We’re three quarters of the way through the NFL season and there is still everything to play for. Despite their recent loss to Seattle, the Birds sit at 10-2. Their offense has changed a lot in the last four weeks…but has it improved? It’s report card time.
The rise of Carson Wentz has hit new levels over the last four weeks. Since our midseason report card, the Eagles quarterback has thrown for 10 touchdowns and just one interception. Protecting the ball has been a strong suit for the young signal-caller, but so has been his ability to create absolute magic out of a completely dead play. There have been moments where Wentz looked like a truly elite quarterback and others where he makes plays very few would be able to complete. With the exception of a slightly disappointing performance against Seattle, Wentz has asserted himself as a legitimate MVP candidate.
Q1 Grade: A
Q2 Grade: A+
Q3 Grade A+
The Eagles extended their streak of 100+ yard rushing games to 10, but fell just two yards short of going one further against the Seahawks. The addition of Jay Ajayi boosted the unit to begin with, but both Blount and the former Dolphin have struggled with ball security over the last four weeks. The Eagles put up their best rushing total of the season against Dallas, but there have been lapses. Ajayi nearly disappeared if not for his breakout run/fumble one week ago and the team had to completely abandon the rushing attack in Seattle. The Eagles still boast one of the most dangerous backfields in the NFL, but some unpunished mistakes and concerns are beginning to arise.
Q1 Grade: B
Q2 Grade: B+
Q3 Grade: B-
Losing a Hall of Fame left tackle is never easy…but Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s performances have been admirable to this point. A wobble against Seattle gave the defensive line all the momentum they needed to run rampant, but with that one game aside, Vaitai and a slightly shaken up Eagles offensive front with some extra help have been able to patch the hole left by an all time great. Elsewhere, Brandon Brooks is yet to give up a sack, Jason Kelce is playing the best Football of his career and Lane Johnson is well…Lane Johnson.
Q2 Grade: B
Q3 Grade: A
Zach Ertz has enjoyed a phenomenal season so far, but what really stands out here is that whenever the Eagles have been without the tight end who has 663 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season, Trey Burton has done a brilliant job of bringing the explosiveness that would otherwise be lacking. With 42 yards to his name against the Seahawks, Burton was exceptional in the second half. We also saw some receiving looks from Brent Celek in the last few weeks, with the Wiley veteran showing he can still be a truck when needed. This may be one of the strongest and most consistent positions on the roster.
Q2 Grade: A-
Q3 Grade: A
Where do we begin? The recent breakout of Alshon Jeffery that now sees him lead the team in receiving, or the continued development of Nelson Agholor? The USC product is tied with Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery for the team lead with a career-high 7 receiving TDs (tied for 5th-most in the NFL). This is the first time in franchise history that the Eagles have had three different receivers with 7+ receiving TDs each through 12 games…which kind of says all you need to know. “Backpack” Mack Hollins has been contributing more and more as the weeks go by and the offense is only picking up more and more steam. The only real drawback is that Torrey Smith continues to only really be used in the shallow passing game, but the rest of the corps has been so fundamentally strong it’s almost hard to nitpick.
Q1 Grade: C+
Q2 Grade: B
Q3 Grade: A-
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports