Eagles-Saints Week 14 report card: Finally a huge win originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
With their 24-21 win on Sunday, the Eagles snapped their four-game losing streak and also snapped the Saints’ nine-game winning streak.
It was an impressive win for the Eagles during what has been a pretty miserable season.
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Let’s check out the positional grades:
Jalen Hurts: 17/30, 167 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 18 carries, 106 yards, 1 fumble lost
That was an incredibly impressive performance from a rookie making his first-career start against the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Hurts’ ability to pass the ball and run put the Eagles’ offense into the type of rhythm we haven’t seen in a long time. Was it perfect? No way. That’s why he’s not getting an A. There’s still room to improve, but a really good sign from Hurts in his first NFL start.
Miles Sanders: 14 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs
If you were to take out Sanders’ 82-yard touchdown run, he would have had just 13 carries for 33 yards. But that’s not how this works. Sanders has proven himself to be a home run threat and that one play really changed this game. He also caught four passes for 21 yards and didn’t drop a pass after coming into the game with nine drops on the year.
Jalen Reagor: 2 catches, 46 yards
Not a ton of production from the receivers. Reagor had his two catches. Greg Ward had two for 20. Alshon Jeffery had a 15-yard touchdown grab and Quez Watkins had a three-yarder on a little pitch play. Travis Fulgham lost a ton of snaps and was not targeted once.
Dallas Goedert: 4 catches, 43 yards
Goedert had some nice catches, but his production was minimal. And Zach Ertz hasn’t done much since returning off IR. In this game he had just two catches for eight yards. It looked like Ertz had a big catch on the sideline in the second quarter but it was ruled an incompletion and the Eagles’ challenge failed to overturn it.
Hurts’ natural ability to use his legs to avoid pressure certainly helped, but the OL blocked well too. This was just the second game all year in which the Eagles didn’t give up a single sack. And the OL also blocked well enough for the Eagles to gain 246 yards on the ground Sunday.
Javon Hargrave: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 QBH, 2 TFLs
The Eagles’ defensive line was dominant on Sunday. Hargrave had two sacks, Josh Sweat had two sacks and FletcheR Cox had one. They finished with a total of 12 quarterback hits on Taysom Hill. Hargrave has looked like a completely different player the last few games; he has this new scheme figured out.
Alex Singleton: 11 tackles, 1 QBH
Sure, Singleton was the guy in coverage on that fourth-quarter touchdown throw but he had tight coverage and I can’t kill him for that. And the linebackers had an OK game, even without T.J. Edwards, who is their best run-stuffer. Duke Riley had a huge INT, just the fourth for the Eagles in 2020.
Darius Slay: 6 tackles
I’ll be honest … I’m grading this on a curve. Because the Eagles lost Avonte Maddox, Darius Slay and Rodney McLeod to injury in this game and still managed to not get roasted by the Saints’ passing attack. And on one of the touchdown, they had a Kevon Seymour in coverage. Who? Exactly. He was a call-up this weekend and had to guard Emmanuel Sanders 1-on-1.
Jake Elliott: 1/2, 44-yard make, 22-yard miss
Elliott missed a 22-yard field goal before halftime. It drilled the left upright. Dave Fipp continues to say he has faith in Elliott but it’s simply unacceptable to miss a 22-yard kick. The Eagles also did nothing in the return game and nearly coughed up the football on the late onside kick. At least punter Cam Johnston had a good day.
Eagles record: 4-8-1
I’m not sure if it’s a good sign that Doug Pederson seemed to have a better sense of what to call for his rookie quarterback making his first start than he has for the franchise quarterback all year, but in this game, it worked. The Eagles had a solid offensive game plan, relied on some fundamental keys from the offense that they’ve gotten away from and it all worked. And on defense, Jim Schwartz had a nice plan for Hill and the Saints.
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