The Eagles are trending upwards and much of their resurgence has been the fact that the young players have stepped up dramatically. Here’s how the Eagles rookies fared in the big win over the Denver Broncos.
DeVonta Smith: A
DeVonta Smith turned 23 yesterday and he celebrated with two touchdowns on one of the best defenses in the NFL. Smith easily pulled off the best take of his young career when he posted fellow first-round rookie and former Alabama teammate Patrick Surtain for that long touchdown:
Surtain is having a terrific rookie season, so Smith taking him to school like that is no small feat. He’s also a great example of Smith overcoming his height with physique, ball skills and strong hands.
Smith was not yet finished.
Smith opened up easily against a men’s cover in midfield here. Just a little pitch and catch for him and Jalen Hurts.
Smith finished the game with four catches for 66 yards and two scores. The Eagles pulled away from the passing game in the fourth quarter as the game was out of reach and they burned the clock. Otherwise, Smith could have continued to eat the Broncos secondary alive.
Smith put in an outstanding performance against a really talented secondary. Exactly the game the Eagles need him. After the last two weeks it really feels like DeVonta Smith has arrived.
Landon Dickerson: B +
Landon Dickerson continues to impress. The Eagles’ new field and pound mentality has served the rookie lineman extremely well. He kicks ass in the trenches and Sunday was another example of his play.
Dickerson’s major hiccups came on hard to miss games. At the start of the match, he gave up a sack and a forced fumble. I just got turnstile by Dre’Mont Jones. Then he failed to recover a rusher in the second half which gave a free kick to a defender in Jalen Hurts and this led to an interception.
Of course, those are two games out of 57 field snaps.
Dickerson missed some time late in the game after getting punched, but came back.
Milton Williams: B
Milton Williams showed up again with more pressure on the quarterback in a few snaps. The rookie defensive tackle didn’t see much of the field, but he looked really solid when he did.
Zech McPhearson: B
Zech McPhearson has seen some action due to Darius Slay’s injury a few times. McPhearson didn’t make big plays, but more importantly, he didn’t give up big plays either.
Kenneth Gainwell 😕
Still puzzled by Kenneth Gainwell’s situation. The Eagles rushed over 200 yards and Gainwell touched the ball three times. It’s clear the cooking game starring Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and Jalen Hurts. I just wonder where all the enthusiasm for Kenneth Gainwell has gone.
Marlon Tuipulotu: N / A
Was not active for the game.
Patrick Johnson: One
Okay, he was on the pitch for two defensive snaps, but he made a brilliant play!
Johnson showed great instincts on this play to come out pressing one tight end to the line and then flip that pass and almost take it out. This is the type of play that should justify more playing time for the rookie linebacker.
Tarron Jackson: B
Tarron Jackson gets a bit of a run as a rotating defensive end. He’s not having a huge impact, but he’s playing well against the run and looked solid in Denver yesterday.
Jack stoll: B +
Jack Stoll made himself invaluable for the Eagles game. He is a physical and intelligent player who is relied on to make key blocks on racing games. When Dallas Goedert came out of the game, Stoll had to climb to number one. If he still hasn’t caught the ball much, he’s clearly an asset when it comes to having extra blockers on the pitch.