Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. 49’ers
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles controlled the game throughout the first half but trailed on the scoreboard at the break 7-3. Miscues led to that deficit. Those miscues ultimately caught up with them and led to a 17-11 loss to the San Francisco 49'ers. There were also some very bad penalties committed by the Eagles in the process.
The offense was able to move the ball but failed at key times to convert that into points. The defense started the game well but struggled to win first downs ultimately leading to long time-consuming drives by the 49'ers. Tack on a blocked field goal and the Eagles saw a winnable game go down as a loss.
After a solid report card last week, it is more of a mixed bag in this week's Grayson's Grades:
Quez Watkins - Watkins is not going to be a high volume receiver. So he has to take advantage of the opportunities he gets within the course of the game. Watkins had a huge opportunity when the Eagles were barely outside their own endzone. He beat his man and caught a ball down the sideline that ultimately went for a 91-yard gain. Watkins was caught before he could reach the endzone. That drive ultimately ended in zero points. Watkins caught two passes for 117 yards.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts turned in a decent performance. He was effective with his arm and his legs. Hurts once again showed decent decision-making and an ability to get out of the pocket at just the right time. I liked the times he chose to take a shot deep. It worked when he connected with Quez Watkins for a 91-yard gain. He also tried to hook up with DeVonta Smith. Hurts had a touchdown called back after hooking up with Jalen Reagor down the sideline. Unfortunately, Reagor stepped out of bounds before making the catch eliminating the touchdown. Hurts completed 12 of 23 passes for 190 yards. He also carried the ball ten times for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Javon Hargrave - Hargrave had another decent game. His grade started out high and slowly dropped as the game went on. He was in the middle of some good plays, especially early on. The Niners did a better job of paying attention to him more as the game evolved. Hargrave is out to a good start this season. Hopefully he can keep it up. Hargrave recorded seven tackles including two tackles for a loss and one quarterback hit.
Nick Sirianni - Sirianni fell victim to his ego. It his first year having full decision-making power and chasing points in the first half is not typically a smart way to play the game. The old saying is 'you don't want to leave points on the field.' Sirianni chose to not only go for it on fourth and goal but ran a trick play. It failed and the 49'ers marched 97 yards down the field on their ensuing possession to score a touchdown right before the half. It was a 10 point differential if the Eagles had kicked the field goal. I would have preferred Sirianni kick the field goal and keep tacking on points in the first half. On top of that, I hated the play call. The Philly special was the absolutely wrong play to run there. To sum up, I hated the play call and disliked the decision to go for it. The offense had a solid first half. The running game was working and I liked the opportunities and timing of attempts to throw the ball downfield. Jalen Hurts hit Quez Watkins for a 91 yard gain when the Eagles were in the shadow of their own goal post. They also took a couple of deep shots with DeVonta Smith but none of them connected.
Miles Sanders - Sanders ran hard and averaged 4.2 yards per carry but his touches were down. He needs to get around 20 touches in my opinion. Sanders had 19 touches last week but just 14 this week. That is not Sanders fault. He did a good job of pushing through the first defender to make contact and gain decent yards. Sanders carried the ball 13 times for 55 yards. He also caught one pass for four yards.
Defensive Line - The defensive line got out to a great start and was creating pressure on 49'ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, credit the Niners with making adjustments and using the Eagles aggression against them. They got the ball out of Garoppolo's hands quickly and were constantly winning first downs. It created long drives and the Eagles failed to get off the field.
Jonathan Gannon - Gannon's defense got out to a great start. They were pressuring Jimmy Garoppolo and forcing bad passes. They were also stopping the run. The Eagles defense did not allow a first down until the second quarter. Credit the 49'ers with making adjustments that Gannon could not counter. The 49'ers started getting the ball out of Garoppolo's hands a lot faster with short routes and screen passes. They used the Eagles' aggressive tendencies against them. Gannon's defense was getting gashed on first downs and that in turn led to long time-consuming drives by the Niners. The defense kept getting worn down and failed to get off the field at key times. After not allowing a first down throughout the first quarter, the 49'ers racked up 23 first downs in the game. They also had the ball for nearly ten more minutes than the Eagles. One final thought, it is becoming a troubling trend that this defense has not forced a turnover through two games.
Derek Barnett - Barnett finds himself in this spot and singled out for making a stupid play when the Eagles finally got a break. The 49'ers fumbled the ball backwards and eventually out of bounds. It looked like it was going to be a third and 15 until the flag was thrown. Barnett received a personal foul for taking a cheap shot after the ball was already out of bounds. It was a free first down and 15 extra yards that allowed the 49'ers drive to continue.