Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Lions
The Philadelphia Eagles are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, but for all intents and purposes this season is over. The team played without any heart or desire and essentially appeared to quit in this game.
A season that began with so much promise met the same fate as many turkeys this Thanksgiving, slaughtered and feasted upon by numerous opponents.
Changes need to be made following the performance by this team the past two weeks. The Eagles have been outscored 90-31 and given up 10 touchdown passes without intercepting a pass. They have also given up 951 total yards while gaining 610 yards.
(Listen to Scott Grayson give Grayson's Grades)
Trey Burton - Burton has had little to no opportunities this season, but was one of the few players that showed some heart in this game. He had a big catch early in the game and his second effort allowed him to get inside the 10 yard line. It lead to a touchdown by Brent Celek later on the drive.
Brent Celek - Celek has been playing well lately and has been a reliable target. He showed a great effort and heart when he caught a touchdown and fought off a defender to cross the goal line early in the second quarter.
Jordan Matthews - Matthews is one of the few guys still showing the desire to win and succeed. This guy keeps getting hung out to dry by the quarterbacks and keeps getting up and looking to make plays. He scored a garbage time touchdown late in this game, but it shows me he embraces the opportunity to play in this league. Matthews caught three passes for 60 yards and one touchdown in the game.
DeMarco Murray - Murray is undoubtedly at his best when he runs between the tackles. Given that, it is unfair to ask the guy to run outside too often. Chip Kelly is not playing to Murray's strengths and it hurts the offense. He broke off a nice 19 yard run in the first half featuring yards after contact and a nice move to avoid a tackle. That is DeMarco Murray's strength.
Chip Kelly - There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not Kelly has lost the locker room. It appears there is very little these players are playing for at this point. Kelly's play-calling continues to drive me nuts and makes little to no sense. He continues to run DeMarco Murray outside the tackles when his strength is clearly between the tackles. His offense is predictable due in large part to the inconsistency of his quarterbacks. The defense can play to stop the run because there is no fear the passing game will beat them. This offense can succeed in the NFL, but this particular group is incapable of finding consistent success and Chip Kelly put this roster together.
Mark Sanchez - Sanchez once again was inconsistent with his throws. He made some good throws and some awful ones. He had some open receivers, but failed to hit them and in some cases threw the ball into the ground well short of the intended target. He struggled with the handoff to Murray at times again setting a play up for failure before it really begins. Sanchez fumbled the ball on a sack early in the second half leading to another Lions touchdown. As bad as the offense was under Sam Bradford, it might be worse with Sanchez right now. Sanchez completed 19 of 27 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown.
Offensive Line - The entire offensive line gave up way too much pressure and did not give Sanchez enough time to throw the ball. There were few running lanes blown open and no tempo at all. This line has no chemistry and no leadership.
Lane Johnson - Johnson committed a very costly personal foul penalty on the opening drive of the game that took what would have been a 39 yard field goal attempt and turned it into a 50 yard attempt, which Caleb Sturgis missed. I blame Johnson for that missed Field Goal more than Sturgis. Johnson practiced at right tackle for this game, but was shifted to left tackle early on when Jason Peters left due to another knee injury.
Eric Rowe - I hated giving Rowe an 'F' because I blame Billy Davis for not putting him in a position to succeed. Rowe was tasked with covering Calvin Johnson after Nolan Carroll went out of the game with a broken ankle. He was hardly ever given any safety help. Johnson is one of the best if not the best wide receiver in the game right now and the rookie was asked to stick with him one-on-one. At times, Rowe's coverage was spot on and he did deflect some passes and at other times he was abused by Stafford and Johnson. Rowe went from having very few snaps to covering Johnson man-to-man. Unfair to Rowe, but he failed to make the plays.
Billy Davis - There has been talk about Chip Kelly losing the locker room. I am starting to wonder if it was more accurate to say Billy Davis lost the defensive players. They are playing uninspired and his play calling is awful. I do not understand why rookie Eric Rowe was asked to play man-to-man coverage on Calvin Johnson, one of the best receivers in the game. He allowed rookie Jameis Winston to have all day to pick apart his coverage and he did the same to Matthew Stafford. No adjustments are made. If the quarterbacks are picking the defense apart, send blitzes because there is nothing to lose. At least look like you are trying to make adjustments. As Chip Kelly looks for a scapegoat on the season, I am seriously wondering if Billy Davis gets fired within the next few days.
Entire Defense - The defense played uninspired and without any heart or desire. It appeared they quit early in this game. I contend the defensive players appear to have given up on Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis and his scheme. There were so many missed tackles and wide open receivers. Body language says so much and these defensive players were hanging their heads and shrugging their shoulders on the sidelines. The defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs all failed this team and this fan base in this game.