Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Redskins
LANDOVER, MD - The Philadelphia Eagles have played two ugly games in a row and as a result find themselves mired in a two-game losing streak.
The Eagles were called for 27 penalties in their two losses including 13 penalties for 114 yards in this game.
All of the stats were heavily favored towards the Redskins and if not for a special teams touchdown and a defensive touchdown, it very well could have been a blowout.
Bennie Logan - Logan was one of the few defenders playing pretty well in this one before he suffered an injury. He was a factor in blowing up a few of the Redskins running plays and he was missed throughout the second half. Logan only finished with one tackle before leaving with his injury, but his contributions led to tackles for his teammates.
Ryan Mathews - Mathews ran the ball hard and averaged nearly seven yards per carry. The problem is that the offense did not have sustained drives and only ran 48 plays in the game. Mathews carried it nine times for 60 yards with his longest run going for 22 yards.
Jordan Matthews - Matthews made a huge catch on a 54 yard bomb by Wentz to get the Eagles into Redskins territory. That drive ended with a field goal and helped the Eagles cut it to a one possession game. Matthews appears to be the most consistent wide receiver for Wentz and in my opinion, needs to get the ball more. He finished with three receptions for 75 yards.
Rodney McLeod - McLeod gets a 'B' for no other reason than at least he was one of the players not missing tackles. A safety should never lead the team in tackles, but that is exactly what he did. McLeod had to clean up the mess left for him by missed tackles from his teammates. He finished with 13 tackles, three more than the next closest defender.
Nigel Bradham - Bradham was one of the few linebackers doing his part to try to help the team win. He also delivered some big hits. Bradham has been a solid free agent pickup so far this season. He finished second on the team in tackles with ten of them. He also had one pass successfully defended.
Malcolm Jenkins - Jenkins did a great job of reading a pass from Kirk Cousins that was thrown off his back foot and he undercut the route and picked it off returning it 64 yards for a touchdown. Jenkins gave up several big completions due to picking up his assignment a little late. He nearly picked off another pass in the game. Jenkins finished with six tackles and two passes successfully defended.
Wendell Smallwood - Smallwood made a huge contribution with an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to get the Eagles on the board in the second quarter. He also had some opportunities to contribute in the run game as well as the screen game, but could not get too much going there. Smallwood looked to have some room if he made a cut or two, but was late in recognizing those opportunities and did not get many chances in the second half. Smallwood carried the ball four times for six yards and caught one pass for 14 yards.
Jalen Mills - Mills was tasked with covering DeSean Jackson due to McKelvin missing the game because of injury. He was picked on heavily early in the game. Mills played Jackson as if he was afraid to get beat deep and as a result gave up some early completions on short routes to Jackson. Mills did eventually give up a downfield completion to Jackson for 35 yards. He recorded seven tackles and successfully defended one pass.
Jordan Hicks - I struggled whether to give Hicks a 'B' or 'C' and ultimately settled on a 'C'. I felt the lack of run stop and big holes against the Eagles defense made the final decision for me. Hicks turned his head the wrong way on one pass that went right by his head and could have been intercepted. He finished third on the team in tackles with eight including two tackles for a loss.
Fletcher Cox - Cox committed a very costly penalty for the second week in a row. He was called for roughing the passer on third down inside the red zone. That penalty kept the drive alive for Washington and it eventually ended with a touchdown. He struggled to make much of an impact in this game. Cox was double-teamed, but his teammates failed to step up and help stop the Redskins.
Carson Wentz - Wentz looked like a rookie in this game and did not look comfortable at all throwing the ball. He looked to be bothered by the uncertainty and lack of confidence in Big V to pick up his blocks. After getting hit and sacked three times early in this game, Wentz was rushing throws and off target. With the ball down by seven late in the game, Wentz held onto it too long and took back-to-back sacks resulting in a punt. The Eagles never got the ball back. This was clearly Wentz' worst game as a pro. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 179 yards and was sacked five times.
Mychal Kendricks - Kendricks had another poor performance outside of one bright spot. He made a great tackle for a loss on a reverse. However, he was frequently absent on run defense and missed too many tackles. He is not excelling in this defense and is making too many mistakes. Kendricks finished with three tackles including one for a loss.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - Big V did not have the NFL debut he was hoping for. He filled in for the recently suspended Lane Johnson. Big V was taken advantage of by the veterans on the Redskins defensive line and gave up multiple sacks and hits on Carson Wentz. He was beat by a bull rush, stunts and just looked flat out confused at times. Big V single-handedly got the offense out of a rhythm before it could even get going.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz' defense failed to stop the run at all. That led to difficulty in trying to create pressure in the passing game. They allowed way too many third down conversions and costly penalties extended Washington drives that otherwise would have ended. These numbers are all very poor. The Redskins were seven of 13 on third down. They racked up 493 total yards with 230 of them coming on the ground. By giving up sustained drives, the defense was on the field for 34:13 and had to defend 67 plays. They got very little pressure on Kirk Cousins and failed to record a sack. Schwartz must make adjustments with the undefeated Minnesota Vikings coming to Philadelphia next weekend.
Doug Pederson - The Eagles were called for way too many penalties for the second week in a row. They have committed a total of 27 penalties in the last two games combined. The penalties are killing this team and certainly a reason why they are losing these close games. That is a direct reflection on the coaching staff led by Pederson. This team did not commit many penalties in its wins, and must find a way to cut them down in a big way moving forward. The offense looked way out of sync and predictable given the way the team had to help Big V on the line. Pederson has to regain control of this team and right the ship.