NO-PHI Grades: Sloppy game from both Brees and Bradford
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Eagles’ 39-17 win over the Saints:
New Orleans Saints
– While he made several big-time throws downfield, including hitting Brandin Cooks (+1.0) for a 46-yard gain at 14:14 of the third quarter, this was a sloppy effort from QB Drew Brees (-2.1). The Eagles heavily punished his poor ball security under pressure, scoring immediately following both fumbles and his fourth-quarter interception, all of which occurred on the Saints’ side of the field. Brees took more shots downfield than in previous games—58.4 percent of his passing yards came through the air, up from his 40.1 percent season average—but that came with increased risk, as the Eagles back seven got hands on the ball six times.
– LT Andrus Peat (-0.2) came into the game having played just 29 snaps through the first four weeks, but the Saints’ top draft pick held up fairly well in his first NFL start. He allowed four combined pressures in 48 pass blocking snaps, with Brees’ pocket movement both helping and hurting him at times. He was close to surrendering pressure on a number of plays, but managed to anchor late and keep the rusher clear. In the run game, he had a few rough moments against Fletcher Cox (+4.9), including at 13:52 of the third quarter, but the Saints mostly ran away from him with only seven carries going to the left of center, and just three making it outside of left tackle.
– Another solid game from CB Delvin Breaux (+2.5), who picked up his third-straight positive grade after a rough start to the season. He spent more than 50 snaps in coverage, allowing a reception on six-of-seven targets. But just two of those gained a first down, while Breaux jumped the seventh pass for an end zone interception at 13:18 of the second.
DE Cameron Jordan (+5.3)
CB Delvin Breaux (+2.5)
LG Tim Lelito (+2.3)
CB Kyle Wilson (+1.7)
RT Zach Strief (+1.7)
– DE Fletcher Cox earned a season-high +4.9 overall grade, recording two sack-forced fumbles and a third cleanup sack in 32 pass rushes. His second sack at 1:12 of the second quarter was the most impressive of the three, as he faced no resistance from RG Senio Kelemete (-3.7) on his way to hitting an unsuspecting Drew Brees. Cox also picked up three stops on the ground, including at 6:31 of the third quarter, when he dropped the rusher for a 1-yard gain after beating center Max Unger.
– Another season-best performance came from corner Byron Maxwell (+2.8), who surrendered a catch on just two-of-four targets for 39 yards, while getting his hand on a third quarter pass intended for Marques Colston (-0.7). Safety Malcolm Jenkins (+1.0) also had a strong showing against his former team, and he appeared particularly in tune with the Saints’ screen game, with two tackles for losses on screens.
– QB Sam Bradford (-1.8) couldn’t replicate his +4.4 effort from Week 4, instead reverting back to his early season, inaccurate form. He moved the ball well for the most part, with help from the Eagles’ running backs and a putrid Saints pass rush. (Bradford saw pressure on just 21 percent of dropbacks, the second-lowest rate of any QB in Week 5.) But it’s hard to overlook his frequent misfires and poor ball location. His first interception was particularly bad, as the corner was likely beaten on a good throw, but the end result was a touchback instead of six points.
DE Fletcher Cox (+4.9)
LT Jason Peters (+4.7)
C Jason Kelce (+3.2)
CB Byron Maxwell (+2.8)
LB Jordan Hicks (+2.4)