Eagles Stock Watch: Who’s rising and falling after the week 17 loss to the Saints?

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Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Gardner Minshew after throwing an incolplete pass in the final seconds of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

For the second straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles had a chance to clinch the NFC East and the NFC’s top seed. For the second straight week, they failed to accomplish their goals.

All three phases of the Eagles’ gameplan were terrible as the team dropped a winnable 20-10 contest to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.

There’s plenty of blame to go around and some players actually showed up but it doesn’t take away from the dire situation that the Eagles are currently in right now.

Let’s look at whose stock is rising and falling after their most recent loss.

Stock Up: Pass Rush

If there’s one lone group that continued to play well over the weekend, it’s the pass rush. The Eagles recorded seven sacks, a franchise record number, while also setting an NFL record with four different players recording 10+ sacks this season.

Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and a plethora of other players stepped up when the defense needed it most and had easily the best game out of any position group.

Stock Down: Shane Steichen

We’ll get to Gardner Minshew shortly, but the Eagles’ offensive coaching staff was abysmal as a group Sunday afternoon. They recorded just one first down in the first half of action and completely lacked any form of rhythm throughout the contest.

While one could argue it’s more a lack of execution, the play calls themselves were set up to fail. They were running a read-option with Minshew even though he isn’t very fast, there were forced throws in the playsheet even though the Saints have been one of the worst rushing defenses in football, and just a general lack of understanding of personnel.

Nick Sirianni can certainly be placed here as well because he’s the head coach, but this was a bad showing from the offensive staff entirely

Stock Up: DeVonta Smith

Hey, another game where DeVonta Smith was awesome and it completely didn’t matter! Smith caught nine passes for over 100 yards and safely placing him in the upper echelon of catches and yards in Eagles history.

It’s a shame Smitty’s recent solid play is being thwarted by forces outside of his control because he is clearly becoming one of the best receivers in football.

Stock Down: Gardner Minshew

Minshew will be the main scapegoat. He had a QBR of just 11, one of the worst in the NFL this season, and turned the ball over in key moments that ended up costing the Eagles a win. His pick-six throw to Marshon Lattimore was shown that Minshew never read the defense and was focusing on just one read.

Simply put, Minshew is 0-2 as a starter this season and just about locked up the fact that he’s a career backup.

Stock Up: TJ Edwards

Much like their opponent, the Saints rarely focused on running the ball to the edge and it was because TJ Edwards put forth an excellent performance.

Edwards tallied 11 tackles in the game and made some key plays that kept the Eagles in the game late in the second half. The Eagles will have a difficult decision to make between keeping TJ or Kyzir White, but all signs point to Edwards continuing to stay in his role at the MIKE.

Stock Down: Jonathan Gannon

In case you can’t tell, the Eagles’ coaching staff was abysmal in all phases and was the chief reason the Eagles lost their second straight game. Gannon allowed Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill to go 15-16 in the first half passing which kept the Eagles’ offense off the field.

The fact Gannon’s scheme has been torched by Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott, and Justin Fields in consecutive weeks is a major issue with the Eagles not having clinched anything but a playoff spot to this point.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

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