The Eagles looked amazing for three quarters before a fourth-quarter collapse that led to a 21-17 loss to the Panthers. That made grading players difficult, because it was almost like watching two different games.
Somebody had to take the blame, though, and take a great, big ‘F' in this week's report card.
Carson Wentz: 30/37, 310 YDS, 2 TD, 119.6 RT
Wentz was phenomenal for over 58 minutes, but nothing less than abysmal the final 71 seconds. After completing 85 percent of his passes for almost nine yards a pop, he threw a ball that should've been intercepted, then another into double coverage before getting sacked and fumbling on 4th-and-2 in Panthers territory. Took too many sacks, too.
Wendell Smallwood: 9 ATT, 32 YDS
This won't convince the Eagles they're set at running back. Smallwood ran hard – he also had a 15-yard run and 51-yard catch wiped out by penalties – but Corey Clement carried six times for eight yards with a fumble.
Wide receivers/tight ends
Zach Ertz: 9 REC, 138 YDS
Dominant performances from both Ertz and Alshon Jeffery, who added seven receptions for 88 yards with an 11-yard touchdown, plus drew a 48-yard pass interference penalty. They made difficult catches look easy all day. Dallas Goedert also had a big day with four catches, 43 yards and a one-yard touchdown.
The Panthers were credited with just five quarterback hits on 41 dropbacks – can't keep him much cleaner than that. Impressive considering Jason Peters (biceps) and Lane Johnson (ankle) are both injured. On the other hand, Eagles runners only averaged 2.4 yards per attempt, and there was heavy pressure on the offense's final play.
Michael Bennett: 2 TKL, 1 TFL, 1.0 SK, 3 QH
The momentum turned when the Eagles' pass rush evaporated. The unit was disruptive for three quarters, then nothing. Bennett was by far the most productive up front, with as many quarterback hits as Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Trayvon Hester combined. Including sacks, the group accounted for just four stops in the backfield.
Jordan Hicks: 7 TKL, 1 TFL
Too often, Hicks, Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill were chasing the ball from behind. The Panthers use a lot of misdirection, which seemed to have the desired effect on the Eagles linebackers. One positive, the unit was able to limit the quarterback's mobility.
Malcolm Jenkins: 7 TKL, 2 PD
The Panthers had 68 yards passing through three quarters. They had 201 yards and two touchdowns through the air in the fourth quarter alone. Ron Darby broke up three passes, but was slipping and sliding in the end zone on an 18-yard score, while Jalen Mills was beaten for multiple big gains on the game-winning drive.
Jake Elliott: 1/2 FG, 2/2 XP
The wind played hell on kickers in the north end zone, but after missing a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter, Elliott came back and nailed a tough extra point in the third quarter.
Eagles' record: 3-4
Usually, when there is a collapse like this, it's because the team took its foot off the gas pedal and failed to make adjustments. Doug Pederson was guilty of the former with his play-calling, while Jim Schwartz is to blame for the latter when the Panthers were carving up his defense and no changes were made. Brutal job – the type that could get people fired were the Eagles not coming off the Super Bowl.
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