Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Jaguars (Preseason)
The Philadelphia Eagles first road game of the 2019 season took them to Jacksonville, the new home of former Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles. Carson Wentz and Foles spoke for several minutes prior to warmups, but neither one of them played in the game.
After the injury to backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld last week, Cody Kessler was going to be given a golden opportunity to show he could handle the backup job while Sudfeld recovers. However, Kessler was knocked out of the game on the opening possession when a missed block led to an unblocked blind-side hit on Kessler. That gave Clayton Thorson nearly an entire game to showcase his talents. Kessler is currently in the concussion protocol.
Ultimately Thorson played pretty well and the Eagles beat the Jaguars 24-10.
Here is another preseason edition of Grayson's Grades:
Doug Pederson – Pederson won a pair of challenges including one involving the new pass interference rule. The pass interference was not called initially but Pederson challenged the no-call and it was in fact overturned to be pass interference against the Jaguars. It gave the Eagles the ball on the one-yard line. They turned it into a touchdown.
Clayton Thorson – Thorson showed a lot of poise after coming into the game a lot earlier than he anticipated. He took the field after Cody Kessler was injured on the opening possession. Thorson made some nice, accurate throws. He made a solid throw on fourth down to hit Greg Ward, Junior for a 38-yard touchdown. Thorson continued to show composure in the second half and delivered a perfect pass for a big gain on fourth-and-three to convert a first down. Overall, Thorson looked comfortable and even changed the play at the line of scrimmage a few times. Thorson did throw an interception that really was not his fault. The pass went off the hands of his receiver and was picked off by the Jaguars. Thorson completed 16 of 26 passes for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Vinny Curry – Curry did a great job of fighting through tripping at the snap to eventually get to the quarterback. He was unable to bring him down but the pressure created an incomplete pass. Curry later fought off a block and managed to stay on his feet to bring the running back down for a short gain. Curry did not play very long in this game but appeared to make his presence felt and take advantage of the time he had. He finished with a pair of tackles including a quarterback hit and a tackle for a loss.
Malcolm Jenkins – Jenkins came up on the first play of the Jaguars' second possession and took down the running back at the line of scrimmage. Later in the game he managed to get in unblocked and take down the running back for a loss. Jenkins leads by example and showed that by not only playing in this preseason game but making his time count. He had two tackles including a tackle for a loss.
Daeshon Hall – Hall was feeling it in this game. He showed very well and capitalized on his playing time. Hall had a great pass rush to hit the quarterback as he was going to throw and forced a fumble. Nate Gerry recovered. Later in the game with the Jaguars driving, Hall got more great pressure on the quarterback and racked up another sack. That forced the Jaguars to settle for a field goal. Hall tallied two tackles including two sacks, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback hits.
Miles Sanders – Sanders had some nice runs in this game. He saw a big hole on the first play of the game and turned it into a carry for 12 yards. Sanders had another solid carry tacking on yards after contact that led to a first down. He racked up 31 yards on five carries.
Greg Ward, Junior – Ward did a nice job to elevate and catch the ball just beyond a defender. He timed his jump perfectly and tacked on some solid yardage after the catch to score a 38-yard touchdown. Ward was only targeted twice in the game so he clearly took advantage of his limited opportunities. Ward led the team with 42 receiving yards on two receptions and one touchdown.
Boston Scott - Scott did not necessarily have a good game as a punt or kick returner. But he did show well as a running back in the fourth quarter. He helped the Eagles take some time off the clock in the final period and capped off that possession with a touchdown run. Scott led the team with 43 rush yards on seven carries.
Brandon Graham – Graham did not play much but did look good in his limited snaps. He got some great pressure on the first defensive play of the game. Graham got to the quarterback but was unable to bring him down.
Stefen Wisniewski – Some of Wisniewski's snaps were either too hard in shotgun and/or too low. One was mishandled and one was dropped by Thorson. Other than those rough snaps, he appeared to do a decent job blocking and calling the shots on the line.
Andre Dillard – Dillard did not have a bad game, but appeared to miss picking up a blitzing linebacker who got a free shot on Cody Kessler. The hit sent Kessler to the tent for a concussion check. It is the worst thing a lineman can do, give a defender a free shot on the quarterback.