The Eagles put up a valiant effort Sunday against the Cardinals, bouncing back from an early 16-0 deficit and having two late opportunities to try to tie the game before coming up short in a 33-26 defeat. Despite the disappointing outcome, you have to like the team's fight and the fact that you didn't want to gouge your eyes out while watching the game. Here's a look at which Eagles flew and which remained grounded in Week 15.
STUD: Jalen Hurts
Hurts improved upon his impressive first start by going 24/44 for 338 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He added 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground for a wildly productive afternoon. Hurts again showed solid poise and spread the ball around to nine different receivers. He made some big plays on third and fourth down and nearly led the Eagles to a comeback. The Eagles have to be encouraged by what they've seen from Hurts so far.
DUD: The defensive line
The whole group was far too ineffective on Sunday. The Eagles only managed one sack, and that wasn't even registered by the line but rather by a pair of secondary players. The Eagles were credited with only one QB hit, and that also came from a secondary player. Vinny Curry, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham and Genard Avery each only managed two tackles, while Derek Barnett and Malik Jackson each had three. The Eagles just didn't get enough from this group on Sunday.
STUD: Alex Singleton
Singleton continues to shine since stepping into a full time load. He once again reached double-figures in tackles with 11 and added a tackle for a loss. He made an incredible play late in the game to track down Chase Edmonds near the sideline and short of the marker on a key third down, and the Eagles were able to get a fourth-down stop to get the ball back. He also recovered a fumble. Singleton's flying around has brought some life and some much-needed production to the linebacker group.
DUD: Jalen Mills
Mills did have one really nice pass breakup. But his tackling continues to be an abomination, and he had another egregious example on Sunday. Not only did he once again attempt to tackle without using his arms, much like he did last week, but this time the play was right near the sideline, so a simple shove out of bounds would have been effective. Instead the ball carrier added a bunch of extra yards onto the play. Please, Jalen, start using your arms to tackle.
STUD: Greg Ward
Ward only managed four catches for 15 yards, but two of those catches were in the end zone and that's certainly enough to get you a stud designation. Ward also came up with a catch on a key conversion. Even though Ward didn't rack up a ton of yards, the catches he made were impactful and it's great to see the wide receivers making plays in the end zone.
We wanted to mention a couple of the guys in the secondary. We didn't feel it was appropriate to list them as studs becasue ultimately they were torched for 28 catches for 432 yards and three touchdowns. There's no way around it, that it just brutal. However, we have to acknowledge just how decimated this group is by injuries and the fact that they were put in a nearly impossible position Sunday trying to slow down one the best offenses in the league and the best wide receiver in the league in DeAndre Hopkins. Even at full strength that would have been a tough ask, and this group made a few plays Sunday and the defense ultimately did enough to give the Eagles a chance.
Nickell Robey-Coleman had 10 tackles and earned half a sack. He also recovered a fumble. Michael Jacquet had seven tackles, the other half of that sack, a QB hit and two passes defensed. Marcus Epps had some issues Sunday, but he also had seven tackles and two passes defensed and also came up with an interception.
It obviously wasn't a banner day for the secondary, but considering the cirumstances we thought they deserved a mention.