Eagles Week 17 PFF Grades: DeVonta Smith posts impressive marks; Josiah Scott has a bounce back performance
It was an ugly game from start to finish for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the first time all season, the Eagles dropped their second game in a row, losing to the New Orleans Saints 20-10.
Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen’s offense was non-existent for much of the first half. They didn’t record a single first down until the final minutes of the second quarter. Before their final drive of the half, the Eagles had accumulated just 21 yards of total offense.
Jonathan Gannon’s defense wasn’t much better in the opening half, allowing QB Andy Dalton to carve up his secondary at will. Dalton completed 14 of his 15 passing attempts in the first half.
Without question, it was the worst loss of the season for the 2022 Eagles. This is a low point for the team, but they still have an opportunity to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win over the New York Giants next week.
As we’ve done with every game this season, let’s dive into the Pro Football Focus grade sheet for the Eagles.
Isaac Seumalo, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert lead the way offensively
The offense had a tough time getting anything going for the majority of Sunday’s contest, but there were a few bright spots.
RG Isaac Seumalo led the way for the Eagles offense, posting a 72.8 overall grade, the highest overall mark of anyone on the offensive side of the ball. He also managed to record an 88.3 pass blocking grade for the afternoon, On 38 pass blocking reps, Seumalo didn’t allow a single pressure, QB hit, or sack against New Orleans.
He continues to prove how valuable he is to Jeff Stoutland’s offensive line with every passing week.
Coming in behind Seumalo is WR DeVonta Smith, who recorded his fourth 100-yard performance over the past five games. He led the Eagles in receiving on Sunday, hauling in nine receptions for 115 yards on 13 targets.
PFF handed Smith a 72.2 offensive grade for his outing, along with a 71.5 receiving grade. On the year, Smith has earned a 79.5 offensive grade, good for 17th among 118 qualifying wideouts.
Rounding out the top-three for the Eagles offense is TE Dallas Goedert. Though his statline wasn’t overly impressive on Sunday – three catches on six targets for 45 yards – he still earned respectable marks from PFF. He finished the matchup with an overall grade of 67.9.
Since Goedert returned to the starting lineup on Christmas Eve, Sirianni and Steichen have had a tough time getting him involved. He’s good enough to be a focal point for this offense, but the offensive scheme relies on Smith and AJ Brown a bit too much in the passing game. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s played with a backup quarterback over the past two games, who knows.
It would be nice to see Goedert have a standout performance in the regular season finale against New York.
Gardner Minshew was a disaster on Sunday
A lot of the blame for the Eagles loss on Sunday has fallen on Gardner Minshew’s shoulders and as much as we like the guy here at TLL, it’s hard to disagree with fans on this one.
He was just awful against the Saints. His timing/rhythm with the pass catchers was off all day, he held onto the ball way too long at times, and his accuracy was a far cry from what we’ve become accustomed to with Jalen Hurts under center. For all intents and purposes, Minshew showed us why he’s a backup QB in this league.
Minshew completed about 52 percent of his passes (18/32) for 274 yards and one touchdown, along with a game sealing pick-six late in the fourth quarter.
He finished the day as the lowest-graded player on the Eagles offense, posting a putrid 35.4 offensive grade.
Steichen could have done a better job getting Minshew into rhythm with screens and a heavier emphasis on the running game. Nevertheless, Minshew was just bad. There are no excuses for some of the throws Minshew made on Sunday.
He’s a backup for a reason, and Sunday showed us why.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles offense
Josiah Scott, Jordan Davis, and Linval Joseph lead the way defensively
After receiving a lot of criticism for the critical 3rd and 30 play against Dallas last week, nickel corner Josiah Scott had a bounce back performance in Week 18. He finished the day as the highest-graded player along Gannon’s defense, earning an 85.2 overall grade for his efforts.
His 87.8 coverage grade as also tops on the Eagles defense. Scott was targeted six times, allowing five receptions for 29 yards (5.8 yards per reception), while snagging his second interception of the season.
Coming in behind Scott was rookie first-round pick Jordan Davis, who finished the game with a 77.9 defensive grade along with a 75.1 run defense mark. He only tallied 18 snaps on the afternoon, but managed to record two defensive stops (a PFF metric that measures tackles that constitute a ‘failure’ for the offense).
Davis hasn’t cracked the top-three on PFF’s grading sheet since the beginning of the season, so it was nice seeing the big fella make a positive impact once again.
Down at No. 3 on PFF’s grade sheet is another defensive tackle, veteran Linval Joseph. He ended the day with an overall grade of 74.1 and a run defense grade of 72.7 on 20 defensive snaps.
LB Kyzir White’s play is starting to become a concern
For most of the 2022 season, Kyzir White has been a serviceable backer alongside TJ Edwards. He hasn’t had too many glaring gafs and he’s typically around the football.
Lately, he’s become a liability for Gannon’s defense.
For the second week in a row, White has finished as one of the worst-graded players on the team. Last week against Dallas, he posted the worst mark of any Eagles defender (29.8). Against New Orleans, he was the second-worst defender in PFF’s grading system, earning a 52.6 overall mark.
For the year, White has earned a 57.9 defensive grade, good for 58th out of 84 qualifying linebackers. He hasn’t been downright terrible – with the exception of the past two games – but he certainly hasn’t matched the standard set by his running mate Edwards.
It’s probably too late in the year to make a change at the linebacker position. Though, I have been screaming for Nakobe Dean to get a chance on defense for what feels like the entire season. Thrusting a rookie third-round pick into a starting role with the postseason looming wouldn’t be smart. It just should have been done weeks ago.
Hopefully, White can find some of that magic he had earlier in the season. Otherwise, opposing offenses will look to exploit him in the playoffs.
PFF grades for the entire Eagles defense
Mandatory Credit: TheLines