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Eagles-Panthers PFF Grades: Philadelphia's defense is legit

The best and worst player performances from the Eagles' 2014 Week 10 game against the Carolina Panthers.

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Elsa

Pro Football Focus is everyone's favorite site that grades NFL player performances. Let's take a look at what they had to say about the performances from the Philadelphia Eagles win over the Carolina Panthers [Recap]

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

OFFENSE

Best

Brent Celek +6.0
Jason Peters +4.7
Evan Mathis +3.6
Jordan Matthews +3.1
Lane Johnson +1.4
Zach Ertz +1.4
Mark Sanchez +1.0

Analysis:

Brent Celek graded out well as a blocker, which is hardly a surprise. Celek has been limited in the passing attack all season but he earns his playing time by doing the dirty work. On Monday night, however, Celek was a huge weapon as a pass catcher. The veteran caught five receptions for 116 yards. He was just an all-around stud.

Left tackle Jason Peters finished with a strong night as both a run blocker and a pass protector. The same goes for left guard Evan Mathis, who made his return to action against Carolina. The strong duo of Peters and Mathis on the left side of Philadelphia's offensive line is back.

Rookie slot receiver Jordan Matthews was targeted early and often by Mark Sanchez and had a great night: seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdown scores. 67 of his yards came from running after the catch. He could have had even more yards had not he been stopped by shoestring tackles by Carolina defenders on two notable plays.

Lane Johnson was all-around solid. Zach Ertz only caught one pass for 17 yards but he graded out positively as a blocker. Perhaps that's an encouraging sign for Ertz moving forward.

Mark Sanchez obviously finished with an impressive performance. The veteran threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns. (It would have been three had not Celek been ruled down at the 1-yard line.) His accuracy could have been better (20/37) but note that at least three of his passes were dropped. If those passes were caught, he would be looking at a 62.2% completion rate instead of 54.1%.

Worst

LeSean McCoy -3.7
Jason Kelce -3.4
Matt Tobin -1.9
Darren Sproles -1.2

Analysis:

Running back LeSean McCoy only gained 19 yards on 12 attempts. He also dropped two passes on three targets. Just not a great night for McCoy.

Center Jason Kelce was marked down in pass protection. Some of his snaps were high and that may have factored into the grade. He allowed two quarterback hurries and also committed two penalties. Right guard Matt Tobin allowed three hurries.

Note that Darren Sproles' punt return isn't factored into his offensive grade. Sproles was marked down for allowing a quarterback hit in pass protection and dropping a third-down catch early in the game.

DEFENSE

Best

Fletcher Cox +5.9
Bradley Fletcher +5.6
Trent Cole +2.3
Cary Williams +2.1
Brandon Graham +1.9
Connor Barwin +1.8
Nate Allen +1.6

Analysis:

The Eagles defense was dominant on Monday night. Cam Newton was sacked a total of nine times.

Notching his first sack of the season was Fletcher Cox. The third-year defensive end racked up a whopping seven hurries on 30 pass rush snaps. He was also effective in the run game.

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher turned in a good performance with only two catches allowed on nine targets. He recorded two passes defensed while also returning an interception to the house for a score. Fletcher also recorded five tackles without missing any.

Veteran outside linebacker Trent Cole finished with one sack, four hurries, and five tackles. He was also strong against the run.

Cary Williams allowed some garbage time touchdowns to Kelvin Benjamin but completely shut down the rookie receiver when the game was actually competitive. Williams also intercepted Newton early in the game.

Brandon Graham continues to push for extended playing time. In 19 pass rush snaps, Graham finished with one and half sacks, one hit, one hurry, and a forced fumble. (Pay the man.)

Connor Barwin led all Eagles defenders in sacks with three and a half. He also recorded two hurries along with several run stops.

Nate Allen finished with three tackles, one interception, and one pass defensed.

Worst

Bennie Logan -1.7

Analysis:

Nose tackle Bennie Logan was marked down for his lack of a pass rush. I thought he played pretty well, so I'm not so sure about this grade.

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