Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Browns
In what has been a historically bad season for the Philadelphia Eagles, more history was made Sunday. The Eagles lost to the Browns for the first time since 1994.
Carson Wentz had another poor outing turning it over twice and getting sacked five times. He threw a pick six and got sacked for a safety giving the Cleveland defense nine points.
The Eagles defense did a good job stuffing the run until a 54 yard gain by Nick Chubb. He threw a lethal stiff-arm on the play and broke four tackles before finally going to the ground. Despite that, the Eagles defense allowed just 13 points. However, they lost 22-17.
Even with the loss, the Eagles are still in first place in the NFC East. They are 3-6-1 and host the Seahawks next Monday night.
Another awful performance yields another bad report card. Here is this week's Grayson's Grades:
Dallas Goedert - Goedert was a reliable and frequent target for Carson Wentz in this game. He helped move the chains and caught a touchdown late in the game. Goedert needed to be a more reliable target with Zach Ertz still out. Goedert caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Alex Singleton - Singleton was solid at linebacker frequently around the ball and helping to keep the Browns running game in check. He had multiple tackles for a loss and recorded double-digit tackles. Singleton also recovered a fumble that led to an Eagles touchdown. Singleton led the team with 12 tackles. He added a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Josh Sweat - Sweat got some extra playing time while Derek Barnett was getting attended to on the sideline. He took advantage of it getting into the backfield and causing some havoc. Sweat tied for the team lead with two tackles for a loss. He added a sack and six tackles.
Defensive Line - The defensive line overall did a good job winning the battle up front throughout most of the game. That helped keep the Browns running game from taking off. However, they committed three costly offsides penalties in the first half helping the Browns move the chains. The defense in general allowed just 13 points which is typically low enough to win the game. However, that did not happen in this one. They will have their hands full next Monday night against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
Richard Rodgers - Rodgers has done a nice job filling in for the injured Zach Ertz. He has taken advantage of his opportunities. After the Eagles recovered a fumble, Wentz hit Rodgers on the first play after the turnover for a touchdown to tie the game at seven. Rodgers also drew a big pass interference penalty late in the game to help move the ball.
Jalen Reagor - Reagor was open and not targeted multiple times in the game. That falls on Wentz. When he did get the opportunity Reagor did make some plays. He caught four passes for 52 yards.
Brandon Graham - Graham did a decent job helping to stop the run and also getting to Baker Mayfield. He made a couple of big plays dropping the Browns for a loss. Ultimately Graham recorded five tackles including two tackles for a loss.
Miles Sanders - Sanders once again had a decent yards per carry average in this game. He was moving the chains in the first half, getting on a roll and mysteriously not given many carries in the second half. It was puzzling to me watching Sanders early in the game during a driving rain carrying the ball in one hand. Then he fumbled five yards away from the end zone. That fumble was extremely costly. The Eagles had a solid drive going and were nearly ready to cap it off with a score. Overall Sanders is running well. He is taking on contact and driving forward. Sanders carried the ball 16 times for 66 yards. In my opinion, he should get at least 20 carries per game. Anything less than that is outrageous.
Travis Fulgham - Fulgham went from a nobody to a big name in Philadelphia. Now he is turning into a forgotten piece of the offense. I'm not sure if it is the opponents taking him away from Wentz or just bad passes when he is targeted but Fulgham managed just one catch in this game. Fulgham was targeted seven times but seemingly had defenders draped all over him throughout the game. Fulgham finished with one catch for eight yards.
Carson Wentz - Wentz was awful once again. He again held the ball too long. Many times he drops back and when his back foot hits he should deliver the pass. Instead, he looks uncertain of himself and holds the ball looking for something else. Wentz missed targeting open receivers including a wide-open Jalen Reagor on the pick six that Wentz threw in the first half. His mechanics continue to be bad. His feet don't move while sitting in the pocket, he does not step into his throws and frankly does not appear to trust what he is seeing right now. Pederson was asked if Wentz will start next week and quickly put that thought to rest answering yes. However, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Perhaps changing the starting quarterback would not be that insane. Wentz completed 21 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns while throwing two interceptions. He was also sacked five times including once for a safety.
Doug Pederson - Pederson confuses me more often than not. He has the running game going on a sloppy field and seemingly goes away from it for more than a quarter of the game. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott were effective on the ground in the first half. Then Pederson went pass heavy and shockingly the offense came to a screeching halt. Duce Staley needs to get in Doug's ear and demand Miles Sanders get 20 carries a game as a target. After the game Pederson quickly answered yes when asked if Carson Wentz would start next week. I don't believe that should have been a quick answer. Even if he planned on starting Wentz, let Wentz sweat it out for a few days. Perhaps his preparation would get a little more intense and it would send a message that no position is safe. As I wrote above in Wentz' grade, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Perhaps changing the starting quarterback would not be that insane.
Alshon Jeffery - Jeffery returned to the lineup last week and has been seen about as frequently as a ghost. He still has not caught a pass since returning. Jeffery was targeted once last week and twice in this game. Jeffery was given an opportunity to haul in a pass at the Cleveland five yard line. Wentz put it high for Jeffery to go up and get and Jeffery either mistimed his jump or has little to no strength in his repaired knee because his leaping ability was equivalent to mine. The pass ended up being intercepted. Sure, it could have been thrown a little better but there was a time when Jeffery would have gone up and caught that pass.
Avonte Maddox - Maddox was targeted frequently by the Browns and taken advantage of by their passing attack. Maddox was flagged for a pass interference in the endzone. He was also beat multiple times. Maddox has not developed into the defender they had hoped at this point. He appears to be late reading routes and is a step or two late in breaking on those passes. At times he fails to play the ball. Maddox needs to watch the film of this game and find a way to fix his mistakes in coverage.