Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Packers
The Philadelphia Eagles opened the month of December with a 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Carson Wentz struggled once again and was ultimately benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. Hurts sparked the team to a couple of scores before eventually falling short.
This opens a huge Quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Wentz leads the league in all of the categories you don't want to lead as a Quarterback. Meanwhile, it can't be denied that Hurts did provide a spark and a little bit of energy to a team that looked uninspired prior to his insertion to the lineup.
In terms of the big picture, the Eagles are falling further out of the division lead. They now trail the Giants by one-and-a-half games with four games remaining. This loss yielded an interesting report card full of mixed grades.
Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Dallas Goedert - Goedert has been the most consistent receiver on the field lately for the Eagles. He proved to be that once again in this game. Goedert got open several times and also made some tough catches in traffic. He was targeted seven times and caught five passes for 66 yards.
Greg Ward - Ward seemed to take over when Jalen Hurts came into the game. Ward was targeted more frequently by Hurts than he was by Wentz. He did a great job to break free of the defense and give Hurts a place to throw in the endzone. Ward was targeted four times and caught three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts relieved Wentz in the third quarter and finished the game. There was no doubt he provided a spark to the entire team leading them to a touchdown followed by a punt return for a touchdown. Hurts was able to move the offense. He looked quick to run, which is not uncommon for rookies. He also threw an interception to end the game. His arm was hit as he threw leading to the pick. All in all, not a bad outing for Hurts. He left you wanting to see more. The question is, will we? Hurts completed five of 12 passes for 109 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Jalen Reagor - Reagor's biggest impact on the game was on special teams. He muffed a punt but picked it up quickly and found running room on the sideline. Reagor turned it into a 73 yard punt return for a touchdown. That was the Eagles second touchdown in 82 seconds helping to get them back to within one score of the Packers. Reagor added one reception for 34 yards and one end around that gained 11 yards.
Miles Sanders - Sanders did not get many touches yet again which boggles my mind. He should be getting nearly 20 touches per game at a minimum. Sanders got just ten touches in this one. He finished the game with ten carries for 31 yards.
Alex Singleton - Singleton continues to look like a solid linebacker. However, replays made it look like he was the one at fault for losing Robert Tonyan leaving him wide open for a touchdown. It looked like a blown assignment by Singleton. Other than that, Singleton was once again around the ball frequently. He led the team with 12 tackles.
Defensive Line - The Eagles defensive line failed to generate much pressure at all on Aaron Rodgers. Many times he had an eternity to throw. Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards recorded the only sacks in the game for the Eagles. There were just six quarterback hits on Rodgers. Fletcher Cox had some nice stops on running plays. Other than that, the line did not make many big plays. The Packers racked up 437 total yards of offense. Once again, the Eagles failed to force any turnovers.
Offensive Line - The Eagles put their 11th different starting offensive line on the field in their 12th game this season. That lack of chemistry and consistency tends to lead to breakdowns. That being said, there were multiple breakdowns leading to sacks in this game. Jason Peters missed some blocks at Right Guard. Jack Driscoll started at Right Tackle and missed some blocks. Eagles Quarterbacks were sacked seven times in this game, but to be fair not all of them were the fault of the offensive line. Carson Wentz held onto the ball too long for three of them. Jalen Hurts looked to evacuate the pocket a little too quickly leading to other sacks.
Darius Slay - Slay once again had a tough day. He was already dealing with a calf injury coming into the game and eventually came out of the game as that injury got worse. Before his departure, Slay gave up some catches to Davante Adams and also gave up a touchdown in the flat to Adams where he caught the ball and essentially ran through Slay to get into the endzone. Slay has had a good season largely keeping the opponent's top receiver from having a big day. However, that has not been the case over the last two weeks.
Doug Pederson - Pederson finally gave Jalen Hurts a chance and you have to wonder what could have happened if that switch was made a little sooner in this game. Hurts provided a spark, which his team badly needed. Wentz once again looks lost right now in this offense. He was sacked four times before he was benched in the third quarter. Aside from that, I don't understand how Pederson can only give Miles Sanders ten touches. As noted in Sanders grade, he should be getting 20 touches per game at a minimum. There was once again very little creativity or rhythm to the play-calling. Now Pederson has to face the ultimate question and decide who his starting quarterback will be next week against the Saints.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz' defensive line struggled to get any pressure on Aaron Rodgers and as a result, Rodgers had all day to throw many times in this game. I also have issues with the amount of cushion his defensive backs give on every single pass play. Avonte Maddox is playing way off of receivers and as a result unable to close on them in time to prevent completions. All in all, I thought the defense played a decent game until the back-breaking awful 77 yard run by Aaron Jones that featured numerous missed tackles. It was a one possession game when that run took place.
Avonte Maddox - Maddox continues to show me he is not ready to be a corner in the NFL. He may have a role as a Nickel, but an outside corner is not his place to shine. He gives way too much cushion to receivers on the outside, he also gives up too much size against those bigger and stronger outside receivers. Teams are focusing on that matchup and exploiting it. Maddox recorded five tackles and had one pass successfully defended.
Carson Wentz - Wentz was more of the same in this game and this time it caused him to get benched. By my count, three of the four sacks on him tonight were his fault for holding the ball too long. His eyes are not staying downfield, he is way too concerned with the pressure on the pocket and as a result tries to avoid the rush just to eventually run into it and get sacked. Wentz needs to focus on letting the ball go when he hits his back foot on his drop. He also needs to be able to look at a defense at this point and have a good idea where he is going with the ball before it is snapped. I don't see that happening. I see him looking for where to throw as he is dropping back and doesn't trust what he sees downfield so he holds the ball until he is sure. In the NFL, holding it that long is almost always going to result in a sack. Wentz completed six of 15 passes for 79 yards.
Eagles QBs Drafted Outisde Of The First Round Since 2000