Eagles vs. Panthers: Final Grades, Analysis for Philadelphia
FINAL: Panthers 30, Eagles 22
The Eagles have now lost seven consecutive games for the first time in 18 years, falling to the worst record in the NFC.
Check the following slides for full player grades and an evaluation of another despicable performance by an Eagles team that just doesn't care anymore.
Nick Foles: D
Foles managed to complete nearly 80 percent of his passes while making virtually no positive impact on the outcome of the game. He threw for just 119 yards on 21 pass attempts, nearly throwing a handful of costly interceptions.
Foles fumbled the football on a snap, failed to recognize several blitzes that he should have seen, and made some throws that just can’t be made. He was playing behind a patchwork offensive line and was missing playmakers DeSean Jackson (for three quarters) and LeSean McCoy, as well as slot receiver Jason Avant.
But Foles will have a lot of work to do if he can be the quarterback of the future for the Eagles. Tonight’s performance against a 2-8 defensively challenged Panthers team was vastly disappointing.
Bryce Brown: B
What a day it was for Bryce Brown. Making his first start since he was in high school, Brown exploded for 178 rushing yards on 19 carries, averaging a ridiculous 9.4 yards per carry. He reached the end zone twice, scoring initially on a 65-yard breakaway burst to the outside in which he outraced two defenders down the right sideline.
Later on, he scored on a five-yard carry in the third quarter. Brown also caught four passes for 11 yards, giving him 23 total touches for 189 yards in his first-ever NFL start. His rushing output shattered Correll Buckhalter's franchise record for most rushing yards by any Eagles player in his rookie season. The impressive part was that Brown didn't just do it as a rookie; he did it in his first start.
What really cost the Eagles though were the two costly fumbles by Brown, both in the third quarter. It's enough to lower his grade down to a B on what was otherwise a record-setting night. But take comfort, Eagles fans. He's got power and speed, and he seems to be the real deal. The fumbles won't continue. The power running should.
Dion Lewis: B+
On his first action of the 2012 season, Dion Lewis provided a solid output as a change-of-pace back to Brown. Lewis rushed for 24 yards on five carries, averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
Stanley Havili: B
Stanley Havili helped pave the way for a career day from Brown and the Eagles' rushing attack, which topped 200 yards on 26 carries.
DeSean Jackson: C
DeSean Jackson finished with one catch for nine yards before missing most of the final three quarters with a bruised sternum that required x-rays. That’s actually more yards than he had last week.
Jeremy Maclin: B
Jeremy Maclin stepped up his game after Jackson left, finishing with five receptions for 55 yards. This came after Jackson departed early with an injury, and a week after Maclin played an entire 60 minutes of football with Nick Foles and failed to record a single reception. It was good to see the two have some chemistry together because if Foles is the starter in 2013, he’s going to need to develop some rhythm with Maclin.
Damaris Johnson: C+
With Jason Avant out and Jackson having left early, Damaris Johnson was thrust into a bigger role. He finished with two catches for 13 yards and had a fine day as a punt returner.
Riley Cooper: C
Riley Cooper played a minimal impact game, finishing with just one catch for seven yards.
Brent Celek: C+
Brent Celek had a quiet day as a receiver, although the Eagles only accounted for a little over 100 total net passing yards. Celek had just two receptions for 19 yards, although he did a nice job of holding onto the ball early on when he was slammed to the ground.
Clay Harbor: D
Clay Harbor had no catches today and played just sparingly as a blocker.
King Dunlap: C+
King Dunlap had some growing pains tonight as to be expected from a fifth-year career backup but he held up well overall for the Eagles, helping the offense put up a ridiculous 200 ground yards. He briefly left due to an injury but returned soon after.
Evan Mathis: A-
Evan Mathis turned in a very strong performance against the Carolina interior defensive line. He excelled as a run blocker for rookie Bryce Brown and blocked well for Nick Foles.
Dallas Reynolds: C
Dallas Reynolds has shown improvement as a center over the last several games although he’s still a fringe starter and best suited as a backup. Reynolds did help the Eagles’ offensive line surrender just one sack all game.
Jake Scott: B-
Jake Scott was called for another false start in today’s matchup, giving him four penalties in two games. Then again, he was signed off the street less than two weeks ago, and he’s every bit the player Danny Watkins is.
Dennis Kelly: C-
Dennis Kelly had a rough night against Panthers’ defensive end Charles Johnson, but Johnson is a $76 million franchise player. Kelly nearly surrendered a sack early on but he settled down afterwards and wasn’t responsible for any penalties.
Demetress Bell: C
Demetress Bell barely played enough to qualify as a participant in tonight’s game, and that’s good news for Philly fans.
Trent Cole: B
Trent Cole still didn’t get a sack tonight, extending his streak to eight consecutive games without a sack. That’s a ridiculous total for such at talented player. But he made some very nice stops in run defense, finishing with three tackles, including two for losses.
Fletcher Cox: D
Fletcher Cox didn't have his usual positive impact on the game. He made just one tackle, registered no quarterback hits or hurries, and then left early with an injury.
Mike Patterson: A
Mike Patterson continues to impress in his battle back from brain surgery. He made one solo tackle, a tackle for a loss, and a huge 17-yard sack of Cam Newton on a big third-down play.
Jason Babin: C
Jason Babin had four tackles and a sack today but he also committed a costly penalty on the final drive of the game for the Panthers.
Derek Landri: B
In limited snaps, Derek Landri quietly had a solid game against his former team. He made one solo tackle and a big tackle for a loss, dragging down running back Jonathan Stewart seven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Brandon Graham: D
Brandon Graham saw more snaps than usual as the Eagles lined up with five defensive linemen on some plays in the opening drive. Graham finished with just one tackle though and he committed a penalty on the final Panthers' drive.
Vinny Curry: B
Vinny Curry finally dressed for the Eagles, as the second-round pick has spent all season inactive. He registered four tackles as a second-team end.
Cedric Thornton: F
Cedric Thornton had no tackles in a handful of snaps and was flagged for a penalty late in the game.
DeMeco Ryans: B
DeMeco Ryans didn't seem to have as solid of a day as his numbers indicated, but he did finish with double-digit tackles and one tackle for a loss. Ryans did come up short though as he tried to bring down Cam Newton on a late touchdown run.
Mychal Kendricks: B-
Mychal Kendricks played a solid enough game, even covering Steve Smith one-on-one near the end zone and knocking down a pass. His costly penalty in the final minutes of the game helped extend the Panthers’ control of the ball, enabling them to run the clock out.
Akeem Jordan: B
Akeem Jordan was out of the game for many plays early on, as the Eagles elected to go with five down linemen rather than put their weakside linebacker on the field. Jordan did make a highlight play though when he contained Newton in one-on-one and stopped him on a key third down.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: D
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had a rough night as a cover corner. He gave up two early medium-range receptions to Steve Smith, then combined with Kurt Coleman on an awful blown coverage on a 54-yarder to Louis Murphy. DRC was even flagged for pass interference on the play. He did finish with a team-high eight tackles but the Eagles won’t extend him after this season if he continues to cover like this.
Nnamdi Asomugha: B
Nnamdi Asomugha was tasked with guarding Brandon LaFell for most of the game, rather than the electrifying Smith. LaFell finished with three receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown, although Asomugha wasn’t responsible for the score. In all, Asomugha had a fairly productive day as a corner, although he did whiff on a tackle attempt of Cam Newton near the end zone.
Brandon Boykin: B-
As a nickel corner, Brandon Boykin made a great knockdown of a pass to LaFell in the corner of the end zone. He was also faked out of his cleats on a touchdown run by Newton.
Nate Allen: D
Nate Allen played his typically subpar game as a safety. He was poor in run defense and in coverage, allowing the Panthers to torch the Eagles through the air and on the ground.
Kurt Coleman: F
Kurt Coleman will probably never have another game in which he rates well. He’s awful as a cover safety. Just watch the deep pass to Murphy for proof of that. And he doesn’t offer anything as a run defender.
Alex Henery: A
Alex Henery does nothing for the Eagles but make field goals. He went 3-for-3 in today’s contest, with allthree coming from over 40 yards. That gives him the franchise record with 19 straight successful field goals.
Mat McBriar: C-
Mat McBriar punted the ball twice for 82 yards, a mediocre average of 41 yards per punt.
Brandon Boykin: D
Brandon Boykin broke the first kick return of over 35 yards (44 yards) by a Philadelphia Eagle in two years, but he then lost the ball on a fumble.
Damaris Johnson: A
As a punt returner, Damaris Johnson averaged 16 yards on two returns. One of them was a really nice 18-yard scamper on a short 29-yard punt.
Andy Reid: F
The Philadelphia Eagles are finding new ways to lose games, and they lost against the 2-8 Carolina Panthers despite a ridiculous rushing attack that topped 200 ground yards. The Eagles have now lost seven consecutive contests for the first time since 1994.
Marty Mornhinweg: A
Considering what he had to work with, Marty Mornhinweg called a stellar game. The Eagles utilized Bryce Brown extremely well, and it's not Mornhinweg's fault that Brown lost two fumbles. Nick Foles hasn't shown much so the Eagles wisely limited him to checkdown passes.
Todd Bowles: F
This man may be the worst coach in the NFL. The Panthers torched the Eagles through the air, as Todd Bowles' defense surrendered a 120-plus passer rating for the fifth consecutive game, tying the league record. The Eagles haven't gotten an interception yet under Bowles.
Bobby April: A
Bobby April is getting much better results out of his returners, and he's got a real find in automatic kicker, Alex Henery.