Game Review – PS Opener – PIT 31, PHI 14

Posted: August 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

You know the drill. Ignore the score. Focus on players and not the overall team. And so on.

I’m behind on this so let’s get right to it.


Nate Sudfeld – Up and down performance, but definitely more good than bad. Showed NFL ability and that’s the real key. A player with his limited experience isn’t supposed to look polished. And he didn’t. Showed that he is worth developing. Panicked on early blitz and made a bad throw, over the head of the WR. Had more time than he realized. Threw an INT on initial 3rd down. PIT used a trap coverage and Sudfeld didn’t read it. Carson Wentz made the same mistake early in the Rams game last year and got picked off. Showed good touch and accuracy when he hit Goedert for gain of 26. Still looked to have happy feet in the pocket. Held the ball too long and then hit Clement in the flat. He was immediately popped and lost yards. There were multiple plays when he had unblocked rushers coming at him. Sudfeld escaped on two plays and threw a TD on one. Threw a beautiful 63-yd TD to Gibson. Looked the safety off by starting left. Came back to his right and threw a perfect pass. Hit Gibson on the run for the long score.

Joe Callahan – Played in the 2nd half. Too frantic. Got sacked on first pass and lost the ball. Needed to step up in the pocket, but didn’t. Forced a screen pass on play that had been blown up. Almost INT. Should have thrown that in the ground. Was low to Treggs on pass that was caught. If the ball is up, Treggs can catch it on the run and deliver a big play. Best throw came on 2nd/long when he Rodgers, who was covered. Put the ball where only Rodgers could get it. Rodgers just couldn’t quite hang on. Great throw. Callahan has a good arm. Has some mobility. Can make tough throws. On the downside, he’s not consistently accurate, makes some questionable decisions and has poor pocket presence. The final play for the Eagles looked more like 4th/32 than 4th and 2.


Jay Ajayi – Ran hard and looked good. Could be in for a big year. Tough to tackle.

Corey Clement – Was the PR early on. Took one punt back 13 yards. 5-30 as a runner. Took a quick hitter up the middle for a 1st down. Ran to the outside for a good gain. Looked quick and fast. Made an ILB miss on a run up the middle. Caught short pass on 3rd down. Fought off tackle by DB and got upfield for 1st down.

Wendell Smallwood – Played better than he’s getting credit for. Ran hard on 2-pt conversion play. Had a couple of nice runs where he hit the hole and got as much as he could. Caught swing pass and got upfield. Blocked well on some pass plays. Kept blitzer off Sudfeld on long TD to Gibson. Big issue is that he fumbled on a run up the middle. Wasn’t a big hit by the ILB either. Can’t lose that ball.

Josh Adams – Good game. Got on the field in the 3rd Qtr. First carry was a run to the outside that showed his vision and speed. Almost broke that for a huge gain. Had to settle for 15 yards. Good chip block. Better on runs to the outside where he could use his vision. Had good pass blocks on multiple plays. Caught short pass over the middle late in the game and got upfield for gain of 11. Caught another short pass. I was really impressed with his ability to run outside. Has big play ability.


Dallas Goedert – Great game. I expected him to stand out as a receiver, but blocked better than I anticipated. Had a good block on the first run of the game. Got some movement vs smaller player. Good effort to sustain the block. Wasn’t out there pancaking guys, but got the job done. Shielded DB on Ajayi’s long run. Ran a good route down the field on the next play and caught 26-yard pass. Looked smooth running that route and just plucked the ball with ease. Dropped one pass. Lined up in the slot and ran a shallow cross. Started to look upfield before securing the ball. Good to know he’s human. Looked better blocking on the move than in-line. Caught pass on a seam route. DB took his legs out and Goedert went down hard, but held onto the ball and hopped right up.

Richard Rodgers – I was very impressed with his blocking. Excellent downblock of DL gave Ajayi lots of room to run. Not overly big or powerful, but made a concerted effort to lock onto defender and sustain his blocks. Blocked consistently well in the game. Didn’t win every time. Got blown up on second 2-pt try. Just good to see an Eagles TE who can line up and block someone at the LOS. Without Celek, I worried if anyone could do that. Real good block on Adams long run. Wasn’t able to haul in long pass from Callahan. Went up and got his hands on the ball, but couldn’t secure it. Tough play.

Josh Perkins – Good wham block on inside run. Had great play late in the game. Saw blitzer and blocked him. Unloaded on the guy and put him on the ground. Then released into the flat and caught the pass for a gain of 7. Justin Peelle had to be excited watching that.

Billy Brown – Didn’t play a lot of snaps. Showed his athleticism on some routes late in the game. He can really run. Almost made a sensational catch. Actually made the grab, but the ball was a couple of yards out of bounds. Excellent vision to find the ball and good hands to catch it.


Mack Hollins – Didn’t stand out to me.

Shelton Gibson – Made one impact play. Hauled in 63-yd pass for TD. Used his speed to run right by the CB and get open down the field. Looked up and found the ball at full speed. Made the catch and got in for the score. Caught 14-yd pass along the sideline late in the game. Got popped. Good on STs as well. Had good punt coverage in 1st Qtr.

Kamar Aiken – Made a form tackle of DB after first INT.

Rashard Davis – Had 30-yard KOR that was negated by penalty. Looked good on that.

Greg Ward – Didn’t stand out to me.

Bryce Treggs – Slipped on pass thrown his way. It was picked off. Caught 22-yd pass in the 3rd. Had to go down to secure the ball. If he catches that on the move, could have been huge. Showed excellent body control when making a sideline catch late in the game. Finished 3-39.

DeAndre Carter – Made nice catch for gain of 20 late in the game. Had to go down for the ball.


No reason to cover the starters.

Big V – LT for starters and #2 offense. Stud. Looks better than ever at pass pro.

Chance Warmack – Backup LG. Still Mr. Grabby Hands.

Isaac Seumalo – Mixed game. Jumbo TE with starters. Then backup C. Showed excellent movement skills. Runs well for a big guy. Good block on 2-pt conversion. Able to engage and sustain. Doesn’t consistently hit with power when blocking on the move. Pulled left and had a terrific block on ILB on run play in the early 3rd. Had an awful snap in the mid-3rd. Eagles lost 17 yards on the play. Killed a good drive. Had a couple of other snaps that were a bit errant, but that snap left the atmosphere.

Matt Pryor – Backup RG. Watching live, I thought he played well. Didn’t look as good on replay. Pulled to his left, didn’t pop the target and ended up on the ground. Got pushed back into QB on the throw to Bryce Treggs that was picked off. PIT ran a stunt and Seumalo/Pryor didn’t handle it well. Got knocked off balance when #41 blitzed and shoved him. Not sure what he was doing on second 2-pt try. Went backward and never blocked anyone. Looked confused. Read stunt late in the half and shoved his guy to the ground. That’s the kind of power you expect from Pryor. Had effective block of ILB on inside run. Pulled to the right on run play and was too upright. DB hit him and knocked him backward. Had some good pass blocks when he got his hands cleanly on the rusher.

Taylor Hart – Backup RT. Good effort, but limited player. Doesn’t anchor well. Had some real good run blocks in the 3rd Qtr. Quick edge rushers eat him up.

Jordan Mailata – LT for the 2nd half. Got beaten by OLB on first pass play. Couldn’t get his hands on him. Gave up strip sack. QB didn’t help by staying deep. His kick-slide is very impressive for someone with no football background. Tried to block OLB on outside run and got knocked to the ground. There were times when he looked very good in pass pro. Showed quick feet and used those long arms to control the rusher. Has bad habit of not keeping his feet under him. That makes him easier to push around. Needs to play with better balance. There were 2 plays late in the game when PIT jumped offside. Mailata immediately moved and pointed to the rusher. PIT was penalized on both plays. That’s smart for a guy who is new to football.

Aaron Evans – 3rd string LG. Quiet feet. Plays under control. Just locked up rusher on pass play. Very good with his hands. Got a good shot on NT when nobody was rushing to his area. Find someone to hit. Did the same thing a couple of plays later and knocked the NT to the ground. Got beaten in pass pro on final drive. Overall, a strong showing. Consider me a fan. 

Jon Toth – 3rd string C. Tall, thin build. Has some athleticism. Uses his hands pretty well. After Evans knocked the NT to the ground late in the game, Toth climbed on him to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere.

Darrell Greene – 3rd string RG. Warmack, Jr. Big, physical blocker. Footwork is an issue and struggles in pass pro.

Toby Weathersby – 3rd string RT. Doesn’t have smooth feet. Has to really work to kick-slide. Can get him off balance at times. A project worth trying to develop.



Starters/Key veterans – The starters played a couple of series and looked great. They overwhelmed the Steelers. Fletcher Cox looked like a man on a mission. Malcolm Jenkins was playing just as hard as he did in the Super Bowl. MJ had sack to open 2nd series.


Destiny Vaeao – Got the start at DT. Occupied 2 OL on the play where Cox got his sack. Not an ideal blocking scheme. Knocked the LG to the ground on pass play on 2nd series.

Elijah Qualls – Frustrating game. Called for defensive holding twice. I’ve never seen that in one game. Jumped offside on a play that resulted in a 71-yd TD pass. Those are the lowlights. Did have some good moments. Played with good pad level. Quick off the ball at times. Had one play where he fired into the backfield and hit the QB. Looked like a screen, but he got back there so quick he threw off the timing. Drove the RT backward on 3rd/1 run. Didn’t affect the RB.

Haloti Ngata – Didn’t play much.

Josh Sweat – Played more than I expected. I think Eagles are trying to figure out what to make of him. Gifted player, but raw. You wouldn’t guess he was at FSU for the past 3 years. Looks like a project. His length and athleticism are legit, though. Came upfield vs run, read the play and turned. Took a couple of long strides and got in on the tackle downfield. You either have that or you don’t. Got blocked by TE on bootleg, but got off the block and then chased the QB out wide. Tackled RB who tried to cutback and go up the middle. Best pass rush came on 3rd/GL when he used hard inside move to beat the LT. Unfortunately Sweat hit the QB in the helmet and gave the Steelers a 1st down. Pursues well. Eats up ground with those long strides. Must do a better job of converting speed to power on his rushes. Almost looks like he lets up before hitting the OT. Exact opposite of what you want. Explode into the blocker and jolt him. Needs to be quicker off the ball.

Michael Bennett – Played LDE and LDT. Best pass rush came from DT, but Cox beat him to the QB.

Azziz Shittu – Started off slow, but then got regular penetration. Very quick off the ball. Disruptive. Needs more moves. Tried a spin move, but got knocked to the ground. Used a bull rush at times and got some push with that. Really seemed to rely on winning with quickness. Jumped offside in the late 3rd.

Joe Ostman – Came into the game in the mid-2nd. Played RDE. Badly fooled on read-option. QB kept the ball and ran for a good gain. Ostman did hustle in pursuit. Excellent effort. Just didn’t show much burst or athleticism. Had one great spin move in the 3rd, but used it to the inside and the blocker was still there. Needs that burst to the outside to set up the spin to the inside.

Steven Means – Played both LDE and RDE. Even saw some snaps at DT in passing situations. Got pressure on multiple plays. Exactly what you expect from Means in a preseason game. Terrific showing. Disruptive all game long.

Winston Craig – Quick, active DT. Seemed to be around the ball when he was on the field. Played some LDE in the 4th. Disruptive player, mostly based on effort. Relentless. His pressure forced QB to move up in the pocket on Hector’s strip-sack.

Bruce Hector – Drove the LG backward on play and helped cause fumble. Can be very quick off the ball. Brings his feet with him. Some quick DL launch off the ball. Hector keeps his feet, helping him to move laterally if needed and make pursuit plays. Had sack, FF in mid-4th. Blocked initially. Spun off block and hit QB as he tried to step up in the pocket. Good vs the run late in the game. Uses his hands well.

Danny Ezechukwu – RDE in the 4th. Hustled to tackle RB for no gain. Was unblocked on the play. Gets low, plays with good leverage. Limited burst.

Adam Reth – Thin build. Doesn’t look like normal DT.


Jordan Hicks – Good to see him in action. Showed no signs of coming off an injury. Didn’t play much, but looked good when he was in there.

Nate Gerry – Started at WLB. Played some SAM as well. Played in Nickel too. Got blocked by LG on run up the middle that went for about 15 yards. Took on the block, but couldn’t shed. Showed a good feel for coverage. Excellent effort on GL run to fight off a blocker to get to the ball. Made a good hustle tackle late in the half when RB caught a short pass and got loose.

Kamu Grugier-Hill – Looked athletic as heck. Fired into the backfield on his first series, but missed the RB. Bit on fake and then chased the QB out wide, tackling him on the sideline. Big time speed. Great motor. Chased plays all over the field. Overran some plays. So quick to the hole that he can get out of position. Struggled to disengage from blockers on some plays. Made a sensational play to get TFL on GL option play. Forced the QB to pitch the ball and then went out wide to get RB for loss. Made that play with his speed. Credited with 6 solo stops and 2 TFLs.

Joe Walker – Backup MLB. Looked healthy. Moved around well and showed some burst. Hit RB trying to catch screen and broke that up. Pass was low, but Walker hit him as the ball got there. Tackled well when they threw short passes around him. Showed good speed when he blitzed in the late 3rd. Got a hand on the QB, but couldn’t get clean shot. Forced him to throw the ball away. Got free on another blitz and hit the QB as he threw. I came away feeling better about him as the backup MLB.

Corey Nelson – WLB in the 3rd. Good tackle in the early 4th to stuff RB. Should have stood out more against 3rd stringers. Disappointing.

LaRoy Reynolds – SLB in the 3rd. Made great tackle of TE in the early 4th. Nailed him after short catch and put the guy on the ground hard. Had chance for TFL, but couldn’t get RB down cleanly. Got a gift sack in the 4th when QB came right to him. Had good coverage of TE on Hector’s strip-sack.

Kyle Wilson – 3rd string MLB. Had a TFL late in the game.


Tre Sullivan – I was too harsh on him right after the game, saying he stunk. Not the case. Sullivan was up and down. Came onto the field when the starters went into the Big Nickel look. Looked fast when attacking receivers with the ball. Out of control at times. Needs to be able to wrap up and make clean stops. Had impressive play vs run in late 1st. Lined up in the box and attacked at the snap. Fought through block to get in on tackle right at LOS. Badly missed on RB who got loose up the middle. Was over-aggressive and ended up on the ground. Didn’t always show good awareness on run plays. Made it easy for WRs to block him at times. Missed tackle of slot receiver after short catch. Hit him instead of wrapping up. Seemed to be at his best playing in the box. Good vs the run when up close like that. Gets through traffic to the ball.

Stephen Roberts – Missed tackle of QB on run play. Got into perfect position and tried to wrap him up, but the QB got out of the tackle. Slow to fill on GL run play. Got in on tackle of RB right at LOS. Whiffed on RB on screen pass in the late 3rd.

Jeremy Reaves – Easily confused in coverage. Was completely lost on the play where Douglas came up with the INT. Shot into backfield on 3rd/1. Hit RB low, but couldn’t get him down. Missed other tackles. Made contact, but failed to secure the runner/receiver. Prized UDFA signing has not panned out as expected.


Jalen Mills – Hit and tackled well.

Sidney Jones – Opened in the slot. Missed a tackle on 3rd down, but excellent effort on the play. Made tackle on the next 3rd down. Looked agile, spry as he moved around. Smooth in coverage. Called for targeting when he hit WR on crossing route. Good call. Sid lowered his head and went H2H. Just can’t do that these days. Extended a scoring drive. Hurt his ankle in the mid-2nd Qtr and left the game.

Rasul Douglas – Not his best game. Gave up 2 TDs. Burned for a 71-yard TD. Was in good position to play the ball, but lost his balance and couldn’t go up for it. PIT threw a quick pass to WR in front of him. Douglas came up and made a good tackle. Minimal gain. Had tight coverage of WR on crossing route. Gave up nothing, despite completion. Had good coverage on pass in end zone. Read the route, got into good position and played it well. Pass went out of bounds. Made a beautiful pick in the late 2nd. Dropped back deep and read that QB was throwing to WR in front of him. Douglas jumped the route and got the ball. Poor job on the return. Had blockers and didn’t use them well. Burned for TD late in the half. Missed the ball by inches. Was in off coverage and just didn’t stay deep enough. Receiver got by him by a step. Great throw/catch by PIT.

De’Vante Bausby – Good game, with a couple of hiccups. Looked terrific in coverage. There was one sequence when PIT threw in front of him and he jumped the route. Just missed the INT. Jumped another short pass that would have been picked if the QB didn’t throw it into the ground. Then they tried a double-move on Bausby and he ran right with the WR. Smart and talented. Mostly tackled well, run or pass. Had a couple of terrible plays, though. Slipped while trying to make one tackle and whiffed. On another play, he just threw himself to the ground. Terrible tackle attempt. Weird because he was willing to come into the middle on some run plays and get involved in heavy traffic. Showed good awareness in zone coverage. Will come into the box and play the run. Big problem is that he doesn’t wrap up. Effort is there.

Avonte Maddox – Played in the slot and outside. Good job of fighting through traffic to help tackle a RB on RZ run play. Used inside move to get by blocker and disrupt GL run. Couldn’t make the play because blocker was holding him. Stumbled coming out of his break on a couple of pass plays. Looked very natural in press coverage. Beaten for long gain in the late 3rd on jump ball. Didn’t time his jump well at all. Almost picked off skinny post in the end zone. Great effort. Read the route and then played the ball well. Encouraging start. Lots of good signs.

DJ Killings – Played CB in the 4th. Really good hit of WR after catch. Popped the guy cleanly, but hard. WR was slow to get up.

Chandon Sullivan – Gave up completion on 3rd long, but kept WR short of the sticks. Excellent feet. Needs to be quicker out of his break. Good coverage on punt in the 4th Qtr.



Cameron Johnston – Very inconsistent. Averaged 45.8 yards on six punts. Had one go 81 yards and that didn’t even count. The problem is that Johnston struggled with ball placement. Left yards on the field because he put the ball out of bounds on some kicks and not deep enough on those when trying to pin them inside the 20. 3 of his punts were downed inside the 20, but putting the ball at the 18-yd line is different than the 8 or even the 3. Must get better.


One Comment on “Game Review – PS Opener – PIT 31, PHI 14”

  1. 1 Eagles News: Former Philadelphia assistant says Doug Pederson “gets upset sometimes because we don’t score on every play” - Football News Latest said at 1:43 PM on August 13th, 2018:

    […] Game Review – PS Opener – PIT 31, PHI 14 – Iggles BlitzNate Sudfeld – Up and down performance, but definitely more good than bad. Showed NFL ability and that’s the real key. A player with his limited experience isn’t supposed to look polished. And he didn’t. Showed that he is worth developing. Panicked on early blitz and made a bad throw, over the head of the WR. Had more time than he realized. Threw an INT on initial 3rd down. PIT used a trap coverage and Sudfeld didn’t read it. Carson Wentz made the same mistake early in the Rams game last year and got picked off. Showed good touch and accuracy when he hit Goedert for gain of 26. Still looked to have happy feet in the pocket. Held the ball too long and then hit Clement in the flat. He was immediately popped and lost yards. There were multiple plays when he had unblocked rushers coming at him. Sudfeld escaped on two plays and threw a TD on one. Threw a beautiful 63-yd TD to Gibson. Looked the safety off by starting left. Came back to his right and threw a perfect pass. Hit Gibson on the run for the long score. […]