3 UP and 3 DOWN: A film review of the Eagles win vs Washington

15 September 2017 Eagles News Film Review


The Eagles came out and got a critical divisional victory versus the Washington Football team on Sunday, producing both some really good plays, and some not so wonderful ones. There was far more good than bad though, and Carson Wentz made enough plays to continue to make us hopeful that he’s the QB we all envision him to be.

For this article, I want to take a more objective approach to looking at how individual players fared against Washington on Sunday. Again, both the offense and the defense played well overall, but there are places that Pederson, Schwartz and Co will need to address moving forward.

First, lets focus on the 3 positive players (3 UP) that put some good tape together, and contributed to the Eagles victory:

3 UP

1.  DE Brandon Graham:

Brandon Graham is criminally underrated as a defensive end, and consistently disrupts both the opposing run and pass game. On Sunday Graham didn’t disappoint, and managed to create havoc in the Washington backfield.

Brandon Graham continuously made penetration into Washington’s backfield, and here he makes the tackle for loss.

Graham beats Washington RT Morgan Moses for the strip sack that leads to Fletcher Cox‘s fumble recovery for a TD.  Graham gave Moses consistent problems on the right edge.

Graham beats Moses once again for the sack. Graham was dominant, and will look to build on his great start in week 2. Going against Chiefs RT Mitchell Schwartz will be an every down battle, but Graham has the strength and consistent motor to win his share of snaps.

2.  DB Patrick Robinson

Patrick Robinson was on the roster bubble during the roster cut downs to the final 53 in late August. He was inconsistent at best during training camp and the preseason while playing in the slot. Sunday Robinson was pressed into starting duties when CB Ronald Darby dislocated his ankle in the first half, and Robinson played very well as an outside corner.

Robinson comes up in run support and makes a great tackle on Washington RB Chris Thompson.  Robinson was multi-faceted against Washington, playing well against the run and pass.

Robinson shows well again in run support, which will be key for him to stay on the field as a starter. Robinson attacks Washington RB Rob Kelley at his legs, making a sure tackle.

This last video highlights Robinson’s ability in coverage. He plays Washington WR Terrelle Pryor‘s go route perfectly, forcing Pryor to the sideline, decreasing the chances of a completion. If Robinson keeps up this solid play, he will be an adequate “band-aid” until Darby comes back from injury.

3.  WR Nelson Agholor

Nelson Agholor deserves to be recognized for a very productive week 1. Now manning the slot full-time after the Jordan Matthews‘s trade, Agholor made the best of his opportunities reeling in 6 receptions for 86 yards and 1 TD, including his huge 58 yard catch and run score.

Nelson Agholor did a tremendous job of getting open for Wentz during the scramble drill, and breaks his route off to run back into open space. This is a broken play, and could be considered a “fluke” but Aggs makes the clutch catch and puts the first TD on the board.

This is a very creative play call by Head Coach Doug Pederson, and Agholor displays excellent hands by adjusting to the over the shoulder pass and makes a tough catch. The safety makes an ankle tackle to save Agholor’s second receiving touchdown.

Here’s an example of Agholor being able to make a tough catch to keep the chains moving on 3rd down. These are the types of receptions that will make or break him in the slot for Philadelphia.


1.  OC Jason Kelce

The offensive line play was up and down all game, especially after Jason Peters exited with an injury. Jason Kelce struggled in the middle of the offensive line, having issues with the strength of the nose tackles all afternoon.

Jason Kelce and RG Isaac Seumalo get zero push in the running game on this play, and end up falling down after tripping over one another. Both players lacked the leverage on the play to push their defenders off the ball, and Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood gets stopped in the backfield.

Jason Kelce loses a one on one battle after being passed the defender by Seumalo, Kelce gives up pressure in Wentz’s face.

Kelce misses his block on this play, and gets turned around almost immediately. Kelce struggled through the first half of the game, but did improve after half time.  In week 2 Kelce will battle with Chiefs Nose Tackle Bennie Logan, who isn’t necessarily going to overwhelm him with strength at the point of attack.

2. OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Second year Offensive Tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai had a very rough game  versus Washington, and had issues with Washington’s speed rushers and also run blocking.

This is a play that Vaitai would likely like to forget, but one that clearly illustrates his lack of technique. Washington OLB Preston Smith uses a power move to completely dislodge Vaitai and pressure Wentz.

Vaitai had a rough game against Preston Smith, and here gives up a sack to the Washington OLB. Smith uses a lethal spin move to break free from Vaitai and wrap up Wentz.

On this play Vaitai doesn’t get the edge against the linebacker, and is stood up leading to a short gain. Vaitai struggled to get push as a run blocker, which is surprising considering his play last season. While Vaitai wasn’t an All-Pro by any stretch, he certainly played better in 2016 than he did on Sunday. Even though Jason Peters appears to be on track to start versus Kansas City, Vaitai will need to clean up his technique as he’s an integral reserve for the Eagles.

3.  Nigel Bradham

Nigel Bradham is usually a consistent producer for Jim Schwartz’s defense, but on Sunday Bradham had several opportunities to make plays for the defense and came up short. Bradham missed tackles, and had blown coverages that led to plays for Washington.

Rob Kelley utilized his stiff arm several times on Bradham to extend runs, and here Bradham can’t come up and make the tackle. These sorts of tackles are plays that Bradham needs to continue to make consistently, especially in a contract year.

On this play Bradham over pursues the running play, and falls down once the back jukes to his left. Thankfully Brandon Graham stood up the right tackle on the play, and makes the assisted tackle on the play.

This play has to have Andy Reid salivating as he draws up mismatches for Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt. On this play Bradham is beat by Washington RB Chris Thompson on an angle route, and gives up the reception in the middle of the field. Thompson eventually takes the reception to the house for a TD, after breaking several tackles.

Final Analysis

Overall the Philadelphia Eagles looked like a football team that can play with just about any team in the NFL. The offense found solid rhythm after a few questionable play calls early. The running game definitely struggled, which is expected when multiple offensive linemen have issues with their assignments. Carson Wentz was able to mask some of the issues the offense faced, and will be leaned on heavily moving forward the rest of the season.

Defensively there isn’t much to complain about, as Jim Schwartz’s defense was able to consistently get pressure on Washington QB Kirk Cousins. The front four of DE Brandon Graham, DT Fletcher cox, DT Tim Jernigan, and DE Vinny Curry kept the pocket closing in on Cousins’s all afternoon.  The secondary will be a work in progress after the Ronald Darby injury, and will be an attack point for the Chiefs offense week 2. Despite all of the criticism, CB Jalen Mills played relatively well against the Washington receivers, never giving up a big play.

I fully expect the coaching staff to put together an excellent game plan versus the Kansas City Chiefs in week 2, and hopefully we see the “3 UP” players continue their stellar play, and the “3 DOWN” players improve drastically. Thanks for reading, and stay turned for the next installment of “3 UP” and “3 DOWN“!