PHI-NYG Grades: Graham, Ertz lead the way for Eagles
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Eagles’ 35-30 win over the Giants.
– After an up-and-down season, it was a strong finish to the year for the Eagles offense, led by QB Sam Bradford (+4.6). Thanks to an offensive line that allowed him to be pressured on just six dropbacks (out of 39), Bradford was able to pick apart the Giants’ defense when in a clean pocket, going 27-of-33 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and an interception off a batted ball. Bradford was extremely effective when throwing downfield, going 8-of-11 for 170 yards and two touchdowns on passes more than 10 yards downfield. Much of those throws went to TE Zach Ertz (+4.9) who caught all nine targets for 152 yards.
– DE Fletcher Cox (+4.1) capped off a Pro Bowl season with another strong showing. His +3.1 pass rush grade was the second highest on the team, thanks to his seven quarterback hurries. He also had three run stops and a positive grade there. OLB Brandon Graham (+7.6) had the highest grade among all players, thanks to extremely strong play in limited snaps. In only 25 pass rushes, he recorded seven pressures, and had three run stops on just 20 run plays. Those two defenders really stood out all game for the Eagles, as they were in on what seemed like every play.
– It was a really strong day for the Eagles’ much-maligned offensive line, finishing the season on a strong note after a year that saw them take much blame for the Eagles’ struggles. Led by C Jason Kelce (+4.6) and T Lane Johnson (+3.4), the line finished with a +11.2 overall grade. They allowed just one sack, one hit and six hurries. Kelce was a beast in the run game, finishing with a +5.1 run block grade. And to cap it off, G Matt Tobin (-0.1), he of 50 total pressures allowed through 15 games, with the third worst Pass Blocking Efficiency in the NFL among guards, didn’t allow a single pressure all game.
OLB Brandon Graham (+7.6)
TE Zach Ertz (+4.9)
C Jason Kelce (+4.6)
QB Sam Bradford (+4.6)
DE Fletcher Cox (+4.1)
New York Giants
– It was tough to pin this loss on QB Eli Manning (+2.5), who did what he could despite being under siege from the Eagles defense all game. Manning was pressured on 53% of his dropbacks, and the difference between his play was significant. When in a clean pocket, Manning completed 16-of-21 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. But when under pressure, that dropped to a mere 8-of-22 for 100 yards. He had a tough time working the ball down the field, completing just 5-of-14 passes for 85 yards on throws 10+ yards downfield. Although when you have no time to throw like Manning did, looking downfield is not an easy task.
– DE’s Jason Pierre-Paul (+1.6) and Robert Ayers (+1.8) were the lone bright spots for a defense that was unable to do much of anything yesterday. Pierre-Paul finished with just one quarterback hit, but did have two batted passes, one of which led to an interception. He also had three run stops. Ayers had some good production rushing the passer, finishing with a sack and three hurries, which accounted for exactly half of the Giants’ total pressures. He also had three defensive stops on the day.
– What a dreadful day for this Giants’ offensive line, highlighted by the very poor game from rookie T Ereck Flowers (-9.9). Flowers allowed two sacks, two hits, and ten hurries. That gives him 75 total pressures allowed this season, the worst in the league by a huge margin. Though, it wasn’t much better the rest of the line, as T Justin Pugh (-4.7) also struggled, allowing eight quarterback hurries. Overall the line allowed two sacks, two hits, and a ridiculous 25 hurries. They finished with a combined -17.9 overall grade on the day. Not good Giants o-line, not good.
QB Eli Manning (+2.5)
DE Robert Ayers (+1.8)
HB Rashad Jennings (+1.6)
DE Jason Pierre-Paul (+1.6)
G John Jerry (+1.3)