Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Ravens
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles dug themselves a big hole trailing the Baltimore Ravens by as many as 18 points. They trailed by 16 with 7:16 to go before coming up two points short. A failed two-point conversion attempt with less than two minutes to go ended the scoring. Their comeback bid fell short losing to the Ravens 30-28.
The Eagles offensive line was decimated by injury with only Jason Kelce as the lone opening day starter still healthy. That resulted in a lot of pressure on Carson Wentz. He was sacked six times and hit 16 times by the Baltimore defense. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense failed to force a turnover and gave up 30 points or more for the third time in six games.
The team suffered key injuries to players like Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz and Jack Driscoll. All three failed to finish the game and become huge concerns on a short week. The Eagles host the Giants Thursday night.
Here is the latest edition of Grayson’s Grades:
Travis Fulgham – Fulgham caught a touchdown pass for the third straight game and it came at a huge time. It brought the Eagles back to within one possession in the fourth quarter. Fulgham also drew a huge 49-yard pass interference penalty on the Eagles final possession that helped to setup that touchdown. Fulgham caught four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. He has proven himself as a guy who makes some big catches. Fulgham finished with six receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Brandon Graham – Graham had a good game against one of the tougher quarterbacks to catch. He was in the backfield frequently and managed to sack Lamar Jackson not once but twice. He was also a key factor in helping the Eagles hold the Ravens Running Backs to just 74 yards on the ground. The problem was that they allowed Jackson to rush for 108 yards. Graham had those two sacks, two tackles for a loss and finished tied for third on the team with six tackles.
Josh Sweat – Sweat continues to emerge as a really good piece on the defensive line. He took advantage of his snaps in this game and led the Eagles with three tackles for a loss. He added a pass successfully defended and five tackles. Sweat is showing a good burst off the line and proving to be a big help in stopping the run.
Carson Wentz – Wentz statistically did not have a great game. However, you cannot ignore the fact that he was basically running for his life more often than not. The Ravens got the lead and appeared to just rush him on nearly every play. Wentz was a victim of an injured offensive line and key drops by his receivers. He took a beating in this game and was sacked six times and hit 16 times. I give a lot of credit to Wentz for what he did despite all of that and put the ball in the air multiple times giving his receivers a chance to make a play. That included drawing a 49-yard pass interference penalty late in the game. Wentz still needs to learn to get rid of the ball and throw it away. He did have the opportunity to get rid of it and throw it away on some of those six sacks. Wentz also turned it over again when he fumbled on the Eagles side of the field giving the Ravens a short field to work with.
Miles Sanders – Sanders hit another home run in this game. He broke another 74 yard run but fumbled just short of the goal line. So he did not get a touchdown on the run, but J.J. Arcega-Whiteside recovered it for the score. Sanders got hurt on the play and did not return. That bears watching on a short week with the Giants coming to town Thursday night. Sanders carried it nine times for 118 yards before suffering that injury.
Zach Ertz – Ertz was clearly targeted more in this game, especially with the relentless blitzes and pass rush facing Carson Ertz. However, despite being targeted ten times, Wentz and Ertz only managed to connect four times. It was an improvement over the one reception a week ago. But with limited proven weapons on offense, these two need to do a better job of getting on the same page. It was better than last week, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Ertz appeared to hurt his ankle late in the game and did not return so that bears watching on this short week.
Doug Pederson – Once again Pederson’s Eagles failed to ever get the lead. They also failed to win the turnover battle because the offense turned it over early giving Baltimore a short field. Pederson deserves some credit for keeping the fight in his team despite falling behind and suffering so many injuries. However, there continues to be an emphasis on the passing game despite a banged up offensive line and lack of healthy starting receivers. I have no problem with the aggressive tendencies and prefer that to the more conservative approach he had in the tie with Cincinnati. However, I did not like the two-point conversion play at the end of the game. That had no chance and after they had found success passing late in the game, they went to a run play that was doomed at the start. The lack of offense throughout most of the first half led to the need for a comeback like that. This team needs to find a way to put some points on the board early.
Offensive Line – This offensive line was awful. That being said there was just one opening day starter (Jason Kelce) playing in this game. I feel Jordan Mailata is holding his own, but when the line is constantly changing week to week there is no way the players on the line can gain any kind of chemistry or feel for each other. They will also struggle to build chemistry. Hopefully Lane Johnson can play Thursday. But this line needs to get healthy quick! They gave up far too many hits on their quarterback and had him running for his life way too much.
Jim Schwartz – Schwartz’ defense yielded 30 or more points for the third time in six games. They are averaging 29 points per game against. That is way too many and they are giving up way too many touchdowns. In the past they had a bend but don’t break mentality. There is very little bending going on and way too much breaking. They did a good job of stuffing the Baltimore Running Backs but failed to keep Lamar Jackson in check on the ground. He rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown. This defense also failed to force a turnover. It is not their fault that their offense keeps turning it over, but that puts even more of a priority on having them force at least one themselves. This team has won the turnover battle one time this season and that was their only win so far.