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Grading the Eagles’ performance in Sunday’s impressive 24-21 win over the Saints

The Eagles earned the highest marks of the season behind Jalen Hurts and a strong performance from the defense and running game.

Miles Sanders scored two touchdowns, including an 82-yard touchdown, against the Saints in Sunday's 24-21 win.
Miles Sanders scored two touchdowns, including an 82-yard touchdown, against the Saints in Sunday's 24-21 win.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

The Eagles put up their most rushing yards in six years. The defense forced multiple turnovers for only the fourth time this season and the first time in six weeks. Their rookie quarterback didn’t play like a deer in headlights. And they upset the 10-2 Saints. Let’s get to the grades:

Rushing offense

The Eagles’ 246 rushing yards were their most since 2014. Miles Sanders had only his second 100-yard performance of the season. And Jalen Hurts used his legs to rush for 106 yards and notch seven of the Eagles’ 11 rushing first downs.

Grade: A-plus

» READ MORE: Eagles rally behind Jalen Hurts, the running game, and a depleted defense in 24-21 win over the Saints

Passing offense

Hurts’ passing numbers – 17-for-30 for 167 yards – were modest. But he didn’t throw an interception and had a big back-shoulder touchdown throw to Alshon Jeffery early in the second quarter on a fourth-and-2 for the Eagles’ first points. Also, for the first time since Week 2, the line didn’t give up any sacks. Part of that was Hurts’ mobility, but they also played well.

Grade: B

Rushing defense

The Saints had averaged 200.6 rushing yards per game in Taysom Hill’s previous three starts. But the Eagles did a good job against the NFL’s seventh-rated ground game. They held Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray to 63 yards on 15 carries, and did a good job of minimizing Hill’s running ability.

Grade: B

» READ MORE: Eagles offensive line kept Jalen Hurts clean against Saints’ effective pass rush

Passing defense

The Eagles came into the game with a league-low three interceptions and none in their previous five games. But they had a big one in the second quarter by Duke Riley on a deflection that set up a Jake Elliott field goal. They sacked Hill five times, including a strip sack by Josh Sweat early in the fourth quarter that set up the Eagles’ last touchdown.

Grade: B-plus

Special teams

Jake Elliott’s problems with short kicks continued. Elliott, who had previously missed two PATs and a 29-yard FG attempt earlier this season, missed a 22-yarder late in the first half that would’ve given the Eagles a 20-0 lead. Punter Cam Johnston had a 44.7 net average and put an early-fourth-quarter punt at the New Orleans 5.

Grade: C-plus


For only the fourth time this season, the Eagles had multiple takeaways and turned both of them into points. Hurts’ legs created problems for the Saints defense. The Eagles’ pass rush came up big with five sacks and helped out a secondary that lost two key starters in the second half.

Grade: A-minus

» READ MORE: Eagles-Saints Up-Down Drill: Doug Pederson dials up a winning game plan