The Eagles beat the Browns on Sunday afternoon. You know what that means? That’s right, the Birds are going undefeated this year. Probably not, though. Anyway, enough dilly-dallying, let’s sort through some winners, losers, and I don’t knows.
With the starters resting, the Eagles clinched no major injuries to key players. That’s the most meaningful win you can walk away with in the preseason.
Would you believe it if I told you that Jurgens is Pro Football Focus’s second-highest graded center in the NFL through two preseason games? Yes. Yes, you would, because he’s been an obvious stud. Jurgens looked ready to start from Day 1. He’s been a force as a run blocker and there haven’t been notable issues in pass protection. The Eagles appear to be in good shape if/when Jason Kelce won’t be available to them.
Going to repeat what I said in our Eagles-Browns recap: Minshew looked like a capable backup. Supported by a strong run game, he did his part to keep the offense moving efficiently. By the numbers: 14/17, 142 (8.4 average), 101.5 passer rating. He mostly avoided mistakes. The notable exceptions were when he had a pick six dropped near the Browns’ goal line. He also underthrew an Jalen Reagor on a comeback to the right sideline. Still, the good outweighed the bad, and this was a good performance to see after his struggles earlier in training camp. He’s staved off any threat of being supplanted as QB2.
The bulk of Sinnett’s production came from his 55-yard touchdown pass. His final stat line: 4/9 for 69 yards (7.7 avg), 1 TD, 108.1 passer rating. Sinnett also had a nice run up the middle after things broke down for 12 yards and a first down. Sinnett has yet to string together any kind of consistency but his flashes in practice and game action might be enough for the Eagles to keep him on the roster. This is The QB Factory, after all.
Scott’s 10 carries all took place on the Eagles’ first drive. His yards per carry figure (3.3) was dragged down by the Eagles going for it on a 4th-and-1 (where a strong second effort from Scott moved the chains) and then repeatedly trying to punch it in to the end zone from short-and-goal. Scott also caught a pass for 11 yards. We already know what Scott is at this point ... but this performance was a reminder that he’s a pretty solid backup running back option. The Eagles seemingly want Kenneth Gainwell to be RB2 but Scott has been better than him on the whole this summer. That said ...
Gainwell really needed a good game after failing to show much growth in training camp practices. To his credit, he delivered. Gainwell picked up 46 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. Gainwell was aided by good blocking, yes, but he also generated a team-high 3.09 yards after contact per attempt. By contrast, Scott only generated 1.20. Gainwell put a nice little juke on Browns safety Richard LeCounte III (tough week for him after also getting schooled in practice) and also ran hard through contact at times. Encouraging performance. Would be nice to see Kenny G stack some more good showings.
Cain was one of the Eagles’ top standouts from two limited OTA practices open to the media. He made a number of nice catches in training camp. And now he’s had success in preseason game action. Cain caught five of his seven targets in Cleveland for 66 yards. He made good, strong grabs with hands extended from his frame while also displaying good body control to stay in bounds. While hardly a lock at this point, Cain has put himself in position to be able to make the Eagles’ roster. His chances should only go up if/when the Eagles are able to trade Jalen Reagor.
Prior to Sunday’s game, Allen’s most memorable summer moment was leaping over a Browns player in practice last week. He had been pretty invisible in training camp practices, which is to be expected to some extent for a dude who hasn’t played football since 2016. Allen finally made his presence felt against the Browns, though, by torching their secondary for a 55-yard score. Allen is in no position to earn a roster spot ... but he’s worth keeping around on the practice squad.
After a very slow start to camp, he’s come on a bit recently. Wallace was said to have a strong practice on Friday (can’t speak to this myself because I was mostly focused on the offensive field) and he was solid on Sunday. Wallace only allowed one catch for two yards. He was also in on five tackles; tied for second most on the team. His roster spot should be safe.
Missing the sack while blitzing Joshua Dobbs was tough but he did some good things in coverage. He broke up a pass and pushed a defender out of bounds to force the Browns into a very short field goal make instead of a touchdown. Chachere has had an active camp. He can make plays on the ball, he offers positional versatility, and he plays special teams. Worth keeping on the roster.
Blankenship has looked good in practice and he’s looked good in preseason action. He’s doing everything he can to push for a roster spot. He can tackle and cover. The Eagles also have him playing a ton of special teams snaps.
Jobe feels like a good bet to make the Eagles’ roster. The UDFA from Alabama had a really good open field tackle on a Browns jet sweep. Targeted twice in coverage, he broke up a pass and allowed zero catches. One potential red flag? Jobe did not play any special teams snaps.
I’m admittedly biased; Mac is my guy. And it’s probably not the best sign that he saw playing time so late in the game. But he was targeted three times and only allowed one catch for eight yards. Also had a pass breakup. McCain played the second most special teams snaps of any corner, for what it’s worth.
Gowan’s been kinda quiet in practices but he’s been noticeable in each of the Eagles’ two preseason games. Gowan made a good tackle on the Browns’ first kick return. Gowan was targeted twice in coverage, allowing just one catch for two yards.
To no surprise, Taylor was PFF’s lowest graded defender from this game. He missed FOUR tackles, which is a lot. No one else missed more than two. Taylor did a really bad job of failing to push Dobbs out of bounds on what ended up being a 36-yard run to set up a touchdown for Cleveland. Taylor has looked good in camp so it was a little surprising to see him struggle like this. Stock down.
Quiet game for the big man. Zero stats of any kind recorded in 18 total snaps played. Admittedly, he might not always be the type to stuff the stat sheet. But he failed to pass the eye test as well.
KARY VINCENT JR.
It seemed like the Browns were picking on KVJ. And they were. He was targeted six times and allowed four catches for 70 yards. Not the kind of showing that will help his roster chances as he competes with many other young DBs for a spot on the team.
I still believe Huntley is the best kick returner on the team. But that’s not enough to justify his roster spot, unfortunately. He just hasn’t offered enough as an offensive player. He’s at 2.9 yards per carry this preseason. Not a volume player; change of pace guy at best.
There was some thought that Brooks could make the roster as a potential Jordan Howard replacement. He hasn’t impressed. He had six carries for 16 yards (2.7 average) against the Browns and he’s logged just 3.2 yards per carry this preseason. Not a ton of juice or power here.
Covey hasn’t done enough to earn a roster spot. He was targeted four times but only caught one pass for five yards. His sole kick return went for 22 yards. In addition to Covey not doing much, Cain’s stock rose. More reason to put Covey in the loser section.
The UDFA QB has only managed to log one pass attempt through two preseason games. One would figure he’ll play more in the finale ... but it’s clear he’s not making the roster.
I DON’T KNOW
Dillard has definitely bounced back from last year’s disastrous training camp. He was part of a second string Eagles offensive line that paved the way for success against the Browns. He’s at least a solid backup left tackle. Is Dillard much more than that? For what it’s worth, PFF has him graded 78th out of 135 tackles (minimum 20% snaps) this preseason. He’s barely graded out better than his backup, Le’Raven Clark.
Reagor had a solid catch for 10 yards. He failed to make his defender miss though, as he’s wont to do. Reagor has had a good camp but it’s hard to say he’s majorly turned a corner. He’s been targeted eight times this preseason and he has five catches for 43 yards. His 8.6 average is lower than his 9.1 average from the 2021 season. He’s played well enough to not be cut ... but a trade still seems like the ideal outcome here.
Tartt had a good performance. He held up in coverage and tackled well. But he’s on the third team and playing late into preseason games. Do the Eagles try to bring him back after Week 1 as to not guarantee his salary for the season? Especially to avoid exposing someone like Blankenship to waivers?
The newest Eagles defender was in on four tackles. He was targeted four times but only allowed 14 yards. Amadi did miss a tackle for loss that would’ve more definitively stopped the Browns for a turnover on downs (instead it was closer than it had to be). Seemed liked a mixed bag. In fairness, he had only participated in his first Eagles practice on Thursday.
Scott got banged up in Cleveland. The extent of his injury is currently unclear ... but, as a roster bubble player, he can’t really afford to miss time. Also not good for him that other safeties did some good things.