Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Seahawks
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles put together another sloppy performance and lost 23-17 to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Eagles struggled to move the ball until late in the first half. They managed to find a better offensive rhythm in the second half, but it was a case of too little too late. Carson Wentz missed reads and missed open receivers, Doug Pederson made some bad in-game decisions, and the defense basically let one guy beat them.
The loss drops the Eagles to third in the awful NFC East. They trail Washington and the New York Giants by half a game as the calendar turns to December.
This game was not as close as the score indicates. It yielded a bad report card. Check out the latest edition of Grayson's Grades.
Dallas Goedert - Goedert was Wentz' most reliable receiver in this game. He was targeted ten times and caught seven passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. He did an excellent job of presenting an easy target for Wentz to throw to. Goedert even beat his man on a seam route down the middle of the field, but Wentz under threw the ball. If he leads Goedert, it might have been a touchdown. Instead, Goedert drew a pass interference penalty. It will be interesting to see what happens to Goedert's production when Zach Ertz returns to the lineup which could happen as early as next Sunday.
Derek Barnett - Barnett made some of the biggest plays early in the game. The Seahawks went for it twice on fourth down in the first half and Barnett stuffed both of those plays to force a turnover on downs in both instances. He finished the game with three tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss and two Quarterback hits.
Fletcher Cox - Cox had a pretty good game. He recorded a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Several times he was able to break through a double team and at least flush Russell Wilson out of the pocket or hurry a throw.
Jalen Mills - I thought this was one of Mills better games. He was assigned to cover Tyler Lockett a lot in this game and to his credit, Lockett was not a factor in the game. He only caught three passes for 23 yards. He also did a good job of attacking the ball and as a result finished tied for second on the team with seven tackles. He also added two tackles for a loss.
Jalen Reagor - Reagor's injury earlier in the season slowed down his development. He had a chance at a touchdown but Wentz' pass went off his hands and fell incomplete. It looked like the kind of play an NFL receiver should make. Another disappointing quality about Reagor's game is on screen passes. They ran at least two of those to him and he just looks confused as to where he should find the hole to hit and try to break it for a big gain. He has the speed to succeed on screen plays, but he just looks unsure of what to do after catching the pass. Reagor was targeted seven times but caught just three passes for 11 yards.
Carson Wentz - This was another game in a long line of games that all look roughly the same. It's like a broken record. Wentz sacked a boatload of times, missing open receivers and missing reads. I have mentioned all season that his mechanics are off, he fails to step into throws down the field and holds the ball too long. Wentz once again had an awful completion percentage. He completed 56 percent of his passes. Wentz completed 25 of 45 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Granted, his offensive line was not great tonight and missed some blocks. He also had a running back run the wrong play when a screen would have worked. All in all, not a good enough performance when plays were there to be had.
Miles Sanders - Sanders clearly has to work on catching passes out of the backfield. While he was not getting many touches on the ground and few holes to run through, the Eagles did try to get him the ball in some space. It doesn't matter if he doesn't catch it and he continues to drop several passes per game. I have been saying it week after week, Sanders needs to get 20 or more carries per game. Pederson quickly abandoned the run yet again running 46 pass plays compared to 14 running plays. Sanders finished with six carries for 15 yards. He also caught two passes for seven yards.
Offensive Line - This was the tenth different starting offensive line combination in eleven games for the Eagles. Jordan Mailata was reinserted as the starting left tackle, Jason Peters moved to right guard, Matt Pryor played right tackle for the injured Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce made his 100th career start and Isaac Seumalo started at left guard. It is very hard for a line to build any kind of chemistry and idea of what the guy next to you is doing on any one play when you have barely worked with that player. Breakdowns in pass protection led to a total of six sacks on Wentz. Wentz is clearly not playing well, but his offensive line is not helping him out either. This unit also failed to do much in terms of opening up running lanes for the rushing attack. Eagles Running Backs carried the ball nine times for 26 yards.
Doug Pederson - Pederson capped off a weird week with some wacky play calls and poor decision making. It was reported that Jalen Hurts saw an increase in the number of first team snaps this week indicating we would likely see more of him in this game. Hurts took just two snaps. That's fine but then stand by your starter and protect him from all of that "noise." Pederson did not do that and quickly abandoned the run in this game. He called 46 pass plays compared to 14 run plays. His offense got into a bit of a rhythm in the second half but decisions to go for it on fourth down helped deflate some of that momentum. I did not mind the first fourth down attempt near midfield down by eight early in the fourth quarter. The defense had been playing pretty well so I probably would have preferred to punt, but his offense was moving the ball and I understand trying to get the fourth and two conversion. However, with his team down 11 and 8:40 remaining in the game I fail to understand how going for it on fourth and four and passing up a 33 yard field goal to make it a one possession game is okay. It is coaching malpractice. It completely changed the remainder of the game. Pederson's play calling has been inconsistent and inept this season. His decision making in-game is borderline insane. His aggressive nature plays well with a good offense. But when the offense is as bad and inconsistent as this one, he has to learn to pick certain spots to gamble.
Darius Slay - Slay had his worst game of the season. He was matched up one-on-one with DK Metcalf throughout the game. Honestly, Slay's coverage was not bad and in some cases very good. However, he lost the battles and despite the good coverage Metcalf hauled in some big grabs and made the plays. Slay gave up more yards to the receiver he was covering in this game than he has to any other receiver all season. Metcalf caught ten passes for 177 yards. Slay led the team in tackles with nine, partially due to those completions to Metcalf.
Howie Roseman - Roseman helped build the roster that took the field in this game including the injured players who were not available. It's a longer list of aging players that continue to be injured an unable to help this team. Many of those signings were a mistake. I would love to know what Roseman was thinking while watching DK Metcalf torch his Eagles to the tune of ten catches for 177 yards. Metcalf was available when the Eagles took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the 2019 draft. He saw John Hightower fail to record a catch and Jalen Reagor struggle on screen passes and miss a ball that could have been caught for a touchdown. I wonder what he thought when he saw an offensive line that has lacked good depth give up six sacks. What did he think when he saw Jalen Hurts come in for two snaps? Roseman built this roster poorly and it has been exposed. The question is, whether he continues as Executive Vice President and General Manager when the season is over.
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