Eagles report card: Grading the week 3 tie against Cincinnati

NFL: SEP 27 Bengals at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Miles Sanders (26) reacts to an overthrown pass defended by Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (59) in overtime during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (zdx)

The Eagles were absolutely terrible on Sunday, but were there any redeeming factors in the tie with Cincinnati? It’s time to get your markers and whiteboards out once again!

Quarterback

Carson Wentz was just as sporadic as he was in the opening two games of the season. His accuracy was non-existent, his placement inconsistent, and his decision-making questionable. What did change however was his mentality. Wentz was notably more aggressive and showed flashes of wanting to put the offense on his back and do it all himself – something that was echoed by his 65 rushing yards and a daredevil touchdown to send the game to overtime.

It wasn’t his best performance by any means and was still shocking on many levels, but he does deserve some credit for trying to make the right adjustments and step up when the team really needed him to.

Grade: D

Running back

Miles Sanders notched another 95 yards in yesterday’s tie and it’s not really his fault that he wasn’t utilized more against a truly woeful run defense. When given the rock, Sanders was as explosive as one could ask for, averaging over 5 yards per attempt. The problem was that his carries were almost too few and far between considering Wentz threw 47 times against a run defense that has now given up 465 rushing yards through 3 weeks.

Grade: C

Offensive line

Penalties. Matt Pryor’s late-error was the straw that broke the Camel’s back, forcing the Eagles (in Doug’s mind) out of field goal range and leading to the tie. Lane Johnson was called for holding in OT and Nate Herbig was called for the same thing just two plays later, killing the drive.

Jason Peters was dreadful before exiting the game early (shock). He surrendered two sacks and was beaten early and often, which is exactly what you want from someone who demanded more money to play the spot to begin with.

Had it not been for Carson Wentz and his Houdini ways, this would’ve been somehow even uglier.

Grade: F

Tight End

Before Dallas Goedert exited the game early due to injury, he looked like he could’ve been primed for a fairly big outing. Instead, it was Zach Ertz making his bid for a new contract with a 70-yard game, followed by a wild Richard Rodgers sighting.

Nothing overly exciting to report here, just a good day for a strong position.

Grade: B-

Wide Receiver

DeSean Jackson was pulled from the game early with an injury. He’s getting multiple rest days each week in order to remain in peak physical condition. That’s going well.

Deontay Burnett was a pleasant surprise after being called up from the practice squad this week, but it was once again Greg Ward Jr. who proved to be the team’s most dangerous wideout, recording 72 total yards and a touchdown on the day.

J.J Arcega-Whiteside’s bizarre NFL career continues to confuse every single one of us and in a game that should’ve been the prime opportunity for him to prove people wrong, he wasn’t even targeted.

Grade: F

Defensive Line

18 QB hits. 8 sacks. 10 TFL.

This game is not on the Eagles defensive line, who were absolutely tenacious. The front four have been unbelievable this season and among the biggest contributors has been Malik Jackson, someone who had his first season in Philadelphia ripped away due to injury.

Brandon Graham took over the fourth quarter in what may have been one of his strongest individual performances.

Nothing but huge compliments for this unit.

Grade: A++++

Linebacker

I really don’t want to write about Nate Gerry running around like a headless chicken, but Nate Gerry was running around like a headless chicken.

How he continues to see such a high percentage of snaps is beyond me at this point and he’s allowed more touchdowns in 3 weeks than I’ve had successful relationships.

Davion Taylor, Alex Singleton, and Shaun Bradley are players who should all be seeing an uptick in defensive action but are not getting that opportunity because Gerry continues to run himself out of position.

Grade: F

Secondary

I want to exclude Darius Slay from this grading, who kept AJ Green in his back pocket all game. Also exempt is Trevor Williams, who played fairly well considering he was called up off the practice squad and tossed into the deep end.

As for Nickell Robey-Coleman, he’s been about as disappointing as ordering a 20 Chicken Nugget sharebox and only counting 17. Tyler Boyd ate him alive on Sunday. going off for 125 yards.

Avonte Maddox wasn’t much better before his injury, and the Safeties were forced to try and clean up whatever mess was in front of them, although a flurry of penalties didn’t help.

Grade: F

Special Teams

I would personally grade this unit a B+, but Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson clearly feels a different kind of way…

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

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