Eagles Week 12 PFF Grades: Miles Sanders posts his best marks of the season; Reed Blankenship leads the way defensively
The Philadelphia Eagles topped the Green Bay Packers Sunday night, thanks in large part to an historically dominant performance on the ground.
Philly racked up an astounding 363 rushing yards on the night, the most an Eagles team has totaled since 1948. Jalen Hurts led the way with 157 yards, followed by Miles Sanders with 143.
Defensively, Jonathan Gannon’s group surrendered 33 points on the night, but most of Green Bay’s scoring drives came on short fields. Aaron Rodgers and Co. didn’t have a scoring drive over 59 yards in the first half. Their longest touchdown drive of the night (75 yards) came late in the fourth quarter with Jordan Love at the helm.
In the end, the Eagles outplayed Green Bay and left The Linc 10-1 and atop the NFC standings.
As we do every week, let’s take a look at how Pro Football Focus graded the Eagles performance.
Jason Kelce, Miles Sanders, and Lane Johnson lead the way offensively
The ground game was the story of last night’s victory and PFF’s grading of the Eagles offense reflects that. The top-eight highest graded offensive players for Philadelphia were either an offensive lineman, running back, or Jalen Hurts.
Jason Kelce sits atop the PFF grade sheet for Sunday night, earning a 91.7 offensive grade for his efforts against Green Bay. He finished the night with a pass blocking grade of 71.2 along with a 91.2 run blocking grade. Kelce is the lifeblood of this Eagles offensive line; they go as he goes.
Coming in behind Kelce was the Eagles lead back, Miles Sanders, who put forth one of the best games of his four-year career Sunday night. He finished the contest with a 90.4 offensive grade, his best overall mark since his rookie campaign. He was bouncing off tacklers all night en route to 143 rushing yards on 21 attempts (6.8 YPC).
Per PFF, Sanders forced six missed tackles and posted four explosive runs (runs of 10+ yards). It was the best we’ve seen Sanders run the ball in awhile. If he keeps running like he did Sunday night, it’ll be tough to let him walk once his contract expires at the end of this year.
Rounding out the top-three on the offensive grade sheet was Lane Johnson, who recorded an 81.3 offensive grade for the game. He was the only offensive lineman who posted a higher pass blocking grade than run blocking grade for the Eagles, finishing the night with an 85.2 pass blocking mark.
Tight end depth still a question mark in the absence of Dallas Goedert
For the second week in a row without Dallas Goedert in the lineup, the Eagles tight end group did little to nothing.
Jack Stoll has been the starter with Goedert sidelined. Against Green Bay, he was the lowest graded player on the Eagles offense, posting a 48.3 offensive grade. Tyree Jackson and Grant Calcaterra combined for 28 offensive snaps and didn’t do much better, recording 58.6 and 57.3 offensive grades respectively.
It’s pretty apparent at this point that none of the tight ends currently on the roster can impact a game on the level that Goedert can. Fortunately, the offensive coaching staff has found ways to move the ball and score without their budding star at tight end.
When you can run the ball as effectively as the Eagles did Sunday night, especially in the red zone, the absence of Goedert isn’t nearly as glaring. Obviously, the team won’t be able to rack up 363 rushing yards every week.
Hopefully, Goedert returns to the lineup in a timely fashion. The Eagles offense is even more potent when he’s in the mix.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles offense
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K’Von Wallace, Reed Blankenship, and James Bradberry lead the way defensively
I never thought I’d see the day where K’Von Wallace and Reed Blankenship graded out as the best Eagles defenders in a meaningful game, but here we are.
Wallace only saw the field for three total defensive snaps. Even though it was a very small sample size, the former Clemson safety made the most of it, recording one forced incompletion on two targets. He finished the day with a defensive grade of 86.2, along with a coverage grade of 80.6.
Blankenship subbed in for an injured CJ Gardner-Johnson and had the night of his life in front of a primetime audience.
On 35 defensive snaps, Blankenship led the team in tackles with six and recorded his first career interception. Recording your first career INT, under the Sunday night lights, against a legend like Aaron Rodgers – Blankenship will tell his grandkids about this one day.
Blankenship finished the night was a defensive grade of 75.7, along with a coverage grade of 77.8. Hopefully, CGJ returns from his ribs injury in a timely manner. But man, I’d love see Blankenship get more playing time moving forward. The kid can play.
James Bradberry rounds out the top-three on the defensive grade sheet, earning a 70.5 overall grade for his performance. As he’s done all season long, Bradberry locked up opposing wide receivers all game, allowing just two receptions for two yards on the night.
After outstanding debuts last week, Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh struggle in their first home game
After having great debuts last week against the Colts, both Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh came back down to Earth a bit in Week 12.
The defensive tackle duo combined for just one pressure and one tackle on the night, and both of them posted below average PFF grades. Joseph ended the night with a 37.8 defensive mark, while Suh earned a 45.4.
They’re not going to be standouts every single week, that much is expected. But their lack of production clearly impacted the Eagles defense, as they once again struggled to consistently stop the run. Run defense is the biggest concern with this Eagles defense moving forward.
Suh and Joseph were brought in here for one reason – stop the run. They didn’t do a great job affecting the Green Bay rushing attack Sunday night.
With Derrick Henry coming to town next weekend, Suh and Joseph will need to step up their games immensely.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles defense
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Eagles