Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Vikings
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles definitely enjoyed playing under the Monday night lights. They fed off the energy of the home crowd and Jalen Hurts had a statement game leading the Eagles to a 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Hurts completed his first ten passes and provided a big spark for the offense in one of his best games as an Eagle. The defense followed suit and for the most part dominated the Vikings forcing multiple three-and-outs.
The Eagles improve to 2-0 on the season and visit Carson Wentz and the Commanders next week. A solid report card in this one. Here is the latest edition of Grayson’s Grades:
Jalen Hurts – Hurts showed me a lot of improvement in this game and was nearly flawless. His passing accuracy was right on point. Hurts kept his eyes downfield after breaking the pocket and completed some passes. He also had two touchdown runs. Hurts helped set the tone by completing his first ten passes of the game. He also led the Eagles on an 11 play 82 yard drive to start the game. As a result, the Eagles never trailed. Hurts completed 26 of 31 passes for 333 yards and one touchdown with one interception. The interception was not his fault as it was tipped by Kenny Gainwell and picked off.
Darius Slay – He is not called ‘Big Play’ Slay for nothing. Slay was a beast in this game and helped to virtually shut down Justin Jefferson. Slay had Jefferson in coverage when he was thrown the ball five times and allowed just one completion. Even better, Slay had two interceptions inside the red zone to keep points off the board and get the ball back to his offense. He finished with one tackle, five passes successfully defended and two interceptions.
DeVonta Smith – Smith was singled out all week after he had zero catches in week one. He responded in a big way. Smith was targeted seven times and caught all seven passes for 80 yards. He was a frequent target for Hurts and took advantage of extra attention that was being paid to AJ Brown.
Quez Watkins – Watkins is the speed demon of this receiving corp. He showed that off in a big way when he got behind the defense and Hurts connected with him for a 53 yard touchdown. Watkins finished with two catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Avonte Maddox – Maddox had to shadow Justin Jefferson at times and had decent coverage on him. He also made a big play in the game. After the Eagles had a field goal blocked and the Vikings started in Eagles territory, Maddox made a great read and leaped to pick off a Kirk Cousins pass. It was another possession where the Vikings left the field without any point scored.
Shane Steichen – Steichen had a great game plan for this game. He also had a great script on the opening drive that went 82 yards on 11 plays and was capped off with a touchdown. It was also a pretty balanced attack as the Eagles passed it 31 times and ran it 34 times. His offense racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and led time of possession 36 minutes to 24 minutes. Steichen also saw his Quarterback complete passes to eight different receivers.
Jonathan Gannon – I still believe Gannon does not blitz enough. That being said, he picked his spots to blitz and it usually led to big plays or the Eagles. The blitz led to Kirk Cousins rushing passes and in some cases, throwing interceptions.
Dallas Goedert – Goedert is a very reliable receiver. He catches nearly everything thrown his way. In fact, he was the leading receiver on the team with 82 yards receiving. Goedert was also tied for second most receptions with 7 of them.
Josh Sweat – Sweat was not able to bust through the Vikings Offensive Line a whole lot, but he did have a big positive effect on the Eagles. Sweat led the team with three tackles for a loss and three Quarterback hits. He also added three tackles in the game. Sweat also recorded a sack.
Fletcher Cox – Cox made a huge play late in the game when he recorded a sack and a fumble on the same play. He also added three tackles and a sack. Cox managed to add a sack as well. He will need to play like that again next week in Washington.
Miles Sanders – Sanders did exactly what the Eagles needed him to do in the second half. He ran the ball when the Vikings defense was getting tired and helped move the chains. Sanders averaged nearly five yards per carry in this one. He also caught three passes for 6 yards. Sanders carried the ball 17 times for 80 yards.
A.J. Brown – Brown had a monster game last week against Detroit. Naturally he was going to get a lot of attention from the Vikings. That allowed other receivers to get more catches. But Brown still got his. He finished with five catches for 69 yards.
Offensive Line – The offensive line really had an ‘A’ performance with one glaring exception. They were flagged for too many penalties. Not all of the eight penalties were called against the line. However, a majority of them were. At times, those penalties helped to kill drives and force the Eagles to punt. Don’t get me wrong, it was a solid performance by the Eagles. There were just way too many ‘Ineligible Receiver Down Field’ and ‘False Start’ penalties by the Birds. That said, this team racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and dominated the time of possession.