Week 11 Eagles grades by position after convincing win over Saints originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles accomplished two things on Sunday that they hadn’t done all year.
1. They won a home game
2. They won back-to-back games
And now, all of a sudden, there’s a pretty clear path to win a wild card spot and get into the playoffs. Sure, the Eagles still have a losing record at 5-6 but they have won three of their last four games and face what looks to be a pretty easy schedule down the stretch.
Here are their grades from Sunday’s 40-29 win over the Saints:
Jalen Hurts: 13/24, 147 yards; 18 rushing attempts, 69 yards, 3 touchdowns
Hurts’ passing numbers in this game left plenty to be desired and it’s possible that throwing for 147 yards won’t be enough going forward. But he was dynamic with his legs. Two of this three touchdown runs were really impressive and the other was a sneak. His last run sealed the game and his juke was about as good as you’ll see.
Miles Sanders: 16 attempts, 94 yards, 1 lost fumble
That one lost fumble that eventually led to a touchdown for the Saints is the only reason this group isn’t getting an A+. Because Sanders had 94 yards and Jordan Howard had 63 before his injury against the top-ranked run defense in the league.
DeVonta Smith: 4 catches on 6 targets, 61 yards
Give credit to Smith for his output and give credit to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for coming up with a big 23-yard catch to move the chains when the Eagles really needed it. But, really, the Eagles need another weapon to emerge in the passing game. Quez Watkins was held without a catch on just one target and Jalen Reagor had 1 catch on 3 targets for -1 yard.
Dallas Goedert: 5 catches on 8 targets, 62 yards
In his first game after signing a big contract, Goedert proved why he’s worth it. He had some big chunk plays and made an incredible one-handed grab in the first half. Goedert was the Eagles’ leading receiver and there’s no secret to the Eagles’ passing game: They want to get No. 88 the ball. And they should.
The Saints were giving up an NFL-low 72.9 rushing yards per game. The Eagles took care of that in the first half on their way to 242 yards on the ground. To put the into perspective, the Saints had allowed just one 100-yard game all season. The Eagles had more rushing yards against the Saints than they had allowed in their previous three games.
Fletcher Cox: 2 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 FF
It’s surprising to look back at the box score and see that the Eagles didn’t have a single sack on Trevor Siemian in that game. Despite not getting him to the ground, the Eagles’ DL had a disruptive game. Cox, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett and even Ryan Kerrigan (!) pressured Siemian all afternoon.
T.J. Edwards: 10 tackles, 2 PBUs, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 TFL
The Eagles lost Davion Taylor to a lingering knee injury early in this one but Alex Sinlgleton stepped in and did a nice job. Edwards has really changed the entire defense since being inserted into the starting lineup. He did lose sight of his man on the Saints’ first touchdown but other than that, Edwards filled up the stat sheet and had another good game.
Darius Slay: 1 INT, 1 TD, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs
Slay had just one touchdown in his first 125 career games but now he has three in his last four. Slay is playing at such a high level right now. He should warrant serious All Pro consideration. Aside from Slay, Avonte Maddox also had a good game his first time out after signing a new contract. Maddox is small but is a tough, physical player. He had a couple PBUs and got a nice lick on Siemian on a nickel blitz.
Jake Elliott: 4/4 on field goals, 4/4 on PATs
Elliott drilled four field goals from 50, 37, 33 and 47 yards. If he misses one or a couple of them, this game might have a very different feel. As it is, Elliott stayed hot and is now 18 of 20 on the season (90%). He is having the best year of his career. In the return game, Jalen Reagor took one kick from the 3-yard line that he probably should have left but was pretty good in the punt return game, averaging 10.8 yards per return. And Arryn Siposs averaged 44.2 yards per put and got one downed at the 10.
Eagles record: 5-6
Nick Sirianni owned up to going too conservative too early, which is a fair criticism. But he and DC Jonathan Gannon had good game plans in this game. Sirianni stuck with the run despite the fact that he was facing the NFL’s top run defense and Gannon kept Siemian off balance with a healthy dose of pressure.
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