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Eagles v. Patriots: 14 winners, losers, and I dunnos

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Nothing before the Cowboys in Week 16 matters anyway

NFL: New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Winners

The New England Patriots

Was there really a winner in that game?

Jake Elliott

Rare that we so quickly fall to Jake Elliott in the winners column. I mean, he’s always here, obviously — but in this game, during which pretty much nobody played great, he’s our first winner off the board for the Eagles. He hasn’t missed a field goal yet this year.

The CB room

Brady did not play a good game; the Patriots don’t have great WR talent; and interceptions are so, so much more valuable than PBUs. All of these things are true, but with all the Patriots’ offensive issues considered, the Eagles cornerbacks were not nearly the liabilities we’ve become accustomed to watching on any given Sunday.

Jalen Mills was effective in coverage and physical playing the run; Ronald Darby was quick and aggressive as always, though he laid a big mental fart on the Phillip Dorsett touchdown. Avonte Maddox played quite well, even though he gave up a few completions — Julian Edelman is one of the best slot receivers in the league, and Maddox did not make life easy on him at all.

We are far away from saying the CBs are no longer a liability downfield, or that all of the coverage calls/checks are solved. But it was a better game from a struggling unit, which is always nice.

Kamu Grugier-Hill

I still hold that Grugier-Hill is the Eagles’ second-best linebacker behind Nigel Bradham, so when Bradham was a no-go for the Patriots game, I expected big things from Kamu. We got them: 3 TFLs (all in the first half) ties Nate Gerry’s TFL production from the whole season.

Gerry has outsnapped Kamu in essentially every week so far this season, and especially since Brown was cut/Fort was traded/Bradham got hurt and the young players were called up into action. Why this is the case remains a complete mystery to me — though, if Kamu were not fully healthy yet, I could understand the slow ramp up in playing time. As it stands off of the Patriots film, Kamu should get snaps over Gerry moving forward.

We’ll see.

Alshon Jeffery

Imagine when we were upset with Jeffery? I mean he’s not been great this year, but GRACIOUS, did you see this team without him?

Vinny Curry

Curry had one of his better games since returning to the Eagles from his brief stint in Tampa. His inside rush ability is a nice boon when you consider all of the injuries the Eagles have endured at the defensive tackle spot.

Losers

Philadelphia Eagles

And all of us who watched it

All of us who watched it

See?

Halapoulivaati Vaitai/Andre Dillard

It’s easy to say “and the Eagles’ tackle situation is one of the best in the league, not only because of the elite starters in Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, but because of the depth: Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Andre Dillard.”

And that’s probably still true! But when Lane went down, it was Big V, not Dillard, who stepped in. Ideally, you’d get the more talented backup player in there — that’s unquestionably Dillard — but instead it’s Big V, who has never been successful at right tackle, but has been around longer, so that makes him Lane’s backup.

Again, this is an instance of the Eagles not “cross-training” their rookies and subsequently failing to respond to an unforeseen injury with a talented player. Big V was a liability, and when Dillard stepped in for Jason Peters, he was also shaky at best. The Eagles’ backup tackle room wasn’t what was promised on Sunday.

Carson Wentz

Bad Carson game — they happen! As a matter of fact, it was quite likely to happen, when you consider the team he was playing against — and if you think that’s revisionist history, you should listen to some more Kist and Solak Show.

Carson was pressing all game, trying to make something from the nothingness of his receiver corps against the best passing defense we’ve seen this century — not an exaggeration. Once he lost two starting tackles, on top of his two starting receivers and his starting running back, he was really up the creek without a paddle.

But he did little to help himself. He took bad sacks and gave the Patriots a short field on a fumble. He missed open receivers late when a game-tying drive was in reach. He shoved ill-advised throws into tight windows. It wasn’t great.

That’s okay; we’ll all float on alright. Carson’s still a good player, who had a predictably rough game given the context. As both the defense changes (Seattle next week is nice), the receivers improve (at some point), and he settles down from his need for heroism (the further we get away from Foles, the better), he’ll have less games like this.

Nate Gerry

Still not very good

Jordan Matthews

I don’t think anyone expected Matthews to just 100% solve the Eagles receiving problem, but man, 1 reception for 6 yards on 6 targets is Mack Hollins-level stuff. Matthews selling point is his chemistry with Carson Wentz and knowledge of the Eagles’ offense — if you can’t show in your play why that helps, then it’s not really the boon it’s perceived as, is it?

Nelson Agholor

He does more damage to the team than he offers help when he plays. He should be benched or cut at this point. You have to move on, for your sake and for his.

I dunnos

Tom Brady

I dunno about you, but Brady looks W A S H E D. Now this was the worst game he’s played all year, and I imagine he’ll be better in later weeks and the Patriots offense will, as always, find a winning formula (tempo seems to be the answer here), but Brady’s boldly proclaimed for the last few months that he’s playing for the next four or five years. I simply don’t see that happening.