Eagles fans won’t want to hear this, but there’s nothing for the team to be ashamed of after a 24-20 loss to the Falcons on Sunday night.
The injuries started in warmups with tight end Dallas Goedert and continued to pile up as the game went on, with Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Tim Jernigan and Sidney Jones among the players who came off the field at some point. Add in the road trip, and it was a tough game.
Sure, the Eagles had opportunities to steal a win, and that’s reflected in the grades. But by and large, this isn’t a terrible report card considering what transpired in Atlanta.
Carson Wentz: 25/43, 231 YDS, TD, 2 INT
Was Wentz hurt, or was the offense out of sync because the Eagles were suddenly down to their backup receivers? Whatever was ailing the signal caller, he snapped out of it in the second half, completing 19 of 27 passes for 184 yards with two scores — one passing, one rushing — plus he put the possible game-winning touchdown on Nelson Agholor's fingertips. By no means a classically great performance, but a gutsy game for Wentz, particularly under the circumstances.
Miles Sanders: 10 ATT, 28 YDS, 3 REC, 9 YDS
Sanders is explosive when he’s moving north-south, but has a tendency to bounce runs outside, to limited success. To be fair, the backs didn’t have a ton of room to operate. Looked like Darren Sproles might’ve missed his assignment in pass protection on an interception.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Nelson Agholor: 8 REC, 107 YDS, TD
There’s no getting around it. Agholor’s drop in the fourth quarter might’ve cost the Eagles the game. Atlanta would’ve had an opportunity with the ball, but that was six points. Backbreaker. Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery all exited in the first quarter with injuries. Mack Hollins helped pick up the slack with five catches for 50 yards, though he often did not appear to be on the same page with his quarterback.
Eagles running backs carries 18 times for 46 yards — a 2.6 average — and didn’t record a gain over five yards. Five! Atlanta’s pass rush enjoyed some success too, registering 10 quarterback hits and three sacks. Give the Falcons’ front and pressure packages some credit, but this unit has set the bar high and didn’t meet those expectations.
Derek Barnett: TFL, 3 QH
The numbers won’t do them justice, but the pass rush helped create three interceptions despite five quarterback hits and zero sacks. Falcons running backs also carried 15 times for 54 yards, a 3.6 average. Barnett and Brandon Graham set the tone with their efforts.
Nate Gerry: 2 TKL, INT
It might’ve been a case of right place, right time. Regardless, Gerry’s end zone pick kept the Falcons off the board and gave the Eagles a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Clutch. Zach Brown led the unit with five tackles. Nigel Bradham left some plays out there, though.
Sidney Jones: 6 TKL, INT
Ronald Darby was getting killed, and rightfully so as the Falcons were clearly picking on him. Yet on the 34-yard touchdown over the top, it was Andrew Sendejo arriving late with the help. Darby’s play picked up in the second half, as did the rest of the secondary. Darby and Jones had picks, Andrew Sendejo a sack, and Rodney McLeod was everywhere with a team-high seven tackles. Unfortunately, the lasting image will be Avonte Maddox getting buried on the game-winning screen.
Cameron Johnston: 52.3 AVG, 3 IN20
Underrated moment that will go forgotten: Corey Clement’s kick return fumble to open the second half. Three plays later, the Falcons were in the end zone. For what it’s worth, Clement was injured during the return. Still, a big turnover that marred an otherwise solid night for special teams.
Eagles’ record: 1-1
Jim Schwartz’s aggression may very well have kept the Eagles in the game and eventually turned the tides, but a zero blitz on 4th-and-3 turned out to be the call of the game. The Falcons caught Schwartz with a wide receiver screen, which Julio Jones took 54 yards to the house for the win. Also of note, Doug Pederson’s run-pass ratio — 72 percent pass in a game in which two starting receivers and a tight end were all lost to injury early in the first quarter.
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