Pro Football Focus releases the top five graded players from each team after every single NFL game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the Philadelphia Eagles following their Week 6 win over the Carolina Panthers.
LB Nigel Bradham, 89.7 overall grade
S Rodney McLeod, 86.7 overall grade
QB Carson Wentz, 86.6 overall grade
T Jason Peters, 85.8 overall grade
Edge Brandon Graham, 85.2 overall grade
Nigel Bradham was a FORCE in this game.
He made a big impact from the start; his pass breakup on the Panthers’ first drive forced a three-and-out after Philadelphia had turned the ball over on a strip-sack fumble. Bradham had a number of great open field tackles to stop Panthers players short of the sticks.
Bradham was all over the place in coverage, generally in a good way. He was targeted seven times in coverage, and while he did allow one 20-yard first down, only two other passes were completed against him for a combined 10 yards. He broke up two other passes, including one on third-and-one on the Panthers’ final drive that otherwise would have been an easy catch on a slant for a first down. In addition to the two pass breakups, he also had a game-high six defensive stops.
Bradham’s performance was especially clutch since Jordan Hicks had to leave the game early. Bradham also got banged up at one point and it looked like he seriously hurt his shoulder. But he only missed a few snaps before returning. Tough dude.
Bradham now ranks 24th out of 86 linebackers this season. He wasn’t having the most consistent season prior to recent weeks. It seems like he’s starting to settle in now.
Shot 2 - Bradham does a great job of not taking the cheese on the Jet Sweep, reads the Toss play and flies downhill. OL can't get to him pic.twitter.com/iIpR6E6GGS— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 13, 2017
Interesting to see that McLeod was second here. He didn’t really stand out to me a ton in the game or the stat sheet. He finished the night with four tackles (three solo) and one pass defensed.
McLeod would’ve had a nice interception if not for a tacky pass interference penalty called on Jalen Mills. Judging by his Instagram post, McLeod is frustrated with how that play went.
Wentz’s performance was so good that even PFF couldn’t keep him out of the top five!
The missed third down conversion with Nelson Agholor standing uncovered will stick out in fans minds, but Wentz put them in that position in the first place. He was incredibly efficient throwing the ball down the field, going 7-of-10 for 146 yards on passes targeted 10+ yards down the field. And that doesn’t even include a perfectly thrown ball that slipped through Alshon Jeffrey’s hands with James Bradberry contesting. Wentz suffered from two drops on the night.
Again, Wentz wasn’t perfect against the Panthers, but the good has majorly outweighed the bad with him. His final stat-line from Thursday: 16/30 (53.3%), 222 yards (7.4 average), 3 TD, 0 INT, 110.7 passer rating.
Wentz made some really big time throws. Take this dart to Mack Hollins, for example. 3rd-and-16, facing pressure, steps up, delivers a strike to the rookie wideout.
How the hell did Carson Wentz make this throw? pic.twitter.com/QyPgT644Ov— Patrick (@PatrickMCausey) October 13, 2017
It has to be incredibly demoralizing for opposing defenses to not be able to get off the field. Wentz has been simply unreal on third down this season.
Wentz now ranks 7th out of 32 quarterbacks. The only players ahead of him: Tom Brady, Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tyrod Taylor.
I never wanna hear people talk about cutting JP to save money ever again. Or that he’s “lost a step.” The dude is the GOAT.
Jason Peters put on a pass protection clinic tonight pic.twitter.com/QUHqaqsXw7— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 13, 2017
Despite the fact that Peters turns 36 in January, he’s still playing at a very high level. He ranks second out of all 69 offensive tackles graded by PFF this season. He’s only allowed seven pressures in 218 total passing snaps played, which is the fifth best rate in the NFL.
The only thing missing from this future Hall of Famer’s career is a Super Bowl ring. Time for the Eagles to change that.
Graham finished the game with three tackles (one solo), half a sack, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits. BLG (Brandon Lee Graham) has been generating consistent pressure all season. Graham is also very stout in run defense. He ranks fourth out of 111 edge players.
Shot 8 - Cox & Justin Hamilton push the pocket; clog throwing lanes. Tight coverage on back end. Brandon Graham runs hoop. Cam goes down. pic.twitter.com/ykOTwuBK7N— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 13, 2017
Fletcher Cox and Brandon Brooks also received shoutouts for their efforts in this game.
Cox was a monster. In his first game back from a calf injury, he logged two tackles, half a sack, half a tackle for loss, one pass deflection, and two quarterback hits. It was Cox’s hit on Cam Newton that caused him to throw a wounded duck into the air that was picked off by Rasul Douglas. It goes without saying that Cox should’ve been in the top five here. He was a game-wrecker.
After missing the Eagles’ past two games, Cox returned and made a sizable impact as a pass-rusher. He had six total pressures on the night, including one sack, and one hit that caused Cam Newton’s first interception of the night.
On the season, Cox ranks 14th out of 124 interior defenders.
Shot 10 - Rasul Douglas INT comes via front alignment. 5 vs 5 pre-snap. Two DEs on one side causes OL to slide away from Cox, who wins 1v1 pic.twitter.com/h2ktHHJRUp— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 13, 2017
Here’s what PFF had to say about Brooks.
Brooks was responsible for a handful of the Eagles biggest runs on Thursday, dominating Star Lotuleilei on multiple occasions. He was also good in pass protection, as he was beaten for one lone pressure on 37 pass-blocking snaps.
Brooks finished as one of PFF’s highest graded guards in 2016. He ranks third overall out of 72 players at his position this season.
Another thing worth noting is that Brooks absolutely crushed Luke Kuechly on a pulling play near the goal-line. The star linebacker had to leave the game early with a concussion. You obviously never want to see a player get hurt like that, but that’s an example of how physical the 6-5, 335 pound Brooks can be.
This game was really a testament to how football is won and lost in the trenches and why the Eagles invested so heavily in the lines.