Grading the Eagles: Ertz bursts out; Kendricks stellar in loss
Grading the Eagles after their 27-24 loss to the Redskins on Saturday, spotlighting a player from each position.
Grading the Eagles after their 27-24 loss to the Redskins on Saturday, spotlighting a player from each position:
OFFENSE – C+
The Eagles piled up over 500 yards on offense, but they had two turnovers, multiple penalties, were 3 of 5 in the red zone and failed to convert a key third down and 1 in the third quarter.
Quarterback – B-
Mark Sanchez completed 74 percent of 50 pass attempts and 7.48 yards per throw. He was 3 of 4 for 64 yards on passes over 20 yards. He was also 6 of 8 when blitzed, but he tossed a costly interception late in the game when the Redskins sent two extra rushers at him. Sanchez appeared to throw off his back foot. The ball was low and behind receiver Jeremy Maclin and Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland picked it off. His first half fumble was more on tackle Lane Johnson, who got beat by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Sanchez had a few other passes he'd probably like to have back: After the forced fumble on the kick to open the second half, Sanchez checked down to LeSean McCoy on the flat when it appeared as if he had Maclin on a short crosser. He threw to Zach Ertz in double coverage on third and goal in the fourth and the ball was knocked away.
But there was a lot of good from Sanchez. He converted a third down with a 5-yard pass over the middle to Ertz in the first. He fired a 22-yard pass to Maclin in the middle of a zone to convert third and 12. He flipped to Jordan Matthews over the middle for ten yards in the second. His best throw may have come when he shuffled to his left out of the pocket and hit Matthews 26 yards downfield on third and 25. He fired a perfect three-yard touchdown pass to Cooper on a slant. Sanchez connected with Maclin for 16 yards near the sideline.
He tossed a BB to Ertz for 11 yards on third down in the third. He found Matthews on a crosser for 22 yards on another third down conversion. He hit Cooper for 16 yards on a comeback route in the third. Sanchez did a nice job throwing to ball up for a 16-yard touchdown to Riley Cooper. He flipped to Brent Celek off a play-fake for 15 yards. He roped an 18-yarder to Jeremy Maclin, who tip-toed both feet in-bounds. On the Eagles' final drive, Sanchez completed five of his first six passes – one of which was nearly picked off -- before he tossed the killer interception.
He also kept on the zone read two times for 7 yards and scrambled three times for 15 yards. Five of his receivers (Sproles, Maclin, Matthews, McCoy, Cooper) dropped makeable passes. He was sacked three times. He didn't appear to be primarily at fault for any of them.
Running back – B-
LeSean McCoy rushed 13 times for 69 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but was held to 19 yards on nine carries after the break. After being held to just one yard on his first three carries, he ran five times for 31 yards on the Eagles' next series. McCoy shook a Redskin and forged ahead for 10 yards on one rush and capped the drive off with a tough 11-yard touchdown run to the pylon. He also caught a short pass and picked up 18 yards after making a defender miss. He hit the hole off the left for four yards in the second. He motored up the middle behind a plowing block by center Jason Kelce, made a safety miss at the second level and gained 22 yards. He was tackled for no gain when Brent Celek appeared late to block the safety. He broke another tackle and picked up five yards to the three-yard line. He lowered his head and ran straight ahead for six yards. He failed to pick up a third and 1 in the third when the Eagles ran a stretch play to the right behind right guard Andrew Gardner. McCoy picked up a third down and two with a six-yard scoot in the fourth. He later caught an 11-yard pass. McCoy was dropped for no gain on a zone read play when the Eagles had first and goal midway through the fourth.
Wide receiver – B-
Riley Cooper had probably his best receiving game of the season, catching five passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns. He ran a slant route and caught a 3-yard touchdown in the first. He caught a 16-yard pass on a sideline route. He snared back-to-back 9-yard passes in the fourth. Cooper did a great job of turning his body and going up for a Sanchez pass that was floated slightly behind him for a 16-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Tight end – A-
Zach Ertz set a franchise record of 15 catches for 115 yards. He converted a third down in the first with a 5-yard grab. He pulled in a 7-yard pass using one hand in the first. Sanchez over threw him when he had a step in the corner of the end zone in the second. Ertz fared well as a blocker, as well, and helped spring Darrren Sproles for 18 yards on a screen in the second. He laid out the safety when McCoy ran for 5 yards down to the 3-yard line.
He caught three straight passes before the half – a ten-yarder after shedding a tackler, a seven yarder and then a 4-yard third down pickup. He caught two more passes over the middle for eight and nine yards in the fourth. On the same drive, Ertz snapped a high pass out of the air for 16 yards. He caught four passes for 28 yards on the Eagles' final drive.
Offensive line – C+
Lane Johnson had early struggles, particularly in pass protection against Kerrigan. But the right tackle adjusted in the second half. In the first quarter, though, he had trouble with a linebacker when McCoy was dropped after a 2-yard line. Kerrigan got around Johnson and stripped-sacked Sanchez. Johnson had a lead block on a McCoy 5-yard tote. He pancaked his man on McCoy's 11-yard touchdown dash. He was penalized for holding Kerrigan on a pass rush in the second. He held Kerrigan again but a Redskins penalty offset the holding call. He cleared out the edge when McCoy rushed for five yards in the third. Johnson did a good job of sealing Kerrigan on a McCoy 6-yard run in the fourth. He did essentially the same thing on McCoy's 4-yard tote later on the drive.
The Eagles held the Redskins offense to 2 of 9 third down conversions, 2 of 4 in the red zone and forced a turnover. But the defense gave up four plays over 25 yards and was penalized multiple times.
Defensive line – B-
Bennie Logan and the Eagles defense held running back Alfred Morris to 83 yards on 21 carries. Eagles coaches credited Logan with three solo tackles. He played 42 of 57 snaps. He drove an offensive linemen back several yards and Morris had to bump outside for no yards. He shed a blocker and ran down Morris after one yard. He made initial contact with Morris, who was dropped after two yards in the third. He rolled away from a blocker and stood up Morris at the line in the fourth.
Outside linebacker – B-
Brandon Graham played every snap filling in for the injured Trent Cole. The Eagles awarded him with four quarterback hits. He teamed up with Fletcher Cox and held Morris to one yard in the first. He appeared to be late to the edge when Morris ran 28 yards for a score on a stretch play. He teamed up with Mychal Kendricks to stop Morris in the third. He kept a scrambling Griffin to seven yards in the open field. Graham was called for roughing the passer when he barely touched Griffin's helmet. The Redskins scored a touchdown three plays later. He got third down pressure in the fourth and Griffin threw incomplete.
Inside linebacker – B
Mychal Kendricks was easily the Eagles' best defender on Saturday. He had nine solo tackles. He read a screen pass and came up and made a stop after a 2-yard gain in the first. A few plays later, he broke up a short pass intended for DeSean Jackson. He rushed up the "A" gap and forced Griffin to throw the ball away on third down, but a Cary Williams personal foul gave the Redskins a first down. He missed an open field tackle on Morris' 28-yard touchdown run. He shot the gap and stopped Morris after one yard in the second. A play later, he beat left tackle Trent Williams off the edge and sacked Griffin. He came up and held a scrambling Griffin to four yards. A play later, he swept up fullback Darrel Young after Bradley Fletcher missed a short tackle. He blew up a lineman and dragged down Morris for no gain in the fourth. On the next play, he recognized a screen and made the tackle for loss.
Cornerback – D
Bradley Fletcher was benched in the base defense in the fourth quarter. He was beat by receiver Andre Roberts out of the slot for 14 yards on third down in the first. A Jackson stutter-step move off the line had him trailing and Griffin hit the receiver for 51 yards. Jackson caught a 13-yard pass in front of him on a comeback route in the third. Garcon beat him for 17 yards on a slant on the same drive. He missed tackling Garcon on a short screen that advanced the Redskins to the 3-yard line. He played ten yards off in the third, but Jackson got behind him again and ran down a 55-yard catch. Fletcher knocked away a fourth down pass to receiver Santana Moss.
Safety – B-
Malcolm Jenkins nearly had an interception when he stepped in front of a Griffin pass to Garcon at the 5-yard line in the first. He had coverage when tight end Jordan Reed couldn't pull in a third down pass in the second. He had a late run stop of Morris.
SPECIAL TEAMS – B-
Jenkins forced a fumble on the opening kick of the second half, but the Eagles failed to score points off the turnover when Cody Parkey was wide right on a 34-yard field goal attempt. Parkey was way wide right on a 46-yard try later in the third.