Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Lions
The Philadelphia Eagles did what they should have done to an inferior opponent, destroy them from start to finish. How they did it was the surprise. The Eagles rushed for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns. They also sacked Jared Goff six times and scored a defensive touchdown. It led to a dominating 44-6 victory over the winless Detroit Lions.
The Eagles had three players rush for more than 50 yards. The dominating ground game led to a very lopsided time of possession. The Eagles had the ball for 35 minutes in this one. They also committed far less penalties than usual.
The Eagles improve to 3-5 and welcome the LA Chargers to town next Sunday.
In the end, a dominating performance leads to a very good report card. Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Jalen Hurts - Hurts finally had a game plan that did not force him to put the team on his back in order to try and win it. He had a solid ground game supporting him and as a result, he did not have to throw nearly as many passes as he had to in previous weeks. Hurts was also a big factor in the ground game leading the team with 71 rushing yards. I also saw him appear to go through a few more progressions in the pocket. He has typically checked out his first and possibly second read before getting antsy in the pocket and looking to run. Hurts completed nine of 14 passes for 103 yards. He also carried the ball seven times for 71 yards.
Boston Scott - Scott gave a solid burst out of the backfield and racked up some decent yardage throughout this game. He hit the hole with a burst and was able to average five yards per carry in this one. Scott has been patiently waiting for his turn to get some playing time and that patience paid off. He had fresh legs and used them to carry the ball 12 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan Howard - Like Scott, Howard also provided a burst of energy out of the backfield. But his run hard at people and plow them over mentality certainly took a toll on the Lions defense. Howard also had fresh legs and made his presence felt on every carry he got. Howard carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns.
Dallas Goedert - It is becoming more and more obvious that Goedert is going to play an important role on this offense. With Zach Ertz now in Arizona, Goedert is getting the chance to be the primary Tight End and he is taking advantage of it. Hurts attempted 14 passes and half of them were targeted for Goedert. He caught six passes for 72 yards.
Offensive Line - The offensive line had a great day. They dominated the line of scrimmage. There were many instances where it was obvious they got a great push against the Lions and took the entire Detroit Offensive Line and pushed them into the endzone. I have been saying it is easier for this line to run block than it is to always pass block. Running the ball allowed the line to wear down the opponent and keep winning the battles up front.
Nick Sirianni - While Sirianni's gardening comments were odd earlier this week, he did have his team ready to play. Not only were they ready to play, but they appeared to play with some conviction and urgency. Sirianni finally allowed the ground game to lead the way taking pressure off of Jalen Hurts and also not asking him to do everything. Hopefully he saw how controlling the line of scrimmage and running the ball can make a big difference in time of possession. When the Eagles have the ball in games like this, they can also dominate the time of possession. The Eagles had it for 35 minutes compared to just 25 minutes for the Lions. The big questions now are... what did Sirianni learn from this one? Also, will he continue to let the ground game open up the rest of the offense with its success?
Jonathan Gannon - Like Sirianni, it was nice to see Gannon step out of his apparent comfort zone and get aggressive. He let his corners play closer to their intended targets. He also blitzed and sent five men on a rush. The end result was a total of six sacks and a defensive touchdown. The Eagles carried a shutout into the fourth quarter before the Lions were able to put some points on the board.
Defensive Line - The defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. They kept the Lions rushing attack from really gaining any traction and more importantly got plenty of pressure on Quarterback Jared Goff. Five different Eagles combined for six sacks in the game. Derek Barnett had one sack. Milton Williams had one sack. Hassan Ridgeway added a sack and Tarron Jackson also added a sack. Josh Sweat had a pair of sacks in the game. He was quick off the edge and frankly beat his man several times. All total the Eagles registered 12 quarterback hits in the game. It kept Goff uncomfortable and under pressure.
Darius Slay - Slay spent a large part of his career playing in Detroit for the Lions so you know it meant a lot to him to return and score a touchdown. That was his biggest play of the game. He picked up a fumble and returned it 33 yards for the score. Slay also added one tackle in the contest.
Avonte Maddox - Maddox is a Detroit native and he has played the nickel corner role well this season. He seems to be settling into that position nicely. Maddox made a huge play when he punched the ball away from D'Andre Swift. It was a fumble that Darius Slay picked up and returned 33 yards for a touchdown. Maddox finished with four tackles and a forced fumble.
DeVonta Smith - Smith is nearly halfway through his rookie season but continues to have a bit of an issue with dropped passes. He dropped some last week and dropped a pass when he was wide open early in this game. It hurts his production and also hurts the offense. Smith was not needed really in this one with the kind of success the team was having rushing the ball. However, he must do his part and catching the ball is a big key to helping the offense move down the field. Smith caught just one pass for 15 yards.