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Patriots vs. Eagles Preseason Week 2 PFF Grades: Offense rebounds, defense struggles

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The best and worst performers from the Eagles' 2014 preseason game against the New England Patriots.

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Jared Wickerham

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 42-35 loss to the New England Patriots. [Recap]

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

OFFENSE

Best

C David Molk +3.8
LT Andrew Gardner +3.5
LG Matt Tobin +2.6
RT Lane Johnson +2.0
LG Evan Mathis +1.6
WR Jordan Matthews +1.4
TE Zach Ertz +1.3
WR Arrelious Benn +1.1
QB Nick Foles +1.1
RG Dennis Kelly +1.1
RB Henry Josey +1.1
QB Mark Sanchez +1.0

Analysis:

For the second straight week in a row, the Eagles' backup offensive line graded out very favorably. While they're obviously going against backups, it's still an encouraging sign. Offensive line depth is one of the more bigger question marks on the Eagles' roster and so far the backups have played pretty well. 24-year old second year player Matt Tobin might be a future starter at guard on this team with current starters Evan Mathis (33 in November) and Todd Herremans (32 in October) both aging.

Jordan Matthews rebounded in a big way from his performance against Chicago: 9 receptions on 9 targets for 104 yards, 11.6 yards/reception, 0 drops. 81 of Matthews' yards came after the catch for a whopping 9.0 YAC/reception.

Ertz was obviously a weapon too. He finished with 2 receptions on 2 targets for 21 yards and 1 touchdown against former Eagles safety Patrick Chung He Who Must Not Be Named.

Arrelious Benn made that weird touchdown catch (GIF) but his positive grading actually came from run blocking well.

I didn't expect Henry Josey to look as good as he did: 8 attempts, 56 yards (7.0 average), and 2 forced missed tackles. It's been a quiet camp for Josey but this was a good showing.

Nick Foles looked good and Mark Sanchez, one interception aside, played well again.

Worst

WR Ifeayni Momah -3.5
C Josh Andrews -2.2
RG Todd Herremans -1.4
RB LeSean McCoy -1.3

Analysis:

Everyone's favorite 6-8 pass catcher didn't turn in his best performance. Momah fumbled on the first offensive play of the game and later dropped a pass in the end zone only to have it flip up into the air and be caught by Benn. It's not officially recorded as a drop but it's still a play that he needs to make. Other than that, he was targeted 4 times and caught 3 passes for 28 yards.

Herremans and Andrews both graded out poorly in run blocking.

McCoy finished with 19 yards on 6 attempts (3.2 average) but something tells me not to worry about him.

DEFENSE

Best

S Earl Wolff +3.0
RILB Mychal Kendricks +2.2
ROLB Brandon Graham +1.6
LE Cedric Thornton +1.4
S Nate Allen +1.1
RCB Cary Williams +1.1

Analysis:

Wolff finished with 1 batted pass, 1 QB hurry, 1 tackle, and 1 assisted tackle.

Kendricks was solid in run support with 1 tackle and 1 stop.

Graham, who was facing second/third string players, record 1 sack as well as 2 QB hurries as well as 3 tackles and 3 stops.

Typical Cedric Thornton game: very, very good against the run but didn't bring much as a pass rusher.

Nate Allen finished with 4 tackles and 1 assisted tackle and 0 missed. It's been a solid summer for Allen.

Watch Cary Williams pick off Tom Brady over and over here (GIF).

Worst

LOLB Marcus Smith II -5.5
LCB Curtis Marsh -4.3
LE Frances Mays -3.7
RILB Emmanuel Acho -3.1
RE Joe Kruger -3.1
RCB Brandon Boykin -2.9
ROLB Travis Long -2.4
LILB Najee Goode -2.2
RE Brandon Bair -2.0
NT Wade Keliikipi -2.0
LE Taylor Hart -1.4
S Chris Maragos -1.2
RILB Jason Phillips -1.1

Analysis:

Yikes, what a long list. Worth noting there aren't any full time starters on it, however.

Let's start with Smith II. The rookie managed to get 3 QB hurries but he also missed 3 tackles. Smith II played a lot of snaps on Friday night (73) and he looked a little gassed at times so it's not all that surprising he had some struggles.

Curtis Marsh... what can I say? Marsh was targeted 11 times and allowed 6 receptions for 75 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had two penalties called on him.

A number of linebackers/defensive lineman on this list struggled to register any kind of pass rush while also missing tackles in coverage and/or against the run.

Standout slot cornerback Brandon Boykin took an especially bad angle on a running play that let the running back get wide from a big gain. Boykin also committed 2 penalties.