figuring out which DEs are on the bubble 
• Our championship weekend predictions 
• Harold Carmichael is finally Hall-bound
• Which Eagles player is next? 

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