Philadelphia Eagles Film Study: Grading the Offensive Line After Week 3
Once again, it's good to see you've come back for another week of this.
Seriously, it justifies all the work that goes into this.
If you watched the game, and I'm assuming most of you did, I hope you truly appreciate what an undertaking it was to watch this mess and re-live it.
I did it all for you.
For those of you who are new to this, basically what I've done is watch every offensive snap multiple times and assigned a grade for each individual offensive lineman. This is not about grading the five guys as a unit, but instead looking at each guy and trying to put a number on how well (or poorly) he's playing on a weekly basis.
If you've got the gist, and a strong stomach, I've got the grades calculated and ready to go.
Click ahead, you daredevil.
How the Grading System Works
For the very worst of plays—a penalty committed, sack given up or any awful play in general—a grade of "minus-1" will be earned.
For a blown assignment, lack of effort and things of that nature, a grade of "zero" will be earned.
For a successfully executed block, a grade of "one" will be earned.
A grade of "two" can be earned for a pancake block or an extraordinary effort.
It's important to note that the extremes will be reserved only for special circumstances, and the majority of the grades given will be "zero" or "one."
Once the game is over, the points are added up and divided by the total number of plays, thus giving us the overall grade.
For reference, the grades break down like this:
100-95 is excellent.
94-90 is good.
89-85 is decent.
84-80 is shaky.
79-75 is bad.
74-70 is bench-worthy.
69 or below is worthy of walking papers.
Everyone got it? Alright.
Now the fun part.
LT Demetress Bell
Grade: 76 percent (Bad)
Bell was a catastrophe from the very first play.
Seriously, I have him allowing a quarterback hurry on the very first snap from scrimmage.
It's not shocking to see Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg try that play-action pass on the very first play, since I think they've called it on the first play of the game every week since it worked on the Monday Night Massacre of the Washington Redskins.
How great was that game? Let's all just think back to what it was like to see Michael Vick play well for a second.
Alright, that's enough.
As I was saying, Bell was a train wreck. But on the bright side, he did get better.
After scoring a 73 in the first quarter and a 53—no, that's not a typo—in the second, Bell bounced back with a 95 in the third and an 85 in the fourth.
By that time, however, the game was already out of hand.
By my count, Bell allowed two hurries, let Vick get hit and sacked once and committed two penalties for good measure.
And word has it he'll be starting against the New York Giants in Week 4.
Winston Justice rejoices.
LG Evan Mathis
Grade: 77 percent (Bad)
The bright side for Mathis is, for once, his worst score did not come in the fourth quarter. No, he managed to perform much worse in the third.
Mathis scored a 91, 84, 63 and 77 percent, quarterly.
His low score comes primarily as a result of three—not one, not two, but three—sacks allowed, and each one had a little physical and mental breakdown involved.
In addition to those three sacks, Mathis flat out missed his man twice. I don't mean the times that would usually earn him a '0' because he was unable to execute, I'm talking earning a negative grade because he flat-out whiffed and was beaten so badly you could almost hear the NFL Films Follies sounds behind it.
On a true bright note for Mathis, he was the first of the year to earn a grade for an extraordinary effort.
While no one has even come close to a legitimate pancake block, Mathis earned a '2' because on a play near the goal line at the end of the first half, Mathis actually blocks two guys and shields a third man coming on the blitz.
He was understandably knocked back into Vick, which forced him to throw the ball away, but it would have been an easy sack had Mathis not been able to occupy so much space.
Unfortunately, that didn't do much to make up for the sacks.
C Dallas Reynolds
Grade: 76 percent (Bad)
Re-watching this game just left me feeling bad for Reynolds.
The poor guy has so little experience under his belt, yet Reid and Mornhinweg asked him to make line calls all game against a Cardinals defense that knew just how to confuse him.
With Reynolds in there, Reid and Mornhinweg should know they'll have to lean on the run a bit more since they can't fully trust Reynolds to be able to make every call, but instead they pretended like Jason Kelce was still out there and put the weight of the world on his shoulders.
The Cardinals were relentless, as well. Several times they blitzed both 'A' gaps as a way of confusing Reynolds, and the poor guy got absolutely no help from the play-calling.
Reynolds truly bombed in the fourth quarter, where he graded out with a 54 percent as the Cardinals teed off, knowing full-well the Eagles had no choice but to pass.
In the end, I have him accountable for allowing one hit, three hurries, and one sack.
RG Danny Watkins
Grade: 94 percent (Good)
For the third week in a row, Watkins continues to be the Eagles' best and most reliable lineman.
There isn't a ton of flash to Watkins, but he finds a way to get the job done—all the while showing he's still raw as far as his technique is concerned and has a ceiling that we still cannot see.
Several times throughout the game, Watkins could be seen helping Reynolds and Todd Herremans when they would miss their guys, or simply having the wherewithal to stick with a block and finish his assignment on what would have been a missed assignment with any less effort put out.
For the entire game, the only negative play for Watkins was allowing LeSean McCoy to be dropped for a one-yard loss in the second quarter.
The Watkins naysayers truly baffle me. I'd love the opportunity to watch film with them and explain to them why they're absolutely wrong about this guy.
RT Todd Herremans
Grade: 82 percent (Shaky)
From a 74 percent Week 1, up to a 91 percent Week 2 and now down nine points to an 82 percent in Week 3.
Herremans is, without a doubt, the most maddening lineman on this team to watch.
As was the case last week, Herremans proved he can go from looking dominant to completely incompetent in back-to-back plays. It's truly baffling as to why there are a few times every game where he will completely miss his block or have a mental lapse on his assignment.
But it happens. Without fail.
Twice against the Cardinals he earned a negative grade by just missing his block. His technique went right out the window, as his feet stopped and he wasn't even able to get in front of his guy.
It's almost like he's day-dreaming sometimes.
For the game, Herremans was credited with allowing two quarterback hurries and one tackle for loss, in addition to the two dreadful missed blocks.
If Herremans gets his head in the game, there's still time to turn his season around. But if he continues to take plays off, the Eagles should really look in another direction, sooner rather than later.