Eagles analysis

Week 8 Eagles grades by position after beating Commanders again

The Eagles beat the Commanders to improve to 7-1 on the season. Here's a look at the report card.

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A recap of the Eagles’ Week 8 victory over the Washington Commanders.

LANDOVER, Md. — The Washington Commanders always seem to play the Eagles tough and that happened again on Sunday afternoon.

But the Eagles still managed to come back from an early deficit to win 38-31 and improve to 7-1 on the season. A huge NFC East showdown against the Cowboys looms before the bye.

Let’s get to this week’s report card:

Quarterback

Jalen Hurts: 29/38, 319 yards, 4 TDs, 135.7 rating

While Hurts was clearly hampered by that left knee injury — he had just 6 yards on the ground — Hurts was very good through the air. This was just the second game in his career with four passing touchdowns. And this was just the fourth game in Eagles history for a QB completing 75% of his passes for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Jalen Hurts: 10/29/23 (at Commanders)
Nick Foles: 11/3/13 (at Raiders)
Donovan McNabb: 9/23/07 (vs. Lions)
McNabb: 9/18/05 (vs. 49ers)

Grade: A

Running back

D’Andre Swift: 16 rushing attempts, 57 yards, 1 TD

Late in this game, Swift showed some juice, even when he scored a touchdown when he probably should have gone down. While Kenny Gainwell did have one big catch, his fumble in the second quarter inside the 5-yard line was absolutely brutal. Overall, the Eagles haven't been as good recently on the ground.

Grade: C+

Receiver

A.J. Brown: 8 catches on 8 targets, 130 yards, 2 TDs

What Brown has done over the last month and a half is nothing short of amazing. On Sunday, he became the first player in NFL history to have 125+ receiving yards six weeks in a row. And he did it in spectacular fashion against the Commanders. His one-handed touchdown grab late in the second quarter is about as good a catch as you’ll ever see. And it wasn’t just Brown on Sunday. DeVonta Smith got into the mix with 7/99/1 and Julio Jones also caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Grade: A+

Tight end

Dallas Goedert: 4 catches on 7 targets, 36 yards

It was a relatively quiet day for Goedert but his 16-yard catch on 3rd-and-2 in the fourth quarter was a really big play in the game. A couple plays later, Hurts hit a wide-open Smith for a 38-yard touchdown to tie the game at 24-24. Third-string tight end Grant Calcaterra left the game with a concussion.

Grade: B

Offensive line

Hurts was sacked just a couple of times on Sunday and had plenty of time to throw for 319 yards and 4 touchdowns. The pass protection looked really solid but the Eagles know they have some work to do in the running game. They had just 59 yards on the ground in this one. A side note: Tyler Steen got his first NFL action on offense when Sua Opeta had to miss most of the final drive of the second quarter. Opeta did return in this game, but it’s worth pointing out that Cam Jurgens is eligible to return off IR this coming week.

Grade: B+

Defensive line

Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 1 FF, 2 QB hits, 3 tackles

Sam Howell had been sacked 40 times entering this game and the Eagles got him just once on Sunday. Although Reddick’s sack on 4th-and-5 was a clutch moment. And Reddick really should have had another but Howell elected to throw the ball to no one and take an intentional grounding. Jalen Carter was cooking early against the backup left guard but he left the game with a back injury. The Eagles had a few injuries at DT but made it through the game.

Grade: C+

Linebacker

Nakobe Dean: 12 tackles, 2 TFLs

The Eagles continues to use a rotation at linebacker, which is a little surprising. We saw Dean with Zach Cunningham, we saw Nicholas Morrow with Cunningham and we even saw Dean and Morrow together. Sean Desai seems to like this rotation but it’s fair to wonder if it’s because he doesn’t seen one pair really separating itself.

Grade: C+

Secondary

Reed Blankenship: 1 INT, 1 PBU, 8 tackles

The Eagles on Sunday allowed Howell to completed 75% of his passes for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Eagles finally made the most of a mistake in the fourth quarter when Blankenship picked him off. But aside from that moment, it was a rough game for Blankenship, James Bradberry and most of the Eagles’ secondary. At least they adjusted some in the second half but it still wasn’t good.

Grade: D+

Special teams

Britain Covey: 1 punt return, 25 yards

Covey had another nice return and didn’t give up any big returns in the kick game. Jake Elliott nailed his only field goal attempt of the game and hit all five of his PATs. Braden Mann had two punts for 117 yards with a long of 59. He did hit one that resulted in a touchback, which wasn’t ideal.

Grade: B

Coaching

Record: 7-1

Desai had his hands full with that Eric Bieniemy offense and it’s probably fair to say Bieniemy got the best of him. On offense, the Eagles keep insisting on playing Gainwell in the red zone, which had a disastrous outcome in the first half. But the Eagles also responded after getting punched in the mouth and you have to give them credit for finding ways to grind out wins even when they’re not pretty. 

Grade: B

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