Peters Finds Fountain of Youth vs. Falcons
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - At 34 Jason Peters isn’t the six-time All-Pro he once was but on one Sunday in November he turned back time as the veteran left tackle dominated against the Atlanta Falcons in the 24-15 Eagles win.
The sudden discovery of the running game has a lot to do with Peters caving in the right side of the Falcons defense on more than one occasion as Ryan Mathews and Co. averaged 7.3 yards per rush every time they used Peters as their road grader, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Peters was also very clean in pass protection and was the only Philadelphia offensive linemen who did not allow a pressure on 43 pass-blocking snaps. Overall, Peters was PFF’s second-best OT in Week 10 through the Sunday games.
Peters’ linemate Jason Kelce, who has been struggling this season, also picked things up against Atlanta as the team averaged 7.0 yards a rush through the A-gaps.
As for Mathews, he was at his physical best, garnering 39 of his 108 yards after contact.
Carson Wentz was back to the dinking and dunking for the most part. After throwing the football down the field 11 times against the New York Giants, the rookie QB attempted only two passes of over 20 yards-or-more against the cover-3 philosophy of Dan Quinn.
The Eagles’ embattled receivers dropped two more balls (one by Jordan Matthews and another by Nelson Agholor) bringing their season total to 20 or 6.1 percent of Wentz’s passes, a bottom five figure in the league.
On defense, Fletcher Cox dominated against his primary matchup, Falcons guard Chris Chester, generating six hurries and forcing Matt Ryan to speed things up and get off his spots.
Meanwhile, Mychal Kendricks had his best day of the season in limited work (19 snaps), generating a hurry and offering solid work in pass coverage.
As for the defensive backfield, Julio Jones did most of his damage against rookie Jalen Mills and Nolan Carroll before the latter went out with a concussion.
Leodis McKelvin got burned on the double move but beyond that was lights out when he came into the game, allowing just one reception in five targets outside the Taylor Gabriel big play. Furthermore, Malcolm Jenkins was top-tier in the slot, allowing four catches in five targets but for only 32 yards as he used his physicality to stop Falcons’ receivers on a dime.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen