By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles had a bye week and some time to rest up.
They entered the week with a healthy Lane Johnson, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery, Cre’Von LeBlanc and Nate Herbig and still managed to lose to a team with virtually no talent.
They got a performance from Carson Wentz that featured no turnovers.
They returned Miles Sanders whose return combined with Boston Scott gave the team a real running game.
And yet, Travis Fulgham made no impact, Alshon Jeffery registered no catches and the offensive line was a train wreck once again.
The Eagles are 3-5-1.
- Although Cre’Von LeBlanc was back, it was apparently decided that the team prefers to start a guy with no skill in NRC.
- Herbig was listed as healthy, but did not play as Sua Opeta started at left guard.
- Alshon Jeffery was essentially the fourth WR for the team (behind Fulgham, Reagor and Ward), but was not utilized much with the heavy usage of 12 personnel. Still, his usage may have taken away snaps from the previous three depending on how they broke out his snaps versus what players like Hightower would have taken.
Buy: Boston Scott
Three rushes for 63 yards and a touchdown. An additional catch for 11 yards. Excellent blitz pickups throughout the game. Scott owns the Giants again and it was a bit of a surprise he wasn’t utilized more alongside Sanders.
Sell: Jason Kelce
Kelce took the bye week and apparently forgot how to handle a football. He botched no less than five different snaps and, despite some impressive run blocking, assisted in no significant way to prevent this offensive line from routinely getting beaten by two rushers who four people, including Kelce, were blocking. Kelce has been among the best in the league for 4-5 season now and this showing was a flat-out embarrassment for the center, whose inability to snap a ball correctly combined with the lack of time available in the pocket directly contributed to the downfall of at least three Eagles drives (they had just seven drives where they didn’t score).
Buy: Alex Singleton
Singleton had some misses, but lead the team with 16 tackles, including one for loss. Perhaps most impressive was that an outstanding nine of those were solo tackles. Singleton has proven he is an NFL-caliber linebacker who can make tackles, but that nearly doubles his career high (previous high was nine tackles) and obviously his nine solo tackles was also a career high.
Sell: Nickell Robey-Coleman
There isn’t much to say here. NRC should essentially never see the field with his play this year. He is stealing money from the Eagles as long as they keep him around and the team might as well take a chance on the top free corner they could sign as the drop off in play cannot be worse. They should be watching the waiver wire closely as De’Vante Bausby, for example, has been released twice this season.
Robey-Coleman also had a football bounce straight off his face, so thanks for the help in that field position battle, NRC.
Buy: Miles Sanders
While he had two catches for just 10 yards, he also added 85 yards on just 15 carries, despite the disaster of an offensive line that allowed defenders in the backfield on nearly half his runs and a poor snap by Kelce that Jalen Hurts had no idea what to do with after the fumble. Luckily Sanders, unlike Hurts, had brains enough to pick the ball up and run with it. Sanders does need to work on pass catching, however, as at least two of his three uncaught passes were catchable with more concentration.
Sell: Josh Sweat
After what seemed like a breakout few games to start the season, Josh Sweat has become a ghost. In this game, you won’t even find Josh Sweat on the stat sheet as he really didn’t give anything to the team beside whiffing on a tackle for a Giants touchdown on the opening drive. This is why Vinny Curry was needed and, at this point, it might not hurt to give Shareef Miller some chances to prove his value moving forward. Sweat should still be in games, make no mistake, but that early season promise is all but gone.
Buy: Greg Ward
Ward was again extremely reliable this week. Despite so many fans hating the man who lacks elite speed or size, you won’t find Ward giving up or dropping key passes like Fulgham did in this game.
Ward’s stat line is still not extraordinary with just five catches on six targets for 39 yards, but he was the only receiver on the field Wentz could trust to make a catch today with Fulgham going 1/5, Reagor 4/7 and Jeffery 0/1.
Uncharacteristically, only two of his catches went for a first down today, whereas his career average is a touchdown/first down on about 60% of his catches.
Sell: Travis Fulgham
One catch for eight yards is not impressive, especially on five targets. Wentz went to Fulgham for two tough catches, but both were dropped. It doesn’t matter how involved he was earlier in the game, he had two first-down conversion that he got both hands on and then dropped, each in the final two drives of the game where the Eagles could have won the game and Fulgham did anything but come through this week. He is still a major part of the team going forward, but for the previous five weeks, these are both plays he makes and it cost the team big that he didn’t come through this week.
Buy: Richard Rodgers
Rodgers again proved his worth and should be offered a contract extension by the Eagles. His 60 yards receiving paced the team and his four catches on five targets was as reliable as can be expected. Rodgers got open on some big plays to get Wentz out of trouble and move the chains on each catch.
- Not everything was good from TJ Edwards as he drew a penalty and struggled in pass protection, but he did better than anticipated in that area (he played better than some of the Eagles corners if we are being honest) and still managed 12 tackles.
- Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay were also burned in this game, giving up plenty of key conversions with Slay being in position to at least tip the pass that killed the Eagles chances and instead he watched the catch be completed and vied that the obvious catch was out of bounds.
- The return of Issac Seumalo would have been key for this game, but it is amazing that Nate Herbig, the team’s top remaining guard, was not played with Jordan Mailata on the bench as the team refuses to move Peters back to guard and give the team the protection that they actually need to succeed.
- Sticking to the line, Stefan Wisniewski, who has started in and won two of the last three Super Bowls, is currently a free agent as is Pat Elflein. There has to be someone who can play better than Pryor and Opeta.
- There is no point to Jalen Hurts playing. He apparently has no arms and I could have told any team to 0 blitz any time he’s in since at least week four.
- At the second level, McLeod is supposed to be a leader, but he also can’t tackle Daniel Jones. That is an embarrassment to anyone let alone someone that is deemed a captain of their team.
- Wentz made no amazing passes in this one, but I am not sure how fans can be so pissed off with him when his line (and snaps) were atrocious and he still managed to give up no takeaways and allowed just three sacks. He threw the ball away and lived for another down just as these same fans wanted.
The Eagles travel to Cleveland to face the six-win Browns who eked out a 10-7 win against one of the worst teams in the league this week. With Isaac Seumalo set to return, it only makes sense that the Eagles would lose next week’s game by 20 to such a poor team.