Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at 49’ers
The Philadelphia Eagles won two of the three sides of the ball, but still managed to lose to the San Francisco 49'ers 26-21.There are some really good grades to pass out and some that will require a parent's signature, especially from the Head Coach's parents.
Malcolm Jenkins - An Interception return for a touchdown, need I say more. Scoring points on defense is difficult and greatly appreciated by the offense when it happens. Jenkins has proven himself to be a huge offseason addition. He provides leadership in the secondary and has a nose for making some big plays.
Darren Sproles - Sproles has also been a fantastic offseason addition. He returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown in the first half. He is making the most out of every opportunity he gets to touch the ball.
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin gets an 'A' simply for making the catches that were within reach and by that I mean barely within reach. The Eagles had a chance to win this game in the end because Maclin made a phenomenal catch on the sideline to keep a drive alive. He finished with 5 receptions for 68 yards.
Pass Rush - The pass rush has been virtually invisible this season until this game. The Eagles got to Colin Kaepernick frequently. They sacked him four times and had him on the move a lot. Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry each recorded one sack. Casey Matthews and Trent Cole were credited with a half a sack each.
Special Teams - I have to give a shoutout to the entire special teams unit. A blocked punt for a TD and a punt return for a TD is just awesome. Most times a team does that they win the game. Donnie Jones also punted very well with the exception of one average punt. Cody Parkey did his job on kickoffs.
Jordan Matthews - Matthews followed up a big game against the Redskins by making some difficult catches and moving the chains. He looks like a great second round pick. Matthews finished with 4 catches for 28 yards.
Riley Cooper - Cooper had his best game of the season, which statistically was not too hard to do. He did a good job of taking screen passes for some solid gains. Cooper looked closer to the receiver I remember seeing a year ago. He was open and could have added to his totals, but Foles missed him several times throughout the game. Cooper finished with 6 receptions for 54 yards.
Zach Ertz - Ertz looked to have a matchup favor in his advantage, yet the Eagles did not go to him as much in the first half as I felt they should have. He got an opportunity early in the second half, but coughed it up for a costly turnover deep in the Eagles' territory. That turnover led to a 49'ers touchdown. Ertz finished with 4 receptions for 43 yards.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy is getting a 'D' not due to his lack of rushing productivity. The holes are not there. He did a poor job pass blocking and it forced Foles to have to get rid of the ball earlier than he may have wanted to.
Nick Foles - Foles looked horrible in this game. He is banged up and got even more banged up as the game continued. However, his throws downfield were well off the mark. His offensive line made up of mostly backups did not do him any favors with protection or the lack thereof, but he had open receivers and missed them. Foles completed just 21 of 43 passes for 195 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. It was a stinker of a performance for sure.
Chip Kelly - Kelly's play-calling was certainly skeptical. I felt the Eagles had Ertz and Celek over the middle in matchups that favored those guys. Kelly's decision to enforce a 10 yard penalty over giving up a field goal attempt to the 49'ers backfired and led to a much more makeable field goal. Play-calling was also inexcusable when the Eagles got inside the 10 late in the game. Kelly seemed to think the fake screen to one side, throw the screen to the other was going to work and ran it about four times by my count. Each time San Francisco read it perfectly and it went for a loss or incomplete pass.
Cary Williams - Williams was called for a costly holding penalty on third and very long for the 49'ers that gave them an automatic first down. That was followed by a touchdown catch by Stevie Johnson in front of Williams later that drive. Williams needs to stop complaining about tired legs from practice and do more to help his defense get off the field on third down.
Offensive Line - The offensive line as a whole looked like a line full of backups. The 49'ers were able to get pressure and force Foles out of the pocket or get solid shots on him if he did stand in there and take a hit. They also failed to produce any holes for the running game. The good news is that Lane Johnson is back from suspension next week.
Todd Herremans - Herremans did a poor job blocking. There were a few instances where he barely got a hand on his opponent which forced Foles to have to break out of the pocket.
Matt Tobin - Tobin got beat on a few plays leading to Foles getting pressured and/or hit. He and the rest of the offensive line failed to open up any holes for the running game as well.