Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. 49’ers
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles enter the midway point of the season with just one blemish on their record. That was a 27-20 loss in Kansas City. After a slow start, the Eagles came to life and buried a winless 49'ers team 33-10.
Philadelphia scored a pair of touchdowns in 13 seconds late in the first half. Carson Wentz found Zach Ertz in the back of the endzone. That was followed up by a Jalen Mills 37-yard pick-six.
The Eagles are 7-1 and own the best record in the NFL. They will play their third straight home game next Sunday when they host the Denver Broncos.
Despite the dominating score, this game did feature a mixed report card for the Eagles.
Jalen Mills - Great job to undercut the out route and pick off a pass. When the sideline closed down with 49'ers, he alertly cut it back to the middle of the field and was able to find the endzone for a pick-six. Mills recorded three tackles including one tackle for a loss and a pass defense with an interception.
Fletcher Cox - Cox bull-rushed his way to a sack in the first half before 49'ers Quarterback CJ Beathard knew what hit him. Cox finished with two tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss, a pass defense and two quarterback hits.
Brandon Graham - Graham got to 49'ers Quarterback CJ Beathard and brought him down for a sack late in the first half. Graham also made some big hits throughout the game. Graham recorded two tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Rodney McLeod - McLeod delivered some hard hits in this game. He also did a great job tracking a tipped ball that went into the air and pulling it in for an interception. McLeod had four tackles including one tackle for a loss and a pass defense.
Tim Jernigan - Jernigan has been a huge offseason pickup for the Eagles. He has been creating almost as much havoc in the middle of the line as Fletcher Cox. Jernigan has been a big key on the run stop. He made some nice tackles in this game. Like Cox, he does not get all the glory from the stats, but his presence is definitely felt when he is in the game. Jernigan finished with two tackles, one tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Alshon Jeffery - Jeffery has been able to get open at times, especially in the red zone. But Wentz has overthrown him on more than a couple occasions. That happened again in this game, but credit Wentz and Jeffery for making a play when the Eagles needed it. Wentz threw a 50/50 ball deep down the sideline and Jeffery came up with it, shook off a couple of tacklers and was able to dive into the endzone for a 53-yard touchdown.
Mychal Kendricks - Kendricks missed last week's game due to an injury but was back flying around very well in this game. He did a great job chasing down ball carriers and receivers. He also made his presence felt in the backfield a few times. Kendricks led the team with seven tackles. He also added a sack, one pass defense and two quarterback hits.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz had a great game plan against a lesser opponent. He blitzed in certain spots and let his front four keep creating pressure. Schwartz was able to stop the run early in the game and allow his defensive backs to make some plays downfield. They made life miserable for 49'ers Quarterback C.J. Beathard. The Eagles got to him for a total of 12 quarterback hits and four sacks.
Carson Wentz - Wentz was under pressure throughout most of the game. He missed a couple of open receivers, but also took a lot of hits. Credit him for giving Alshon Jeffery a chance to make a play on a 50/50 ball. Jeffery came down with it and scored a 53-yard touchdown in the third quarter. This was not one of Wentz' better games in terms of accuracy. He did throw an interception on a pass where it appeared he and Mack Hollins were not on the same page. Wentz also had a wide-open Ertz over the middle of the field and threw it behind him. Wentz completed 18 of 32 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Derek Barnett - The rookie appears to be getting more and more comfortable as the season continues. He did a nice job in pursuit to rack up a tackle for a loss. He also blocked a field goal and recovered it in the fourth quarter. Barnett had two tackles, one tackle for a loss and two quarterback hits.
LeGarrette Blount - Blount had a steady diet of pigskin shoved his way and struggled at times to find room to run. However, he is the kind of back that just needs to keep getting fed and eventually he will break some later in the game. Blount reeled off an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter and followed that up with a 12-yard touchdown run later that possession. This seemed like the perfect day, wet and sloppy, to feature Blount and the Eagles did just that on the ground. Blount carried the ball 16 times for 48 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one pass for four yards.
Zach Ertz - Ertz continued his steady pace. His stats could have been even better had Wentz not missed him wide-open over the middle of the field. Ertz was able to leak out on first and goal from the one and find a way to be left all alone in the back of the endzone for an easy touchdown in the second quarter. Ertz caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Doug Pederson - Pederson's gameplan on offense was questionable to say the least. Especially after getting a 17-0 lead. It seemed to me they should have been running two out of every three plays to help drain the clock and most importantly keep Carson Wentz from taking unnecessary hits with a three-possession lead. There was no rhythm to the offense. The offensive line was unable to pick up blitzes and stunts that the 49'ers threw at them. The concern is that it laid down a bit of a blueprint as a way for future opponents to attack the passing game.
Offensive Line - Credit the 49'ers with throwing a bunch of different blitzes and delayed stunts at the Eagles offensive line. The Eagles were slow to react and it created very little time to set and throw for Wentz. It also created a number of big hits on the Eagles Quarterback. Haalapoulivaati Vaitai started at Left Tackle in place of Jason Peters who was put on Injured Reserve earlier in the week. Big V got beat for a sack late in the first half. He also was called for a penalty in the game. Lane Johnson was called for a false start. On the very next play he nearly gave up a sack leading to a punt on the Eagles' first possession of the game.