The Monday after a loss is never a fun one, but this one is just excruciating. It’s time to get your boards and markers out once again as we build up our Eagles report card.
It wasn’t pretty. Wentz may have somehow passed for 270 yards, but it’s the additional 270 he would’ve posted had he not fired like a scatter-gun. It’s absolutely not all on the shoulders of the Eagles QB, but he really didn’t help himself on Sunday, taking unnecessary risks, sacks, forcing throws that weren’t there, and missing ones that were on a silver platter. Wentz acknowledged he has to be better after the game and that is a euphoric understatement.
Things started promisingly enough. Boston Scott carved out a few nice gains early and Corey Clement rotated in often to help negate the loss of Miles Sanders, but that task was impossible. Clement was dreadful in pass-protection on several occasions and then Pederson ditched the run completely, despite being up 17-0. 57 yards and 3.4 yards per carry just isn’t enough. Wentz should not be throwing 42 times…after being up 17-0.
I actually want to start with a positive. I think Jack Driscoll played well for the most part. Considering his responsibility was to stop Chase Young ruining his life, he was serviceable. The same cannot be said for the rest of the line, who surrendered 14 QB hits and 8 sacks – the most in Wentz’s young career. Washington’s D-line is nasty…but this play was nastier.
Zach Ertz really didn’t do his pursuit of a payday any favors. 3 catches for 18 yards while Dallas Goedert ticks over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. A brutal drop only added fuel to the fire. Goedert’s big day at the office drag the grade up but it wasn’t great.
This was a mixed bag. On one hand, Jalen Reagor’s 55-yard catch brought so much hope, and the other consists of him slowing up mid-route and missing a guaranteed touchdown. JJ Arcega-Whiteside playing in 41% snaps and producing absolutely nothing was kind of a fitting summary for the entire day. John Hightower had a couple of drops which he’d like back, and the position was just Inconsistent with flashes of real potential.
Outside of Fletcher Cox disappearing, this game was pretty solid. Josh Sweat actually earned the highest PFF grade of any pass-rusher in week one and was relentless throughout. This was huge in negating Barnett’s loss. Malik Jackson looked excellent (for a quarter) and even T.Y McGill got in on the action. Nothing to complain about here.
I was actually very impressed with the Eagles’ linebacking corps. Duke Riley really stood out as someone I presumed would have a special teams’ role. Nate Gerry led the team in tackles and the team held Antonio Gibson to 36 rushing yards. Not a bad day at the office at all.
Darius Slay held Terry McLaurin to just 61 yards, immediately showing his value of being able to take away one side of the field. Avonte Maddox looked aggressive and constantly looked to make plays on the ball. Oddly, the cornerback position might have actually been one of the biggest positives for the Eagles in what was a truly dreadful week one.
Rodney McLeod played his ass off in week one – that much was clear. The veteran Safety gave the offense lifeline after lifeline, making significant plays all over the field. Jalen Mills looked comfortable in his first game at a new position, but I wanted to see more from K’Von Wallace. Maybe the situation (no preseason etc) meant he isn’t where he should be, but with Rudy Ford and Marcus Epps both making waves elsewhere, he was the only one not to shine.
I’m not sure how much more you could really ask for. Elliott and Johnston were sublime and as aforementioned, Marcus Epps had a great day at the office aside from a flag. Another silver lining in a very cloudy game.
How would you grade today’s loss? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire
Liam is a 25-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
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