By Dylan MacKinnon
The Eagles could not hang on at the end and fell to 3-6 after the Chargers beat them 27-24. It is not as bad of a loss as we saw vs the Raiders and Buccaneers. But it was still a loss. The defense is an absolute mess and this is now 3 times where they failed to force a single punt. But with a few days to analyze the game, who should we be blaming. Also, who deserves some credit for the loss? Here is your post-week 9 Eagles stock report.
Stock Down- Jonathan Gannon
Let me start out with this, Gannon is getting more blame than he deserves. Has he been a good coach? No. Has his defense been dreadful? Yes. But that is not solely on him. He is hamstrung with a severe lack of talent at key parts of his roster. But he still deserves a share of the blame. He did try to shake stuff up, with more blitzes, and less 2 deep safety, but his overall scheme was still lackluster and vanilla. This team is generating no pass rush. It never presses. He is coaching scared. Scared to give up a big play. But here is the thing. You are giving up TDs almost every drive anyway. So why would it be any worse to instead get beat deep? His defense is putting up numbers so bad, it makes Juan Castillo look good.
Stock Up- Nick Sirianni
Credit where credit is due. Sirianni continued to run the ball. He came out passing, but when that was not working, he went back to the run. It seems like such an obvious move to make, to keep doing the thing that works, but with what we were getting, I will celebrate Sirianni making the obvious decisions. It will be against the Broncos that things get interesting. He won’t get away with 40 runs vs the superior Broncos defense. The run game is working because the o line is just mauling people, not because of some genius scheme he came up with. But can he scheme a good offense? We will find out.
Stock Up- Jordan Howard
Jordan Howard looks like a new man. At the end of last year, he seemed a bit slow. Perhaps he was fatigued, perhaps he had some injury he was dealing with. Whatever it was, it is no longer the case. Not only is he running hard, but he also looks faster. There is no funny business to his runs. He just hits the hole and keeps going forward. And it is working. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has 3 TDs. If he keeps playing like this, he will have to continue to get carries even with Mile Sanders return.
Stock Down- Derek Barnett
Just when I was close to ready to praise Barnett, he goes and gets called for yet another dumb and costly penalty. Turned a 3rd and 6 into a 3rd and 1. He had been doing well. He went a few weeks with no penalties, and even was playing better. But he can’t help himself. As Nick Sirianni put it, “it’s always him.”
Stock Down- The Rest of the D Line
Barnett is not the only underperforming member of the line. In 3 of the last 4 games, they have no sacks. Pass rush is supposed to be this team’s strength. Part of this is teams picking on soft coverage and getting the ball out fast. But even still, watch the d line, they are not playing well. They aren’t even getting much pressure. Javon Hargrave has disappeared, and Fletcher Cox has continued to disappear. This D Line has massively underperformed. There is too much money invested in this group for them to not show up on Sundays.
Stock Up- Devonta Smith
Smith had been a bit quiet lately. He had a huge game vs the Chiefs but then had a few merely okay games production-wise. But on Sunday, he showed up big time. 116 yards on 5 catches with a TD. All 5 catches went for more than 15 yards. His average depth per catch was 19.3 yards. It has been a while since the Eagles had a dependable big-play WR. Well, Smith made nothing but big plays vs the Chargers. He is now on pace for 1000 yards. He would be the first to do that since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.
Stock Up- Landon Dickerson
Dickerson is kicking butt out there. Especially in the run game. He could still be better as a pass blocker, but he has improved there as well. He is routinely pushing guys multiple yards down the field while run blocking. He and Kelce together are creating massive holes in the run game. He seems to be settling in at LG. He may eventually move over to the center when Kelce retires. But wherever he plays, he looks ready to be a force.
Stock Up- The Rest of the O Line
I wanted to single out Dickerson, but really the entire line is playing well. Lane Johnson is top 10 in pass block win rate among OTs. Jordan Mailata is top 10 in run block win rate among OTS. And Jason Kelce is one of only 4 centers top 10 in both run block and pass block win rate. He is 7th in pass block and 4th in run block. It has not been smooth this year for the group. They have dealt with many injuries. But they seem to have settled in. Even Jack Driscoll has settled in. He got beat badly by Joey Bosa once, but I think we can forgive that, given Bosa is a very good pass rusher and he only got beat once.
Stock Down- Jalen Reagor
I will say I do not think the Eagles have made the most of Reagor. The routes they have him run do not make the most use of his skillset. But I will also say that his skill set is not that large. We were promised someone fast, with strong hands and a willingness to go get it. Have we seen that? Maybe a flash here and there, but not really. He hasn’t used the speed to create much space. And when they get the ball him in space, he does not make smart moves. His one-touch this gam,e he ran backward more than he did forwards, and lost 6 yards. Forget comparing him to Justin Jefferson, he doesn’t compare favorably to guys that went on day 3 in his draft,
Stock Down- Howie Roseman
All these issues come back to one man. Howie Roseman. He has drafted poorly. Made bad contract choices. Made a few bad trades. I fail to see what he really does well. The team’s biggest issue is lack of talent, and that falls squarely on Roseman. I do not see a reason he should get a chance to use the potential 3 first-round picks they may have. He has gotten more chances than many in the industry got, and has made more mistakes than he has good decisions. And don’t give me the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson was part of that Super Bowl team, and he didn’t get that benefit of the doubt. Why should Howie?