Eagles Week 8 PFF Grades: AJ Brown earns elite marks after dominant performance; Javon Hargrave man handles his former team
Coming off their Week 7 bye, the Eagles didn’t miss a step on Sunday, dominating the Pittsburgh Steelers to the tune of 35-13 in front of the Lincoln Financial Field crowd.
As they’ve done nearly week this season, the Eagles dominated on both sides of the ball. Jalen Hurts and Co. racked up 401 yards of total offense; 111 on the ground and 290 through the air. They held Pittsburgh to just 13 points and 4.3 yards per play on the day.
As we do after every Birds game, let’s take a look at how Pro Football Focus graded their performance.
AJ Brown, Dallas Goedert, and Jalen Hurts lead the way offensively
WR AJ Brown had the highest grade of any player on the Eagles offense Sunday. Shocker.
Brown was unstoppable on Sunday, hauling in six receptions for 156 yards while putting three touchdowns on the board. Each of Brown’s three scores came in the first half and he became the first player since 2004 to record three touchdowns of at least 25 yards in the first half.
Brown ended Sunday’s contest with a 92.6 offensive grade. It’s the best single-game grade PFF has ever given Brown.
The kid is special. As PFF puts it, “A good number of those [passes] weren’t getting caught unless the receiver’s name was AJ Brown.”
Coming in behind Brown on the PFF grade sheet for the Eagles offense was TE Dallas Goedert, who earned a 90.1 offensive grade for his efforts. TE1 hauled in all six of his targets for 64 yards. He once again proved to be one of the best vertical threats at the tight end position, averaging 10.7 yards per catch on Sunday.
Not only did Goedert show out on the receiving end, he pulled his weight when blocking as well. He finished Sunday’s game with a 77.7 pass blocking grade and a 73.6 run blocking grade.
Rounding out the top-three for the Eagles offense was none other than QB Jalen Hurts.
The Eagles signal caller had a career day against Pittsburgh, posting a career-high four touchdown passes while completing 68 percent of his passes for a passer rating of 140.6. In the end, Hurts earned an, 85.4 offensive grade and an 87.7 passing grade for his performance on Sunday.
Hurts’ strong outing against Pittsburgh put him right back in the MVP conversation, even though he never truly left it.
Eagles offensive line was a bit up-and-down against Pittsburgh
After such a convincing victory, it pains me to nitpick an otherwise dominant performance from the Eagles. But as PFF points out, Jeff Stoutland’s offensive line was a bit inconsistent against Pittsburgh.
Lane Johnson was solid as always, posting an overall grade of 75.9 along with a team-high 84.8 pass blocking grade. As for every other starting lineman, none of them managed to earn pass blocking grades higher than 70.0 and only one (Jordan Mailata) posted an overall grade higher than 70.0.
As a unit, the Eagles offensive line surrendered 11 pressures, nine hurries, and two quarterback hits on 32 dropbacks.
Surprisingly, Jason Kelce had the lowest pass blocking grade of any starting lineman on Sunday, posting a 38.4 mark in that category. Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo did marginally better in that area, earning 59.7 and 51.3 pass blocking grades respectfully.
PFF has been pretty harsh with their grading of the Eagles offensive line this season, despite ranking them as the best offensive line unit in the league every week. Despite some of the low markings, there’s no reason to panic over this group obviously.
There’s always room for improvement, even after a thorough beatdown. Stoutland will have his boys ready to go against Houston come Thursday night.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles offense:
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Javon Hargrave, TJ Edwards, and Brandon Graham lead the way defensively
The “Javon Hargrave Revenge Game” wasn’t a major talking point heading into Week 8’s contest with Pittsburgh, but it was pretty obviously that Hargrave had a chip on his shoulders. The former Steeler posted the highest defensive grade of any Eagles defender on Sunday, earning a 90.4 mark by game’s end.
He impacted the game in all facets Sunday. Hargrave led all Eagles in defensive stops with seven while tallying two sacks on the day (including one strip sack) en route to a 86.9 pass rushing grade; the highest pass rushing grade on the Eagles defense.
Hargrave has had a so-so season thus far, recording just one sack before Sunday’s game. He was one of the best pass rushers on the team last season, so it was nice to see that dominance come to the forefront once again on Sunday.
TJ Edwards came in behind Hargrave on PFF’s grade sheet this week after another strong outing. He earned an 86.0 defensive grade for his efforts while leading the team in tackles with 13.
Edwards also finished the game with the highest coverage grade of any Eagles defender, posting an astounding 89.1 mark in that category. On five targets, Edwards allowed just two receptions for eight yards. Edwards has slowly become one of the best overall linebackers in football and his 77.6 defensive grade this season (seventh-best out of 80 qualifying linebackers) is evidence of that.
Rounding out the top-three on the Eagles defense was Brandon Graham, who continues to prove he’s still a great defensive end despite his age. BG finished Week 8 with a 78.9 defensive grade along with a pass rushing grade of 75.6. On just 13 snaps of action, Graham recorded three pressure and three hurries.
Graham has made the most out of his limited playing time this season. That won’t change moving forward.
Robert Quinn posts worst grade of any Eagles defender in his Philadelphia debut
Robert Quinn landed in Philly just days before the team’s Week 8 contest, so he has a built-in excuse for his subpar outing against Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that the newly acquired pass rusher earned the lowest defensive grade of any Eagles defender on Sunday, posting a 40.1 overall mark along with a 50.9 run defense grade and a 60.3 pass rushing grade.
Quinn was used primarily as a pass rusher in his Eagles debut. 16 of his 20 total snaps were logged as pass rushing reps, per PFF. He tallied two pressures, one quarterback hit, and one hurry. Not terrible, but nothing to write home about.
It was just one game and it was his first in an Eagles uniform. Certainly no reason to panic yet. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to prove his worth throughout the remainder of the season.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles defense:
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