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October 03, 2022

Eagles report cards through the first four games of the season: Offense edition

Eagles NFL
100322LaneJohnson Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Lane Johnson.

The Philadelphia Eagles came into the 2022 season with raised expectations, which they have exceeded, and then some. Through the first four games, the team has gotten out to a 4-0 start, and have looked like Super Bowl contenders.

Let's hand out individual grades at the (former) quarter mark.

QB Jalen Hurts: As a passer, Hurts is 82 for 123 for 1120 yards (9.1 YPA), with 4 TDs, and 2 INTs (only 1 that was on him), for a QB rating of 99.6. He has also added 205 yards and 4 TDs on the ground. 

In each of the Eagles' first four games this season, Hurts has won in different ways. Week 1 he beat the Lions' blitzes with his legs. Week 2 he sliced and diced the Vikings zone defense with accurate throws. Week 3 his poise was on full display during a sequence at the end of the first half. And in Week 4, he showed toughness and resolve bringing the Eagles back from a 14-0 deficit, with the highlight being a hard-nosed 4th down TD run.

If the season ended today (it doesn't) Hurts would be in the conversation for league MVP. If he continues to play at or near this level, the Eagles are probably Super Bowl favorites in the NFC.

Grade: A+

RB Miles Sanders: Sanders has carried 72 times for 356 yards (4.9 YPC) and 3 TDs. Those 356 rushing yards are third in the NFL, behind Saquon Barkley (463) and Nick Chubb (459). There are times when he leaves some meat on the bone, but he has looked fast and explosive this season.

Grade: B+

RB Kenny Gainwell: Gainwell has had his moments in pass protection. However, he has not come along as a receiver the way the team probably hoped he would have by now. As a runner, Gainwell has 15 carries for 52 yards (3.5 YPC) and 2 TDs. Designed touches for Gainwell have not been productive, as he has 21 receiving yards on 8 targets, including an INT after a dropped pass.

Grade: D+

RB Boston Scott: 10 carries, 29 yards 1 catch for 2 yards in a backup role to Sanders. Scott was also stuffed for a safety against the Commanders, though most backs wouldn't have had a chance either. 

Grade: C

WR A.J. Brown: Brown has been everything as advertised, and then some. He is a legitimate superstar receiver, capable of making plays at all three levels of the defense. 25 catches, 404 yards (16.2 YPC), and 1 TD. What were the Titans thinking? This is the best receiver the Eagles have had since Terrell Owens.

Grade: A+

WR DeVonta Smith: 63.5 percent of Smith's receiving yards this season came Week 3 against the Commanders, when he was a human highlight reel. Different guys stepping up and having big games will probably be the nature of the Eagles' receivers this season. 18 catches for 266 (14.8 YPC) and 1 TD. 

Grade: A-

WR Quez Watkins: Watkins only has 4 targets this season, not including a pair of chunk plays on defensive pass interference calls. He has 2 catches for 69 yards on those 4 targets, including a bomb TD against the Vikings. The Eagles have not prioritized getting the ball to Watkins, though defenses still have to respect his deep speed. 

Grade: C+

WR Zach Pascal: Pascal has fit in nicely as a "dirty work" receiver and special teamer, willing to do the little things that allow the other players to shine. However, unlike J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who formerly played the "enforcer" wide receiver role in the Eagles' offense, Pascal will actually catch the football when it comes his way. He has 6 catches on 7 targets for 39 yards, and 4 catches for first downs. 

Grade: B

TE Dallas Goedert: Goedert was fifth in the NFL last season with 10.9 yards per target. Through four games, he is averaging 12.0 yards per target, which again puts him fifth in the NFL (among players with at least 10 targets). He remains one of the most efficient players in the NFL when the ball comes his way. We do have to ding him a bit for dropping a TD against the Jaguars that would have basically ended that game early.

Grade: B+

TE Jack Stoll: Watching the coaches film I always notice a nice block or two from Stoll in each game. He's a quality player within his limited role. He would have had a TD this season, but Hurts missed him badly on a shovel pass.

Grade: B

TE Grant Calcaterra: 1 catch for 40 yards against the Commanders in relief of a dinged-up Goedert. Calcaterra showed some run after catch chops on that play. He hasn't played enough snaps to evaluate his blocking yet, though he was bad in that area during the preseason.

Grade: Inc.

LT Jordan Mailata: Mailata has probably given up more pressure than any other player along the Eagles' line so far this year, and he has a bad PFF grade, which is silly given that he has played against a number of very good edge rushers without much help. Other teams around the league would kill to have their LT playing like Mailata has through the first four games.

Grade: B-

LG Landon Dickerson: Dickerson's first four games of the 2022 season vs. his first four games of the 2021 season have been night and day.

Grade: B

C Jason Kelce: Remains capable of making plays at the second level and in front of screens that no other center in the NFL can.

Grade: A

RG Isaac Seumalo: This offseason, Seumalo recovered from a broken foot and made the transition from LG to starting RG. He was playing well when he hurt his ankle against the Jaguars. To be determined how serious that injury is. Seumalo does have durability concerns.

Grade: B

RT Lane Johnson: If you combined every DE who has to play against Lane Johnson into one guy, he'd be the most unproductive player in the NFL. Johnson completely negates everyone he faces. If a CB had the same level of success against WRs that Lane Johnson has against the best edge rushers in the game, that CB would be a perennial 1st team All-Pro and lock Hall of Famer. Why does Lane Johnson not get celebrated the same way? It's so weird. Forget this "Best RT in the NFL" crap. He's one of the best players in the NFL.

Grade: A+

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