The Eagles are 9-1 after a gritty win against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The rain and a very good Kansas City team couldn’t keep the Eagles from scoring three times to win 21-17 and improve to 9-1 on the year. Here is how the rookies fared.
Jalen Carter: B
Jalen Carter made national news when he attempted to intercept a spike by Patrick Mahomes. He was centimeters and milliseconds away from a huge, impressive play but missed out on it. Maybe next time. Outside of that highlight, Carter mostly made plays in the run game in this game. While the Eagles rush defense was getting gashed in the first half, it tightened up in a big way over the last two quarters of the game. Carter played a physical, high effort game and made his presence felt for three downs. Patrick Mahomes’ craftiness in the pocket made him hard to sack and made the Chiefs offensive line look better than it actually performed. So, Carter definitely got some meaningful pressure in this game, but failed to convert it into a sack.
Sydney Brown: B
Sydney Brown had a really solid game against the Chiefs. The Eagles needed the whole secondary to show out against Patrick Mahomes and Brown made some really nice plays. He looks more comfortable defending out of the slot and covering receivers in man. He gave up some receptions, including a long one to Justin Watson, but they were mostly great throws by Mahomes and not bad defense. Where Brown continues to stand out is as a tackler. Both against the run and in coverage, Brown does a good job stopping ball carriers in their tracks.
Eli Ricks: C
Eli Ricks had a costly penalty in this game, adding to the handful of penalties he’s already racked up this year, but I thought he mostly did a decent job in coverage. Slot is a very new position for Ricks and the Eagles are rotating him in with Sydney Brown and Bradley Roby. At this point, they just need Ricks to avoid big mistakes and he can be a fine rotational defender for the rest of the year.
- Nolan Smith did not contribute in this game. The coaching staff’s confidence in him has waned even with Derek Barnett out due to personal reasons. I trust Sean Desai and the way he has handled this defense, and the lack of confidence to get Smith on the field even as a package player is concerning for Smith’s future. Hopefully the rookie can turn it around soon.
- Tyler Steen was the backup with Cam Jurgens back at right guard. Steen played special teams.
- Kelee Ringo continues to be a special teams contributor.