Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Seahawks
The Eagles gave up 20 unanswered points to fall behind 26-7. A late touchdown and two-point conversion led to the 26-15 final score. The Eagles suffered multiple key injuries including a knee injury to Running Back Ryan Mathews and a rib injury to Running Back Darren Sproles. Offensive Tackle Jason Peters came out of the game for a while before returning and Defensive Back Leodis McKelvin did not finish the game due to evaluation of a head injury.
Grayson's Grades show some very poor marks for several players and multiple units on both sides of the ball.
Zach Ertz - Great effort to stretch the ball over the goal line for a touchdown and 7-6 lead early 2nd Qtr. Awesome job taking a screen pass the distance 57 yards, but an illegal formation penalty brought it back.
Running Backs - The Eagles running backs did not do a bad job, but injuries hampered any kind of rotation for Pederson. Ryan Mathews was knocked out of the game due to a knee injury and Darren Sproles was also knocked out of the game because of a rib injury. Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner handled most of the workload in the running game. The Eagles averaged more than four yards per carry, but failed to put together any kind of a consistent running game.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz faced the difficult decision of trying to either bring pressure on Russell Wilson or drop back in coverage. Credit Wilson with extending plays and then finishing them by finding open receivers. The front four failed to generate much pressure on their own and when they did they lost contain on Wilson. The defense did a good job on third down holding the Seahawks to just five-for-14 on third down. Big plays killed this team and led to the Eagles giving up 439 total yards to the Seahawks.
Offensive Line - The line came off a great performance last week in the win over the Falcons. However, they failed to have much success against the Seahawks. The pocket was not very big for Wentz to throw in and that led to several passes batted down by the pass rush. There were also several times that Wentz had to bail out of the pocket pretty quickly due to the pressure. Injuries to Eagles running backs did not help, but there were not many running lanes either. Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Halapoulivaati Vaitai earned this grade together.
Jordan Matthews - Matthews was never really a factor in this game. He entered the fourth quarter with one catch for four yards. Matthews added to that in the final period, but he was never really a factor in the game. He did drop a pass that would have moved the chains on third down in the third quarter. The throw was a little high but looked catchable to me. He finished the game with five receptions for 59 yards.
Dorial Green-Beckham - DGB did not look quite as lazy off the line of scrimmage as he has been. He was more aggressive as passes approached. DGB also became a factor in the red zone, which should be his spot on the field catching a five-yard touchdown pass. He finished with five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Carson Wentz - Wentz did not look comfortable throughout the game. He also looked unsure of his reads at times. This appeared to be all part of the lessons rookies learn. It was his first trip in one of the most hostile atmosphere's in the NFL. Wentz tried some deep balls, but they were not successful and resulted in interceptions. He also failed to look off the safeties and stared too long at receivers before delivering passes and that also contributed to the interceptions. He was frequently flushed out of the pocket. Wentz had some positive moments finding Zach Ertz on a short touchdown pass. He also hit DGB for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Wentz finished completed just 23 of 45 passes for 218 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Doug Pederson - Pederson surprised me calling just one run play on the opening possession. He put a lot on his rookie quarterback early in this game in a hostile environment. The running game was a big key to victory over the Falcons that I would have given it the chance to establish itself early on. Pederson knew Wentz was focusing on his receivers too long before delivering the ball, but struggled to get him to stop doing that. The Seahawks have a great secondary and it clearly was on Wentz' mind throughout the game. Pederson's play-calling lacked rhythm. Wide Receivers had just 15 yards to their credit entering the fourth quarter. Some of that was due to their own mistakes. Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews both dropped a pass. He needs to use screens to get them involved earlier in the game. I enjoyed the way Pederson scripted opening drives in the first month of the season. He has to get back to a solid opening script to ease his players into the game.
Defensive Backs - This unit gets a collective grade and it was not good. There was too much cushion for receivers. In their defense, Wilson did a great job of creating extra time to find receivers and that led to some big plays. Jalen Mills failed on a run play early in the game. He bit on a cut that led to a 72-yard touchdown run by the Seahawks. Doug Baldwin is the one receiver you do not want to lose and the Eagles allowed him to catch four passes for 104 yards. That is a collectively poor effort by Leodis McKelvin, Rodney McLeod, Nolan Carroll, Jalen Mills. Jaylen Watkins just looked awful on Jimmy Graham's touchdown. He had good coverage on him, but made a pathetic attempt at a tackle and it led directly to the touchdown.
Nelson Agholor - Agholor has had more than enough opportunities to succeed in more than a year and a half in the league. Yet, he continues to show he has had more than enough opportunities period. The time has come to move the former first-round pick down on the depth chart. With Pederson yelling at him to move up two steps on the line of scrimmage, he did not and it resulted in an illegal formation penalty bringing back a brilliant 57-yard touchdown catch and run by Zach Ertz. Agholor later dropped a pass about 20 yards downfield with nobody around him. The message needs to be sent and that message is by having less snaps per game until he steps up. Agholor's only catch in the game was for a two-point conversion late in the game.