Josh McCown

C-average for quarterbacks, struggling defensive line and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

C-average for quarterbacks, struggling defensive line and more in Eagles-Seahawks report card

The Eagles’ season came to an end Sunday, which is never a good feeling. Yet, it’s difficult to be too hard on the team after a 17-9 loss to the Seahawks considering franchise quarterback Carson Wentz was knocked out of the game in the first quarter.

There will be more to say on the injury and hit that caused it as well as what the Eagles need to do to get back on top in the offseason ahead. For now, we simply hand out one last report card — and the grades aren’t too bad despite a crushing defeat.

Quarterbacks

Josh McCown: 18/24, 174 YDS

Wentz completed 1 of 4 passes for three yards with a sack before exiting the game with a concussion, which obviously changed the complexion of the game. Once he found a rhythm, McCown was able to move the offense quite capably between the 20s. The operation bogged down however on all three trips inside the red zone. Plus, the veteran backup took far too many sacks — six — largely a product of holding the ball too long. Tough spot to come off the bench cold like that. Regardless, it wasn’t good enough.

Grade: C

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 14 CAR, 69 YDS, 3 REC, 8 YDS

You can’t say enough about Sanders’ development as this season progressed, and he had another nice game on the ground here, with a bum ankle no less. But a fourth-down drop in the fourth quarter simply can’t happen. The throw wasn’t perfect, still he needs to slow down and secure the football in such a pivotal moment in the game. Boston Scott was a vision once again, pitching in six carries for 25 yards and three catches for 23 yards.

Grade: B

Wide receivers and tight ends

Dallas Goedert: 7 REC, 73 YDS

Another big day for the tight ends, but the sheer inability of any of the wide receivers to reliably get open was a serious issue. Behind Goedert and Zach Ertz with two catches for 44 yards, the Eagles’ leader was Greg Ward with three for 24. Ward and Shelton Gibson also drew pass interference penalties of 20 and 39 yards, respectively — unfortunately, those plays went for twice as many yards as the entire receiving corps combined.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

Considering it was without Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, the play up front actually wasn’t bad. Eagles backs ran the ball effectively, carrying 20 times for 94 yards — a 4.7 average. And while the Seahawks racked up seven sacks, much of that was the direct result of tight coverage in the secondary.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Fletcher Cox: 6 TKL, 2 TFL, FF

With the exception of Cox, the performance up front was largely disappointing considering all the injuries to Seattle’s O-line. The front four did stifle Seahawks running backs (17 carries for 19 yards) and account for five quarterback hits. Yet, too often, Russell Wilson had ample time to sit in the pocket and either throw the ball down field or take off (nine rushes, 45 yards). It didn’t play poorly, but it didn’t exactly dominate against a patchwork front, either.

Grade: C

Linebackers

Nathan Gerry: 6 TKL, 3 TFL

This unit doesn’t make enough impact plays for mistakes to go unnoticed — like Nigel Bradham’s missed tackle resulting in Wilson scrambling for a first down on 3rd-and-15. Putting that aside, the trio of Bradham, Gerry and T.J. Edwards combined to account for 12 tackles and two quarterback hits. Not inconsequential, but certainly not difference-makers.

Grade: C

Secondary

Malcolm Jenkins: 9 TKL, TFL, SK

Surprise, surprise, big plays through the air were backbreakers. Cre’Von LeBlanc broke up a couple passes, but a missed tackle on third down resulted in a 38-yard gain to set up Seattle’s first touchdown. Then D.K. Metcalf got so wide open in the Eagles’ secondary, he had time to fall down, get back to his feet and cross the goal line to complete a 53-yard score.

Grade: C

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 3/3 FG

Vinny Curry’s blocked field goal in the first quarter turned out to be a significant play, as it kept the Eagles within striking distance later in the game, as did Elliott’s field goals from 46, 26 and 38 yards. Cameron Johnston dropped one of three punts inside Seattle’s 20-yard line.

Grade: B

Coaching

Eagles’ record: 9-8

We’ll never know how this game would’ve turned out were it not for Wentz’s injury, and really, so many injuries over the course of the season. The defense and special teams did all it could here, and the offense was down to just four starters from Week 1, so it’s difficult to say how much more coaching could’ve squeezed out of that group. Maybe a few more shots downfield would’ve been in order, but the bottom line is the Eagles ran out of talent.

Grade: B+

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Cameras catch Josh McCown breaking down in tears after gutsy loss to Seahawks

Cameras catch Josh McCown breaking down in tears after gutsy loss to Seahawks

Josh McCown became the guy for the city of Philadelphia on Sunday night.

Once Carson Wentz was forced to leave the game after a seemingly dirty hit by Jadeveon Clowney, it was McCown's chance to step in and step up. The 40-year-old NFL journeyman performed admirably and was a Miles Sanders catch away from potentially seeing overtime (see 10 observations).

But the magic was not as special this season for the Eagles. McCown got sacked on the Birds' final offensive play of the season and the defense subsequently allowed a first down. The season was over.

The emotions were just beginning to flow (see story).

Cameras caught McCown and Zach Ertz embracing on the field after the final whistle, the emotions on their face were real, as were the tears. The two walked to the locker room together where McCown needed a moment.

No shame in McCown's game tonight. The veteran gave this battered team a chance but it simply couldn't overcome the crazy amounts of bad luck this team has faced. Head up, vet. It was a tough effort.

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40-year-old Josh McCown was getting ready to play WR on Monday night

40-year-old Josh McCown was getting ready to play WR on Monday night

The Eagles entered Monday night’s game with just three healthy wide receivers and after Alshon Jeffery and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside got hurt, they were down to just one. 

So who would have been the next guy in? 

Well, 40-year-old quarterback Josh McCown was getting ready. 

“I was ready to go,” McCown told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark. “We had the helmet ready to go. The equipment guys were all over it. Had the radio-less helmet because you can’t have two green dots on the field at the same time.” 

McCown didn’t end up playing in Monday’s 23-17 overtime win. The Eagles got by with what they had, which meant playing third tight end Josh Perkins in several different spots. 

But the oldest player on the roster was ready. 

“We were ready to roll,” he said. “Shoot, I’d get in there and go. Obviously, as a quarterback, you know the offense. I guess it was like 12 years ago in Foxboro I had to go in and do it.”

That game McCown was talking about was on Dec. 3, 2006. That was the last time he caught a pass in an NFL game. 

In that game, McCown caught two passes for 15 yards from Lions quarterback Jon Kitna in a 28-21 loss to the Patriots. He also caught a 31-yard pass but it was brought back on an offensive pass interference call that he claimed was “a little suspect.” 

“Hopefully, I don’t get retroactively fined,” McCown said late Monday night, 13 years after the call. 

Is there a statute of limitations on that? 

Anyway, the fact that a 40-year-old McCown was even preparing to enter a game as a receiver is telling. First, about the injuries at that position. And, second, about the poor decision to go into a game with just three healthy receivers. 

Doug Pederson said the Eagles were hoping to have Nelson Agholor for the game, but he came in questionable and was inactive. 

At least they had McCown. 

“I’m not quite the option that J.J. (Arcega-Whiteside) is or Greg (Ward), obviously, but again, we were kind of up against it a little bit,” McCown said. “Just being able to have a contingency plan was the main thing. I was ready to roll.”

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