Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Chiefs
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles played much better than they did last week against the Dallas Cowboys, but the result was still the same a 42-30. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid won his 100th game with Kansas City in the town where he first had a ton of success.
The big problem for the Eagles was that while they were kicking Field Goals, the Chiefs were scoring touchdowns. Neither punter was needed as there were absolutely no punts in this one. The problem for the Eagles was once again penalties and failure to convert in the Red Zone.
The Eagles have opened the season with a 1-3 record and currently have a three game losing streak. The offense played better but the defense once again could not get off the field. It's a better report card than last week but still some poor grades out there.
DeVonta Smith - Smith struggled last week to get open and also to catch passes in traffic. He took that to heart this week and had a great game. Smith was frequently a target of Hurts and made some big plays. The rookie finished with seven catches for 122 yards. He took a big step forward from his performance at Dallas. Now he has to work on being consistent and turning in that kind of a day more frequently.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts did a much better getting rid of the ball faster on passing plays. He also did a good job of understanding when it was time to evacuate the pocket. He let his legs help him and when all the Chiefs dropped into coverage he was able to tuck the ball and gain some good yards multiple times. Hurts got very lucky late in the first half when he fumbled the ball and fortunately Nate Herbig was able to recover it. The Eagles were in Field Goal range and at the same time had the Chiefs recovered it they would have had a shot at a Field Goal. Hurts completed 32 of 48 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball eight times for 47 yards. The biggest thing for him was no turnovers. As long as he does not turn the ball over the Eagles should have a chance to win the game.
Kenneth Gainwell - Gainwell was a lot more involved in the offense this week and especially used on the perimeter as a receiver. It helped to stretch the defense horizontally and he tacked on some solid yardage after the reception several times. Gainwell carried the ball three times for 31 yards and a touchdown. He also caught six passes for 58 yards.
Zach Ertz - Ertz is clearly not done producing for the Eagles. He has been one of their most consistent receivers and was again in this game. Ertz made some nice catches over the middle and along the sideline to help move the ball down the field. Ertz caught six passes for 60 yards.
Dallas Goedert - Goedert was once again a solid target for Hurts and a key part of the Eagles offensive success. This offense seems to produce better when the Tight End position is a key part of the plan. Goedert and Ertz combined to catch 11 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown. Goedert had five receptions for 56 yards and a score.
Nick Sirianni - This was a big game for Sirianni to show me something. He needed to show me he learned a few things from last week's debacle in Dallas. Sirianni had a plan for his offense and stuck to it. The result was consistent drives that moved the ball down the field. The Eagles averaged more than nine yards per play on first down and that made it a lot easier for the offense to move the chains. He also designed a plan that helped Jalen Hurts get the ball out of his hands faster. However, one area of concern continues to be in the Red Zone. The Eagles offense seemed to stall out in the Red Zone and they had to settle for Field Goals in a game where they really needed to keep scoring touchdowns. The offense racked up 461 yards of total offense but if the defense can't stop the opponent they will have to do a much better job in the Red Zone where they converted just three of six trips for touchdowns.
Miles Sanders - I have been a big proponent for seeing Sanders get about 20 touches per game. He had 19 in week one when the Eagles got their only win. Since, he has not even come close to that including in this game. So his 'C' grade partially falls on Sirianni for not giving him enough opportunities. However, Sanders needs to take a little more advantage of the touches he does get. He has big play ability and failed to find a crease to break one. More touches will equal more production and likely more success for the offense. Sanders carried the ball seven times for 13 yards. He also caught three passes for 34 yards.
Javon Hargrave - Hargrave has been the brightest spot on the defensive line. Unfortunately, he needs to do more since his teammates on the line have not done much. Hargrave came into this year totally healthy and he is out to a great start. He is however associated with this defense that allowed seven touchdowns on eight Chiefs possessions. So he was part of a lot of plays that did not go the Eagles way. Hargrave finished the game with six tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit.
Jonathan Gannon - Gannon has got to find a way to get this defense to play better. He has to call better plays that suit their strengths and he also has to find a way to generate pressure on the Quarterback. The Eagles have been getting crushed on first down yardage. Typically the opponent is in second and short. The Chiefs had eight possessions in the game and scored seven touchdowns. The Eagles will not win games if they continue to play defense like they did in this game. Gannon must challenge his linebackers to start making plays in the run game. They have been absent from stopping the run the past two weeks.
Linebackers - The linebackers have not been very good collectively. They are supposed to fill the holes after the ball is snapped to help stop the run. They have been late doing that which is a big part of the reason opponents have run all over them. They must get better at recognizing and quickly attacking those holes to at least attempt to give up less yards on first down.
Derek Barnett - Barnett once again was flagged for a bad penalty. There are no good times for penalties, but he went low on Patrick Mahomes and got called for Roughing the Passer that gave the Chiefs a big first and goal. A few plays later it turned into a touchdown. I am so frustrated with the mistakes by Barnett and frankly think the Eagles need to send him a message and make him inactive for one game. On top of that, Barnett is not contributing much else in run defense or a pass rush. Barnett recorded four tackles and one quarterback hit.
Defensive Line - The defensive line has failed to generate much pressure over the last couple of weeks. They are really only getting production from Javon Hargrave. Fletcher Cox continues to get double-teamed which should allow some of his teammates to make plays. Instead, there has not been much pressure on the Quarterback and the run defense is not doing its job. The loss of Brandon Graham is clearly hurting this defense. Better run defense and pass rushing from this defensive line would go a long way towards at least attempting to force a punt by the opponent.