Wentz, Graham Among Eagles Top-Rated Performers
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - In what is quickly becoming a weekly occurrence for the Philadelphia Eagles, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz was graded as the team’s top offensive performer during Sunday’s disappointing 24-23 setback in Detroit.
Despite a late-game interception that sealed things for the Lions, Wentz’s first in 134 passing attempts as a professional, his poise and ball placement continues to be top notch for the most part and the No. 2 overall pick edged one of his bodyguards for the top honors in Week 5, right guard Brandon Brooks, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
The other players on the top five for Philadelphia on the offensive side of the ball were also all offensive linemen, left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson.
On defense, despite playing less than he usually does after his second arrest in recent months, SAM linebacker Nigel Bradham played well and was the Eagles’ top-rated defender and No. 1 rated player overall.
Also making significant contributions on the defensive side of the ball were Brandon Graham, who continues to have an excellent season, as well as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a hamstring problem, and defensive end Vinny Curry.
As far as playing time, Bradham was the story as he ended up playing 79 percent of the defensive snaps (48 of 61), a downtick from 96 percent coming in. Pederson, however, insisted the lesser workload had nothing to do with Bradham’s rent arrest for having a gun in his backpack at the Miami airport.
Jordan Hicks also played 48 snaps at LB while the struggling Mychal Kendricks was up to 26 and Stephen Tulloch was in on 15 plays in his return to the Motor City.
Graham and Cox each played 53 snaps while Connor Barwin has one less than that and Bennie Logan gutted it through 46 despite a calf injury that had him listed as questionable. Marcus Smith, Beau Allen, and Destiny Vaeao chipped in with eight reps a piece.
In the secondary, safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and corner Nolan Carroll played the entire game (61 snaps) and nickel back Ron Brooks was next at 38. McKelvin played 34 as he left at one point after feeling a twinge in the hamstring that cost him the prior two games but he did return. Also getting in the mix were rookie corner Jaylen Mills (24 snaps) and hybrid safety Jaylen Watkins with 11 reps.
On offense, tight end Zach Ertz played 52 of 61 snaps in is return to the field while Brent Celek was down to 23 and Trey Burton was in for 11 plays. Backup tackle Matt Tobin, who played in three-TE sets when Ertz was out with a rib injury got three looks as a fourth TE/extra offensive lineman.
At receiver, it continued to be Jordan Matthews (57) and Nelson Agholor (48) as the main cogs, followed by Dorial Green-Beckham (32) and Josh Huff (18).
Darren Sproles (34) again got more looks than Ryan Mathews (25) at RB while both Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner saw their work scaled back in a close game as each had just 1 rep.
The offensive line and Wentz played the entire game.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen