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 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
CB Rasul Douglas, 83.2 overall grade
TE Zach Ertz, 81.4 overall grade
WR Alshon Jeffery, 81.3 overall grade
DI Fletcher Cox, 80.6 overall grade
LB Mychal Kendricks, 80.6 overall grade
No Carson Wentz in the top five? What’s up with that? PFF wrote an explanation.
QB Carson Wentz, 50.5 overall grade
Carson Wentz struggled mightily against the Chiefs defense, the only real success the Eagles offense passing game had was the last drive where the Chiefs played soft coverage and a lucky 53-yard pass which bounced off a Chiefs defender’s arm into Zach Ertz’s arms. When Wentz was pressured (10 passes) he only completed 2 passes for 10 yards
Wentz sure wasn’t perfect against Kansas City, but the reality is he was one of major reasons the Eagles were in the game. Philadelphia gained 406 offensive yards against the Chiefs. Wentz accounted for 388 of those yards (333 passing and 55 rushing) — which come to 95.5% of the Eagles’ total offensive performance. He clearly didn’t receive much help in the run game.
To say “the only real success” Wentz had is the Eagles’ final drive is ridiculous. It’s also crazy that Dak Prescott, Blake Bortles, AND Eli Manning graded out better than Wentz. All of those quarterbacks were clearly bad in blowout losses. This isn’t the first time Wentz has graded out lower than reasonably expected. Somehow “Tom Savage” graded finished better than Wentz last week before the Texans benched him.
So now that you’re mad at PFF for the Wentz grade, let’s look at what else they had to say!
I have to admit that I didn’t expect much from Douglas. Based on what I saw out of him this summer, I thought he wasn’t going to be ready to play in the NFL right now. Nice potential, but not an immediate impact type of player.
It was only one game, but Douglas is off to a nice start when it comes to proving his doubters wrong.
The rookie cornerback playing in his first game had the best performance in the Eagles secondary. Douglas allowed 80 percent of passes targeted at him completed, however, he only allowed 22 yards and another pass defense on a quick pass in the seam. The longest gain he allowed was for 7 yards
The aforementioned pass deflection came on a clutch third down stop. In addition to his coverage stats, Douglas had four solo tackles.
One of those tackles was on a short pass to Tyreek Hill. I convinced myself that that short play was a setup to get Douglas to bite on a double-move by Hill later in the game, but it didn’t happen. The rookie corner kept everything in front of him. It was a pretty impressive effort by a guy who was a healthy scratch in Week 1. Douglas was only forced into action on Sunday due to Jaylen Watkins going down with a hamstring injury.
Douglas still has a lot to prove, and he surely benefited from the Eagles’ pass rush, but this was a good start for the young man. It seems like Douglas could be the starter on the outside moving forward with Watkins expected to miss a few games.
Ertz is currently third in the NFL in receiving yards. Not just at his position — in the entire league. Ertz is tied with Antonio Brown for the NFL lead in first downs. He’s been a reliable chain-mover for Carson Wentz. Ertz showed great awareness to catch that deflected Wentz pass to put the Eagles into field goal range before the end of the first half. Ertz has drawn some criticism in the past, but you have to give him credit for the way he’s playing right now. He’s a great safety blanket for Wentz to have.
It’s way too early for this, but I’m doing it anyway: Ertz is on pace for 120 receptions and 1,520 yards. (And zero touchdowns.)
It’s hard not to love Jeffery’s reaction to his performance against the Chiefs:
“They won the game. None of that shit matters."
Still, it was nice to see Jeffery get more involved in the passing attack.
After a slow Week 1, Jeffery was targeted 13 times for 92 yards. Jeffery was successful in using his height to create mismatches, however Jeffery still struggled to separate at points, leaving Wentz to force the ball to Jeffery or try to put it in position where only Jeffery could make the play.
Kind of a weird criticism from PFF. Jeffery isn’t known for being a separation guy. His skill set is making those contested catches by using his size and strength. All told, it was a nice performance from Jeffery that needs to continue moving forward.
Shot 9 - On the 7th and final play of the drive, Wentz hits Alshon on back shoulder slot fade for 16yd TD. Seven plays, lot of variety. pic.twitter.com/3FvybbfT0w— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) September 18, 2017
Fletcher Cox: Still a beast. The big man finished Sunday’s game with two solo tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and one quarterback hit. Cox has logged six total pressures this season, per PFF. That’s tied for seventh among all defensive tackles.
Despite only playing 20 snaps, Kendricks logged: four tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one pass breakup, and one quarterback hit. Kendricks still isn’t close to being a full-time player for the Eagles, but Jim Schwartz has increased his snaps by about 10% each game so far this year. The linebacker is certainly making the most of his opportunities.
F. Cox blows the RG into the pulling LG, while V. Curry's get-off lets him disrupt path of pulling TE. M. Kendricks playing confident, man. pic.twitter.com/1SE4zBhTRr— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 19, 2017
Confusion works in PHI favor here. Two players bump out to follow Hunt--unsure why. Kendricks blitzes, picks up a sack pic.twitter.com/NYe6wdoMfB— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 19, 2017
PFF gave Vinny Curry some love.
Vinny Curry is the forgotten man on the Eagles defensive line, however when he plays no team can forget about him. In the passing game he recorded a pressure and a hit and added 3 stops in the run game to go along with that.
Curry typically isn’t thought of as a great run defender. He’s made strides in that respect.
Here’s a PFF dishonorable mention: to no surprise, Isaac Seumalo ranks 65th out of 69 offensive guards this season.