Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Jets
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles finished the preseason undefeated following a 14-6 win over the New York Jets. The final preseason game is used as one last opportunity for numerous players to convince the coaching staff they deserve a spot on the 53 man roster. As a result, few starters play in this game.
Months of hard work come down to this last audition before the roster is cut one last time.
The latest edition of Grayson's Grades features many of those players on the cut bubble.
Dorial Green-Beckham - DGB only played the first two or three series but made his presence felt in a positive way. He caught back-to-back passes for 15 yards and 16 yards respectively. It was a glimpse into the kind of possession receiver he can be and the one this team desperately needs. He finished the game with two receptions for 31 yards.
Paul Turner - Turner was one of the players on the cut bubble, but his performance in this game should put him on the roster. Turner ran some nice routes in this game to find some open space and move the chains. He caught six passes for 66 yards. More importantly, he made an impact on special teams returning a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. He hit a crease and showed enough breakaway speed to take it all the way. For what it is worth, Jordan Matthews said after the game that Turner should be on an NFL roster. Dorial Green-Beckham said after the game he would be surprised if Turner was cut.
Mychal Kendricks - Kendricks was flying around to the ball pretty well. He showed good pursuit to the ball carrier. Kendricks did not play too many series in the game, but made his time count. He recorded three tackles including one for a loss.
Marcus Smith - Smith appears to be getting more and more comfortable in Jim Schwartz' system. He has looked pretty good this preseason coming off the edge. He hesitated a lot under Billy Davis but has a pretty quick step off the line and it is resulting in some solid pressure on the opposing quarterback. Smith was also credited with two tackles for a loss.
Steven Means - Means and Marcus Smith appear to be competing for the same spot on the depth chart. One of them may get cut. Means seems to get good pressure on the quarterback. He recorded a sack and also added another tackled for a loss in this game. Means also tallied two quarterback hurries. I would give the edge in that competition to Marcus Smith, but Means has had a pretty good preseason.
Ed Reynolds - Reynolds helped his cause in the hunt for a roster spot. He broke hard on a pass and caught it just above the grass and returned the interception 90 yards for a touchdown. He nearly picked off another pass later in the game. On the negative side, he picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting earlier in the game following a big hit. Reynolds finished with two tackles, two passes defended and the big pick six.
CJ Smith - Smith continued to show some good things at the corner position. He closed on the receiver well and had good coverage in the game. Smith finished with three tackles and a pass defense.
Byron Marshall - Marshall likely began the night on the outside looking in at the cut bubble. He did some nice things in this game but probably not enough to change his coaches minds. Marshall showed toughness running with the ball. Unfortunately he never had great holes to run through. He also did a nice job catching the ball and slicing through tacklers to move the sticks. Marshall finished with 11 carries for 22 yards and caught three passes for 20 yards.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson - Thompson played the entire second half with Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz out for this game. He was inconsistent with his accuracy and missed some open receivers. Bethel-Thompson also fumbled it following a big gain when he tried to hurdle a defender. His stats were not bad. He completed 13 of 16 passes for 82 yards.
Eric Rowe - Rowe struggled again in this game. He seems to have to play catchup a lot on deep pass attempts. On one play, he never turned around and was called for pass interference. He likely should have had a pass interference called on another deep attempt in the fourth quarter. Rowe is too loose with his coverage and has got to get better if he makes this team in order to earn some playing time. He finished the game with two tackles and one pass defense.
Chase Daniel - I was extremely disappointed in Daniel's performance. He has had an up and down preseason. Daniel made numerous bad decisions in this game. He did not see a linebacker sliding underneath a route in the red zone. The pass was tipped leading to an interception. Later in the first half, Daniel tried to throw a pass off his back foot leading to an easy interception for the Jets. He tried to force some passes into tight spots. Daniel finished the game completing 14 of 22 passes for 131 yards and two interceptions. He had just a 42 QB rating.
Cedric O'Neal - O'Neal likely began the night on the outside looking in at the cut bubble. He did not help his cause with his performance. O'Neal racked up just 30 yards on 16 carries. He also fumbled the ball inside his own 20 and then nearly fumbled again in the fourth quarter before ultimately fumbling it away later that same drive.
JaCorey Shepherd - Shepherd did not have a good night. He failed to record a tackle and got beat by his man on a 44-yard touchdown. Shepherd failed to make much contact with the receiver at the line and trailed him down the sideline trying to catch up before the receiver caught the ball at the goal line.