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The Eagles’ Defense Finds Themselves on the Receiving End of a Bad Report Card After Loss to Dolphins

[CSNPhily] The Eagles' defense finds themselves on the receiving end of a bad report card after loss to Dolphins
CSNPhilly.com

After failing grades for members of the Eagles' offense in back-to-back weeks, this time the defense is on the receiving end of a bad report card after a 37-31 loss to the lowly Dolphins.

The Eagles blew leads of 10 and 14 points to an opponent that entered the game with two wins and has been widely accused of tanking, so you better believe the letter F is back in full force.

Quarterback

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Carson Wentz: 28/46, 310 YDS, 3 TD, INT

Far from great, which will no doubt keep the debate about Wentz's franchise-worthiness going for another week – though he certainly did enough to win. A few inaccurate throws, but take away the Hail Mary interception at the end, and negative plays were kept to a minimum with only two sacks and no other turnovers. Bottom line, he led the offense to 31 points.

Grade: B-

Running backs

Miles Sanders: 17 CAR, 83 YDS, 5 REC, 22 YDS, TD

Sanders put the Eagles offense on his shoulders for much of the first half, carrying 10 times for 54 yards with three receptions for 24 yards, including a 15-yard catch and run. Lack of explosive plays the only gripe.

Grade: B+

Wide receivers and tight ends

Alshon Jeffery: 9 REC, 137 YDS, TD

Who are these guys and what did they do with the Eagles receivers who drop everything? And we're talking tough catches and clutch catches. Jeffery had his best game all season. Dallas Goedert managed to post a line (6 REC, 66 YDS) without a fumble. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside hauled in his first career touchdown – 15 yards on a scramble drill – and Nelson Agholor followed it with a two-point conversion. Zach Ertz, of all people, was the worst of the bunch, leaving two potential touchdowns on the turf.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Solid, but unspectacular up front. Eagles running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry, and Wentz was hit just five times in 48 dropbacks – yet Miami's defense ranked 31st against the run and dead last in sacks entering the game, so those numbers really aren't that impressive.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Derek Barnett: 6 TKL, 2 TFL, 4 QBH, SK

The pressure on the quarterback was immense for much of the first half, with sacks for Barnett, Vinny Curry and a Fletcher Cox/Josh Sweat split. In all, the unit racked up 10 hits on the quarterback. Yet, the pass rush vanished in the second half while Miami marched into the end zone three straight times and kicked a field goal. Stopping Miami's completely worthless ground attack was meaningless and inconsequential compared to the inability affect the passer.

Grade: D

Linebackers

Nigel Bradham: 4 TKL, PD

Where were these guys? Bradham, Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill combined for 11 tackles. And the one play Bradham needed to have – an interception in the fourth quarter – was in and out of his hands for a harmless incompletion. Not good enough.

Grade: F

Secondary

Grabbed the turnover on the first play from scrimmage, then it was pretty much all downhill from there for the Eagles corners. Ronald Darby gave up the 43-yard bomb on fourth down, while Jalen Mills was beat on jump balls not once, but twice on scores of 17 and 14 yards. Generally speaking, 365 yards through the air is a lot against any opponent, let alone one of the worst offenses in the NFL.

Grade: F

Special teams

The Dolphins' punter threw a touchdown to their kicker. That's all anybody needs to say.

Grade: D

Coaching

Eagles' record: 5-7

Give Doug Pederson a modicum of credit: he moved the pocket a lot for his quarterback on Sunday, to some degree of success. Unfortunately, that's about the only positive remark for this staff. Jim Schwartz's defense was dismantled by one of the worst teams in the league, and Pederson refuses to stick with the run despite an inconsistent passing attack. Penalties – 10 for 91 yards – were an issue, too. This team isn't very good, but they're not exceptionally well-coached, either.

Grade: D

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