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Week 1 Eagles grades by position after tight win over Patriots


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Week 1 Eagles grades by position after tight win over Patriots

Here's the Eagles' Week 1 report card after a not-so-pretty win over the Patriots in Week 1.

By Dave Zangaro  Published September 11, 2023


FOXBORO, Mass. — It wasn’t pretty but the Eagles left Gillette Stadium with a hard-fought 25-20 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

They have plenty of things to clean up before they host the Vikings in the home opener on Thursday Night Football.

Here’s the Week 1 report card:


Jalen Hurts: 22/33, 170 yards, 1 TD; 9 rushing attempts, 37 yards, 1 lost fumble

There were some really nice throws from Hurts in this game. The touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith and the deep ball to A.J. Brown that got overturned stand out. But Hurts generally struggled to get into a rhythm in this game and the fourth-quarter fumble could have been a disaster.

Grade: C-


Running back

Kenny Gainwell: 14 carries, 54 yards; 4 catches, 20 yards

For whatever reason, D’Andre Swift got just two total offensive touches. This was the Kenny Gainwell Show on Sunday. Gainwell was OK, especially early in this game. But he averaged under 4.0 yards per carry and didn’t make any explosive plays. The Eagles got almost nothing from Swift or Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch.

Grade: C


A.J. Brown: 7 catches, 79 yards; DeVonta Smith: 7 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD

The Eagles’ offense struggled a lot in Week 1 but the Eagles’ top two receivers made plays. Brown had 79 yards and that’s after his 48-yarder down the right sideline was ruled incomplete. Whenever the offense gets into a funk, the easiest way to get out of it is to throw to Brown. Smith also made some nice catches on Sunday. And even Quez Watkins caught both of his targets for 17 yards.

Grade: B

Tight end

Dallas Goedert: 1 target, 0 catches

The production obviously wasn’t there. Goedert’s only target in this game came in the fourth quarter. That’s not all on Goedert, who was actually open on a couple plays in the fourth but Hurts didn’t find him. Some of this blame belongs with the coaching staff but it did seem like Patriots head coach Bill Belichick did a pretty good job of taking away Goedert for most of the afternoon.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

The Eagles’ offensive line is supposed to be the strength of the entire roster but they didn’t get off to a great start. Hurts was sacked three times and saw more pressure than you’d like. And after the early success on the ground, the Eagles weren’t able to keep it going. They finished the day with 97 rushing yards and a 3.9 yards per carry average.

Grade: C

Defensive line

Jordan Davis: 6 tackles, 1/2 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL, 1 FF

The Eagles sacked Mac Jones just twice but both sacks came late in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Jalen Carter, in his first NFL game, looked like the real deal. Davis made some huge plays, including his forced fumble in the first half. And before Fletcher Cox left the game with an injury, he came up huge on a fourth quarter stand. It wasn't a perfect game but this rotation should be very good again.

Grade: B+


Nakobe Dean: 7 tackles

Dean left the game with a foot injury but before that he had some ups and downs. Fellow starter Zach Cunningham picked up that forced fumble from Davis but wasn’t great aside from that. Cunningham really struggled at times. Some missed tackles and bad angles from the linebackers and the Patriots were able to attack the linebackers and safeties with tight ends. Christian Elliss got some playing time too but was up and down.

Grade: D


Darius Slay: 70-yard pick-6, 3 PBUs

That pick-6 from Slay in the first quarter was a huge play and he could have had another INT. Slay is well over 30 now but flashed his recover speed on one of those PBUs. James Bradberry was beaten for a touchdown but had good moments too. Safety play was up and down. Justin Evans started next to Reed Blankenship and didn’t have a very good showing. That could be a problem.

Grade: B-

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 4/4 on field goals; hit from 32, 56, 48, 51

Elliott was great in this game. Those field goals were the difference in the win. The Eagles got a 25-yard punt return from Britain Covey. Arryn Siposs actually punted well aside from the one where he double clutched. And we even saw some good moments from Sydney Brown and Josh Jobe as gunners. But there were bad moments too. The Eagles gave up a 43-yard kickoff return. And Michael Clay’s unit struggled with substitutions. Just can’t give away timeouts like that during special teams plays.

Grade: C


Record: 1-0

The Eagles got the win but it wasn’t pretty. The offense had a really poor showing and some of that blame belongs with the coaches. I also thought Nick Sirianni made some questionable in-game decisions like when he elected to go into halftime with 25 seconds on the clock and two timeouts and the 4th-and-2 call in the 4th quarter. New OC Brian Johnson never got the offense into a rhythm. Plenty to clean up before Thursday night.

Grade: C


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