Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Seahawks (Wild Card)
PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC East but failed to advance past the Wild Card Round of the Playoffs due to a 17-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Injuries once again played a role for the Eagles who saw Quarterback Carson Wentz leave the game in the first quarter.
Wentz left the pocket and started running trying to dive forward and as he was diving to the ground Jadeveon Clowney appeared to take a cheap shot at Wentz and generated helmet-to-helmet contact. Wentz left the game with a head injury and never returned.
"I told him to lay off my Quarterback," Tackle Jason Peters said after the loss. "He said it wasn't intentional. I just told him to lay off and that was that."
No penalty was given to Clowney. "He was a runner and he did not give himself up," Referee Shawn Smith said. "We saw incidental helmet contact and in our judgement, we didn't rule that to be a foul."
40-year-old Josh McCown replaced Wentz and had the Eagles moving the ball, but they could never punch it into the end zone. Considering the injury storm they had to weather, it was impressive they managed to win the NFC East and make a third straight appearance in the postseason.
Here is the final edition of Grayson's Grades for the 2019 season:
Dallas Goedert - Goedert had a solid game for the Eagles. He was a frequent target for Wentz and McCown and made some big catches in this one. Goedert moved the chains multiple times. He finished with seven receptions for 73 yards. He proved this season that while he is the backup tight end on this team, he could start for just about every other team in the NFL.
Zach Ertz - Ertz relayed the story to the media about everything he went through following the rib injury in the Cowboys game and why he HAD to play today. Watch that interview here. Ertz played through the pain and did make an impact. He caught two passes for 44 yards including a 32-yard reception on the first play of the second half to get the offense going. It was amazing to hear his story. He gutted it out to play and admitted that he knew even if he was not 100 percent, the defense would have to act like he was and account for him if he could get on the field.
Fletcher Cox - Cox had a good game. He definitely created havoc on the interior of the Seahawks line. Cox forced a fumble on the second play of the game. It brought up a third down for Seattle and eventually led to a punt. He also managed to either hit Wilson or force him to evacuate the pocket. Cox finished tied for second on the team with six tackles. He added two tackles for a loss and one quarterback hit.
Malcolm Jenkins - There was no doubt that Jenkins gave everything he had in this game and left it all on the field. Jenkins was all over the field moving around from helping to support the run defense or coming on a blitz. He led the team with nine tackles including the only sack by the Eagles, a tackle for a loss and he also led the team with three quarterback hits.
Josh McCown - McCown had to come in relief for Carson Wentz who left the game with a head injury late in the first quarter. McCown was able to move the team on multiple occasions but was unable to get them into the endzone. The Eagles had to settle for field goals too many times. McCown had a chance to convert a fourth down in the fourth quarter but his pass to Miles Sanders was slightly behind him and fell incomplete. The Eagles got the ball back still trailing by eight and had another fourth down opportunity from around the ten yard line and McCown was sacked. He has to at least make a throw and give someone a chance to make a play. Even if it is intercepted, it is not the end of the game. Perhaps his receiver would draw a penalty. McCown was emotional heading to the locker room afterwards. It was his first playoff appearance. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 174 yards.
Doug Pederson - Pederson's offense struggled to get much going in the first half. The Seahawks schemed defensively to take the screen game away from the Eagles. That required some adjustments at halftime. Pederson also had to find a way to get the offense to move with Josh McCown at Quarterback for the injured Carson Wentz. Pederson was constantly chasing points. He did have a good fourth down play called, but McCown's pass to Miles Sanders went behind him and Sanders could not handle it. The play would have gone for a first down.
Vinny Curry - Great job getting a push up the middle on a 35 yard field goal attempt. He was able to block the kick and keep the game scoreless in the first quarter. Curry also managed to hit Russell Wilson but after he released the ball. His pressure was good accounting for a pair of quarterback hits. Curry's blocked field goal though kept this a one possession game throughout.
Miles Sanders - Sanders had a great rookie campaign. He could not quite break the big run or pass. Sanders longest run of the day went for 18 yards. He did a good job of trying to show patience in the hole. Occasionally he tried to do too much and cutback when it was not there. Sanders finished with 69 yards on 14 carries. He also added three receptions for eight yards.
Jim Schwartz - Schwartz managed to once again have his defense hold the Seahawks to 17 points, but again it was not enough to win. He blitzed frequently in their first meeting six weeks ago and was able to get Russell Wilson sacked six times. Schwartz chose not to blitz much in this game and managed just one sack. His defense did a good job of forcing third and long several times just to give up a first down on missed tackles or failure to generate pressure on Wilson. His defense also once again got beat on deep balls including the one on third down that essentially ended the game. Injuries played a role in what he had to work with, but ultimately the defense could not get off the field. The Seahawks converted eight of 15 third-down opportunities.
Cre'Von LeBlanc - Broke up a pass on the first third down of the game. It forced the Seahawks to go three-and-out on their opening possession. He did a nice job to close on Tyler Lockett and get his hand in there to knock it away. However, LeBlanc also missed a couple of tackles and could not get through the line when he tried to blitz. LeBlanc led the team with two passes successfully defended. He added four tackles and one quarterback hit.
Craig James - James cost his team 15 yards on their first punt when he leveled the punt returner who called a fair catch. The personal foul gave the Seahawks the ball near midfield (at their own 46.) In a playoff game, every mistake is magnified and this one cost the Eagles valuable yardage.
Avonte Maddox - Maddox got beat on the Seahawks first possession of the second half. DK Metcalf beat him down the middle of the field. Metcalf rolled on the ground and got up before Maddox touched him and was able to get into the endzone. Maddox has to touch him while he is on the ground and at least save a touchdown for the time being.
Nigel Bradham - The Eagles had the Seahawks in a 3rd and 15 and Wilson scrambled eventually coming face-to-face with Bradham three yards short of the first down marker and Bradham failed to make the tackle allowing Russell Wilson to move the chains. Those plays can sometimes make the difference between a playoff win or loss. Other than that, Bradham did make some plays. He finished with five tackles including a quarterback hit. However, the missed tackle on Wilson was a big miss and his grade mostly reflects that.