It was another tough loss for the Eagles on Sunday and once again, a loss that could have been avoided. However, that’s not to say there weren’t positives to take. The Offense showed confidence and the Run Defense showed its prowess once again..but who shone in the spotlight, and who struggled?
The Eagles Tight End had his biggest game of the season so far, receiving for 97-yards on 8 receptions. After a frustrating opening half to the season, Ertz finally rekindled the form that saw him break into an elite crowd at the end of last season which bodes very well for the future of the Offense.
It wasn’t perfect, but in being able to utilize Ertz, the Eagles Offense were able to make bigger plays more consistently..something that had previously been completely absent from the unit. If the franchise tight end can continue to be just as explosive against the Falcons, the birds may..just may, have a shot at causing an upset against Atlanta.
The undrafted rookie finally made his debut on Sunday, and it was a game he’ll never forget. Catching 2 passes for 69-yards, Treggs was able to receive for three less yards in a single game, than Josh Huff had received for all year..which says a lot about just how much he adds to the Offense.
Pederson finally took the lid off against the Giants and there’s no doubt that the role Treggs plays in the Offense will only get bigger as time goes on. It was a long wait..but the former Cal speedster quite literally burst onto the scene and did more than turn a few heads.
Another undrafted rookie who had a big night was DT Destiny Vaeao. 4 tackles and a sack cemented a huge game for Vaeao considering his snaps, which saw him become the first UDFA with two or more regular season snaps since 2003.
With a lack of depth at the position and the uncertainty of Bennie Logan’s injury status, a big showing from the undrafted rookie was not only needed by the Eagles, but by a man who is looking to secure a higher spot on the depth chart.
Carrying the ball 13 times for 47 yards may seem like an average day for a running back, but for Darren Sproles it marks the second consecutive game with over 50 rushing yards in a backfield striving to find its identity.
Sproles received more combined carries than the rest of the backfield combined..arguably cementing his spot as lead running back or at least contrasting Doug Pederson’s adamance that the role belongs to Mathews..which for the veteran rusher, is a very good sign.
The former Bills cornerback has struggled since arriving in Philadelphia and Sunday was no exception. Being burned by Odell Beckham Jr from start to finish and lacking awareness that saw him run into a teammate, McKelvin had arguably his worst game of the season so far..(something we will look at much closer in our cornerback grades and analysis piece tomorrow).
Partner a poor game with the strong development of Jalen Mills..and the case for his long-term future half way into the season is starting to fade.
After being reinforced as the lead back by Pederson mid week, Mathews once again played in what appeared to be a goal-line back role. Rushing just five times for 15 yards and a touchdown, Mathews has seen his role diminish ever since the fumble issue reemerged.
If Mathews continues to underwhelm in such limited snaps, it’s hard to see him ever regaining the role of lead running back and will instead be fighting with Smallwood and Barner for what could be crucial snaps when you take the bigger picture into account.
DGB has been one of the most exciting players on the Eagles Offense since exploding onto the scene with full playbook knowledge after the Bye-Week, but was shut out completely by the Giants on Sunday. Playing 49 snaps, Green-Beckham was targeted 5 times and caught none of them.
It was a poor performance by the Eagles mismatch nightmare..and one both he and the team will be keen to move on from.