Grayson’s Grades: Eagles vs. Titans
The Philadelphia Eagles made a statement and embarrassed the Tennessee Titans 35-10.
They, frankly, out-bullied a team that typically likes to be more physical than their opponent.
The offense dominated through the air as Jalen Hurts passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns. AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith both went over 100 yards receiving. Brown caught a pair of touchdowns against his former team while Smith hauled in a touchdown as well.
The defense heard all the noise about the questions facing their rush defense and simply shut down the league's second-leading rusher in Derrick Henry. They held him to less than three yards per carry. He had 11 rushes for 30 yards. The defense also added six sacks.
The Eagles improve to 11-1 for the first time since 2004. This was their final home game in the 2022 calendar year. They have three straight road games beginning next week at the Giants. Their next home game is on January 1st against the Saints.
Plenty of good grades on this report card. Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
Jalen Hurts - Hurts was spectacular and asserted himself even more as the MVP frontrunner. Hurts is the best dual-threat quarterback in the league. Last week he rushed for more than 150 yards. This week he torched the Titans with 380 yards passing. He completed 29 of 39 passes and once again did not turn it over. He is a leader and truly makes the rest of the team better.
AJ Brown - Brown admitted after the game that he had this one circled from the moment the schedule came out. He torched his former team and took a lot of pride in it. Brown caught eight passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The telling moment of the game for him was when he appeared to catch a 41-yard touchdown. The play was reviewed and ruled incomplete after his right foot touched part of the out of bounds line. The very next play Jalen Hurts went back to Brown and he hauled in a wide open touchdown.
DeVonta Smith - Smith took advantage of the extra attention the Titans were paying to Brown and turned it into a 100-yard receiving day. He was a factor on short, intermediate and deep routes. His longest reception was a 34-yard touchdown. Smith caught five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Jonathan Gannon - Gannon's rush defense has been heavily criticized over the past few weeks. He deserves a lot of credit holding Derrick Henry to 11 carries for 30 yards. It was his second-lowest rushing total since 2019. That coupled with the growing lead helped make the Titans one-dimensional and the defense responded with six sacks. They held the Titans to just ten points. It was a solid game plan that truly shut down one of the league's best rushers.
Josh Sweat - Sweat was able to win his one-on-one matchup due to his burst off the line. Many times he went straight up the field and beat his man to the corner. He recorded a pair of sacks. Sweat finished with four tackles, two sacks, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback hits.
Javon Hargrave - Hargrave was a big factor in helping to stop the run as well as getting to the quarterback. Hargrave got another sack in this one bringing his season total to eight sacks. He racked up three tackles, one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit.
Fletcher Cox - Cox had a great game. He put some big hits on Derrick Henry helping hold him to his second-lowest rushing total of the season. Cox also did a great job rushing the quarterback. He sacked Ryan Tannehill and that sack was impressive. After Tannehill racked up a couple of long runs, Cox was quick to give up on his pass rush to peel off and take a great angle to chase down Tannehill behind the line of scrimmage for the sack. Cox had two tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss.
Brandon Graham - Graham managed to win his one-on-one pass rush battle but couldn't quite get there in time for a sack until the second half. He got to Ryan Tannehill quickly and sacked him as he finished his drop. Graham looked fresh in this game with a solid motor to help his pass rushing ability. He recorded two tackles with one sack and one tackle for a loss as well as a quarterback hit.
Nick Sirianni - Sirianni was quick to take the blame on the large number of offensive line penalties. Okay, I'll meet you halfway on that. Many of them were pre-snap penalties which are easily avoidable. That shows a lack of focus and synergy. The good news is that is easy to fix and certainly Sirianni and the offense will be working to fix it before next week's game at the Giants. Other than that, Sirianni and his Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen are enjoying an offense that lacks an identity in a good way. They can beat you rushing the ball or passing it. Essentially they can ask the opponent, how do you want us to beat you today? As long as they don't turn it over and limit penalties, they are virtually unbeatable.
Offensive Line - Every single one of the Eagles offensive line starters committed a penalty in the first half of this game. Many of them were false starts. That is inexcusable, especially at home when noise is not an issue. The players were obviously disappointed in themselves about that. It is easily fixable and undoubtably will be fixed before next week. This line is dominant and in my opinion, the best offensive line in the league. The only thing they need to do is to absolutely not beat themselves. This line and this offense were able to overcome those bad penalties this week. That will not always happen.
Christian Ellis - Ellis was activated off the practice squad to help a struggling special teams unit that allowed an average of 37 kickoff return yards last week to the Packers. He made some big hits on special teams in this one and finished the game with five tackles. The Eagles allowed an average of just 20 yards per kickoff return and 12 yards per punt return against the Titans.