Philadelphia Eagles Week 13 PFF Grades: Trent Cole Comes Alive

Elsa

The Eagles veteran pass rusher led a solid performance from the Eagles defense in their victory over the Cardinals.

Pro Football Focus is a site that grades NFL player performances. Let's take a look at what they had to say about the performances in Philadelphia's 24-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

PFF offers explanation on their grading system on their website. Read more about that here.

OFFENSE

Best

Jason Peters +3.1
Zach Ertz +3.1
Lane Johnson +1.6
Riley Cooper +0.7
Brent Celek +0.7
LeSean McCoy +0.7

Worst

Nick Foles -2.1
Todd Herremans -1.9
Brad Smith -1.1 (7 snaps)
Jason Avant -0.7

Analysis: First, the offensive line. Jason Peters has played well in recent weeks despite dealing with multiple injuries. Lane Johnson is also playing well recently. He did allow one sack, but otherwise held up in pass protection. Zach Ertz stole the show with 5 catches on 6 targets (efficient!) for 68 yards, averaging 13.6 yards per catch, and 2 TD. The Eagles tight ends presented a match-up problem for the Cardinals and Philly exploited it well. Brent Celek also chipped in with 4 catches on 6 targets for 29 yards and 1 TD. WR Riley Cooper cotributed with 3 catches on 5 yards for 48 yards, including an impressive one handed catch on an overthrown pass. Shady McCoy rushed for 79 yards on 19 attempts but was marked down for his pass blocking. McCoy allowed a sack and a hurry.

On the negative end, you may be surprised to see Nick Foles graded so poorly. Foles threw for 237 yards and 3 TD with a 61.8% completion percentage and a 112.0 QB rating. Foles was still good, but not so much as his numbers looked. He missed some easy throws at times. Things that stood out: a poorly thrown ball that Avant caught, the Cooper one handed catch, a pass thrown to Cooper that went out of bounds and lost yards, missing Shady in the flat with an overthrow, a Patrick Peterson interception that was dropped in the endzone, and lastly the Peterson interception that was called back due to a penalty. These are fixable issues, but let's call them for what they were: mistakes. Foles looked good when his protection held up but when he was under pressure on 15 drop-backs he only completed 4 of 10 passes for 41 yards with a 52.5 QB rating. He was sacked on 5 of those plays.

Elsewhere on the offense, Todd Herremans struggled yet again in pass protection. He is PFF's second worst rated pass blocking offensive guard on the season. Brad Smith's fumbled snap when lining up at QB in the red-zone hurt his grade in a short amount of playing time. Jason Avant continues to have a bad year. He caught 1 pass on 4 targets and had a key holding penalty wipe out a big play from McCoy. Avant is ranked 92 out of 112 wide receivers and 25th out of 25 qualified slot receivers. His 45.9% catch rate is largely inefficient and the worst of all slot receivers.

DEFENSE

Best

Trent Cole +7.0
Vinny Curry +3.9
Cary Williams +3.3
Mychal Kendricks +2.9
Brandon Graham +2.4
Brandon Boykin +1.5
Nate Allen +0.8

Worst

Roc Carmichael -1.5 (2 snaps)
Patrick Chung -1.5
Clifton Geathers -1.0 (11 snaps)
Fletcher Cox -1.0

Analysis: Trent Cole!!! Great game from the Eagles veteran that a number of people had counted out. Cole was great off the edge with 2 sacks, 1 QB hit, 5 hurries, 1 tackle, and 2 stops. Nice to see him playing well, even if it was against a weak match-up. Vinny Curry also showed up with 1 QB hit and 4 hurries in just 22 snaps played. Continuing with the theme of pass rushers, Brandon Graham was a beast in limited snaps as well. 2 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 tackle, and 3 stops for BG. That's very efficient. Much maligned Cary Williams had a game for himself with 4 tackles, 1 pass defensed, and an interception. He gave up 5 catches on 8 targets but only allowed 38 yards. Williams is what you call an up and down player. Mychal Kendricks returned from injury and probably played the best game of his season. Kendricks made 5 tackles, 4 assisted tackles, and 3 stops without a single missed tackle. Brandon Boykin was targeted twice but didn't allow any receptions. Nate Allen had a nice interception off of Carson Palmer early in the game.

Roc Carmichael only played for two snaps but graded out as the worst player on defense. Carmichael committed pass interference on one of those plays. More notably, Patrick Chung was a liability on the field. He recorded a hurry but also a missed tackle. Chung allowed 2 catches on 3 targets for 72 yards and 1 TD. Get well soon, Earl Wolff. Clifton Geathers played in limited snaps and only recorded one stat: a missed tackle. Fletcher Cox didn't show up much on the pass sheet either. Cox was credited with a QB hit and 2 assisted tackles.

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