Grayson’s Grades: Week 1 vs. Jaguars
The Philadelphia Eagles opened the 2014 season with high expectations. They apparently forgot the regular season started until halftime.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a 17-0 lead at the half. The Eagles scored 34 unanswered points to win it 34-17.
Darren Sproles - Sproles took advantage of his touches and provided the spark the Eagles needed early in the second half when he broke free for a 49 yard touchdown run. It is the longest run of his NFL career. Sproles also looked electric on punt returns helping to provide some good field position for the Eagles offense. Sproles finished with 11 carries for 71 yards.
Donnie Jones - Jones punted the ball extremely well pinning the Jaguars inside their own 10 yard line twice and even had one downed inside the one yard line. He finished with five punts inside the 20.
Zach Ertz - Ertz asserted himself as a solid downfield threat hauling in 3 passes for 77 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown was the first touchdown pass of the game for Foles. Ertz said after the game it helped settle Foles down.
Cody Parkey - Perhaps no Eagles player was facing as many question marks as Cody Parkey after beating out Alex Henery for the kicking job. He answered his critics by booting a 51 yard field goal that tied the game in the fourth quarter. Parkey added a 28 yard field goal to put the game away. He also kicked off well putting all seven kickoffs in the endzone with five of them going for touchbacks.
Jeremy Maclin - This was Maclin's first regular season game since 2012. He made it a good one. Maclin broke free and was wide open when he caught a 68 yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 24-17 lead. He finished with 4 catches for 97 yards and one touchdown.
Mychal Kendricks - Kendricks, like Barwin, did a good job of creating havoc in the passing lanes for Henne. He also did a good job helping to stop the run and tied for the team lead with 6 tackles. He also had a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection.
Fletcher Cox - Anytime a defensive lineman can scoop up a fumble and beat the other team to the endzone they are almost guaranteed an 'A' grade. Cox was fun to watch rumbling towards the endzone. Aside from the touchdown, he finished tied for the team lead with 6 tackles.
Brandon Graham - Graham earned more playing time after the way he played in the preseason and he made the coaches look good. Graham bothered Henne throughout the game and recorded 2 tackles for a loss.
Connor Barwin - Barwin applied pressure on Jaguars Quarterback Chad Henne several times and had his hands up when he couldn't reach him to either distract the passing lane or bat the ball down. He finished with 2 tackles, 1 pass deflection and 1 quarterback hurry.
Jordan Matthews - Matthews made some big catches in his first NFL regular season game. The rookie helped move the sticks a couple of times. He caught two passes for 37 yards. They were not easy catches and did a great job of holding onto the ball. He also ran some good routes and was wide open over the middle of the field, but Foles threw a bad pass that missed him badly.
Allen Barbre - I was not pleased with Barbre, particularly in the first half. The only reason he did not get a 'D' was because he was injured early in the game and gritted his was through it. He played better later in the game.
Nick Foles - Foles was in the 'F' grade until the touchdown pass to Maclin showing he could make the big pass when he needed to and give his team the lead. It is also hard to put a guy that passes for more than 300 yards in the 'F' grade. He looked out of sync and awful for most of the game. He was missing wide open receivers and once again held onto the ball too long resulting in some key fumbles that the Jaguars recovered leading to their early 17-0 lead. He also threw a pass that was picked off in the endzone. Foles finished completing 27 of 45 passes for 322 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Turning it over 3 times is unacceptable.