Week 9 Eagles grades by position after win over Texans

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HOUSTON — It wasn’t the prettiest performance but on a few days rest and on the road, the Eagles still left NRG Stadium with a 29-17 win over the Texans on Thursday night.

At 8-0, the Eagles are off to the best start in franchise history:

Quarterback

Jalen Hurts: 21/27, 243 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Hurts missed a couple guys early, took four sacks in this game and finally lost a fumble, but he still found ways to move the ball and target a bunch of different receivers. It wasn’t a bombs-away performance like Sunday against the Steelers, but the Eagles sustained some long drives and still found a way to put up 29 points.

Grade: A-

Running back

Miles Sanders: 17 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD

This was a game where it felt like Sanders would have been well over 100 yards if the Eagles prioritized running the football more early. Still, he ran very hard, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and got into the end zone for the sixth time, tying a career high. There’s still nine games left in the season.

Grade: A

Receiver

A.J. Brown: 4 catches on 6 targets, 59 yards, 1 TD

Brown led the way once again but Quez Watkins had 2 for 25 and DeVonta Smith had 2 for 22. Even Zach Pascal added a catch. It wasn’t a dynamic game like Sunday but the Eagles did get some chunks and were able to move the ball. And, ho hum, another nice game from Brown.

Grade: B+

Tight end

Dallas Goedert: 8 catches on 9 targets, 100 yards, 1 TD

This was one of the better games of Goedert’s career and over the last couple of games he’s become a huge weapon on third downs. He led the Eagles with 100 yards receiving in this one and kept making big play after big play. Even Jack Stoll added a 13-yard catch and got time in 11-personnel as a blocker.

Grade: A+

Offensive line

Jordan Mailata had a stretch where he gave up two sacks to Jerry Hughes in the span of three plays. That wasn’t good. And then later Hughes was able to beat Lane Johnson, which eventually forced a sack. Hughes killed the Eagles on Thursday. Problem with the snap count needs to be cleaned up too. But aside from those things, the Eagles were able to run the ball, protect Hurts and put up points.

Grade: B

Defensive line

Javon Hargrave: 3 sacks, 7 tackles, 3 QB hits, 3 TFLs

Since coming back from the bye week, Hargrave has gotten red-hot and now has five sacks in the last five days. Thursday was the first three-sack game of his NFL career. It’s a little tricky to grade the DL, though, because the Eagles were gashed in the run game for 168 yards. They clearly missed Jordan Davis. But they got pressure on Mills, sacked him and forced him into some poor throws. Mixed bag.

Grade: B

Linebacker

T.J. Edwards: 7 tackles, 1 TFL

The Texans had 168 yards on the ground and Dameon Pierce had 139 of them with his hard-nosed running style. The Eagles missed Jordan Davis up front in their run defense but that wasn’t the only problem. The entire defense is to blame for the poor run defense but the defensive line made up for it with some pressure on the QB and the secondary made up for it with a couple takeaways. Kyzir White also had 7 tackles and made some plays in coverage but was called for a DPI on third down in the fourth quarter.

Grade: C+

Secondary

C.J. Gardner-Johnson: 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU

While it was frustrating to watch Gardner-Johnson try to throw a shoulder at Pierce in an attempt to tackle him, you can’t argue with his fourth straight game with an interception. He now leads the NFL with five. And then James Bradberry got another pick a bit later. This defense is forcing turnovers at an extremely high rate. Didn’t think this was Avonte Maddox’s best game and he appeared to leave a bit early, so we’ll keep an eye on that.

Grade: B

Special teams

Jake Elliott: 0/1 on FG, 3/3 on PATs

It was a long field goal attempt for Elliott but 54 yards indoors should be a makable for him. The Eagles still can’t get anything going in their return game. Britain Covey had 1 punt return for 8 yards and 2 kick returns for 30 total yards. Shaun Bradley was also called for a hold on a kickoff that pinned the Eagles at their own 9-yard line in the first quarter. But another nice play from Zech McPhearson as a gunner. And Arryn Siposs was pretty good, averaging 49.7 yards per punt.

Grade: C

Coaching

Record: 8-0

Give credit to Jonathan Gannon for making some adjustments and holding the Texans to three points in the second half. On offense, I thought the Eagles got away from the run a little too much early, especially against a team that is very susceptible to giving up chunks on the ground. But it’s still very hard to argue with the results.

Grade: B

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