The Eagles rebounded in a big way after back-to-back disappointing losses. A 31 to 13 win at the Bills’ home field is no small feat. Even more exciting is the role rookies played in the win!
Andre Dillard: B-
Andre Dillard had his best game as a professional! Despite some rough spots in pass protection, Dillard looked really solid as a run blocker. The Eagles rushing for 218 yards wouldn’t have been possible without Dillard winning at the line of scrimmage and getting downfield to block on big plays. It’s clear the rookie has work to do in terms of dealing with power rushers, but there is a lot of confidence to be drawn from this performance in a winning effort.
Miles Sanders: A+
Miles Sanders touched the ball just six times and produced 118 yards of offense, scoring once on a brilliant 65 yard carry. Sanders made great plays in the passing game, particularly on a 25 yard screen catch where he earned every yard after the reception, dodging defenders all the way. However, it’s his touchdown run that deserves the most credit. Sanders took advantage of great blocking to get downhill. He burst upfield and broke a tackle on his way to the open field and a score. I’ve been saying since the Green Bay game: Sanders is his best when you just get him running downhill proved true. No silly outside zone plays. Just hat-on-hat football where Sanders can use his athleticism. I hope Sanders keeps improving. He’s already the biggest playmaker on the Eagles offense ... outside of DeSean Jackson, who may or may not be returning soon. [Note: Sanders had to leave the game early with a shoulder injury but he said he should hopefully be fine.]
JJ Arcega-Whiteside: N/A
I’m not going to ding the rookie for his absence in a game where the team was committed to running the ball due to weather conditions. I just hope he can get on the field in coming weeks.
TJ Edwards: B
TJ Edwards is probably the best of the Eagles’ healthy linebackers right now. That might be a low bar to clear, but Edwards has provided steady play whenever he takes the field. He avoids critical mistakes and is proving to be a sound tackler. Solid but unspectacular play at linebacker is far from a bad thing and Edwards’ growth into the position is an exciting development. His five tackles (two solo) ranked fifth on the team.
Other Eagles rookies:
Albert Huggins and Anthony Rush - On first watch, I didn’t really notice the two undrafted rookie free agent defensive tackles the Eagles signed to their roster earlier this week. Probably not a bad thing. Huggins finished with one tackle.
Shareef Miller - Active but seemingly played zero snaps
Nate Herbig - Healthy scratch
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