What We Saw: Week 8

It's backup QB SZN

Eagles @ Lions

Final Score: Eagles 44, Lions 6

Writer: Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter)

 

This recap will be pretty brief because there’s not a whole lot to say about what happened. The Eagles lined up and ran the ball down the Lions’ throats, totaling 236 yards on the ground, and the Lions proved incapable of doing anything on offense. The Lions’ receivers presented no downfield threat, which allowed the Eagles to key in on the check-downs and tackle the ball carrier right away. After going three-and-out on their first drive, the Eagles scored points on their final seven drives, aside from a kneel down to finish the first half, and added a defensive touchdown late in the third quarter to cement this game as a blowout. The Lions scored a late touchdown to avoid the shutout, but this game was even more lopsided than the score might suggest as Philadelphia was able to pull their starters after the third quarter. The Eagles won 44-6, and chances are if you started a player from this game that wasn’t a tight end you were disappointed.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Quarterback

 

Jalen Hurts: 9/14, 103 yards | 7 carries, 71 yards

Gardner Minshew: 2/2, 11 yards

 

Jalen Hurts‘ run of fantasy consistency came to an end today due to no fault of his own. Hurts just didn’t have to do much for his team to win, as the Eagles dominated on the ground and were able to sit Hurts and the rest of the starters early in the fourth quarter. Hurts had a few nice carries where he made defenders miss in space. When he was pressured, which wasn’t often, he was able to avoid the sack and turned several of those plays into big gains. His flashiest play came on a trick play, where Hurts made a one-handed catch before firing the ball downfield despite two defenders closing in on him.

 

 

Hurts has been great for fantasy managers in garbage time this season but in games like this where the Eagles can coast to an easy win, it doesn’t appear that they’re going to ask him to do more than the minimum amount of work.

 

Running Backs

 

Boston Scott: 12 carries, 60 yards, 2 TD | 1 target

Jordan Howard: 12 carries, 57 yards, 2 TD

Kenneth Gainwell: 13 carries, 27 yards

 

I would love to have something positive to say for those of you who trusted Kenneth Gainwell, but today was about as bad as it gets for his fantasy value. Boston Scott was the lead back, essentially sliding into the role the injured Miles Sanders vacated. Scott started the game, and for the first few drives, he didn’t seem to come off the field. Scott also got the first crack at the goal line work, which he cashed in for an easy touchdown.

 

 

Later in the game, Scott added another game short touchdown on a very similar play, although this time he had to overcome a little more resistance from the defense.

 

 

Jordan Howard, signed off the practice squad this week, also had a nice game. In typical Jordan Howard fashion, he was effective running between the tackles and scored two short touchdowns. The first came at the end of the second quarter and was essentially the same play that Scott scored his touchdowns on.

 

 

Once you’ve seen the defense struggle to stop a play the goal line three times there’s probably no reason to go away from it, and so the Eagles went back to that same inside run from the shotgun formation for Howard’s second touchdown.

 

 

Gainwell was relegated to mop-up duty in the fourth quarter after the starters were pulled, and aside from a brief cameo earlier in the game almost all of his production came after the game had long been decided. The Eagles weren’t really forced to pass, so it’s tough to say whether Gainwell would have handled those snaps. For today at least it was clear that the Eagles prefer Scott and Howard as runners and that Gainwell is likely shut out of any red-zone work.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Dallas Goedert: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 72 yards

Quez Watkins: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards

DeVonta Smith: 3 targets, 1 reception, 15 yards

Jalen Reagor: 2 targets, 1 reception, 0 yards | 2 carries, 21 yards

 

Jalen Reagor got off to a fast start. He took two end-arounds on the first touchdown drive for the Eagles and appeared to score a short touchdown on a jet pass to cap off the drive. Unfortunately, Reagor was ruled down at the 1-yard line and had to be carted to the locker room with an ankle injury. He was ruled out for the game and after he left the Eagles’ receivers were a non-factor. DeVonta Smith dropped his first target and then didn’t touch the ball again until the third quarter. That left Dallas Goedert as the focal point of the passing attack. Goedert had no issues creating enough separation for Hurts to get him the ball and consistently moved the chains with his catches.

 

Detroit Lions

 

Quarterback

 

Jared Goff: 25/34, 222 yards, 5 Sacks, Fumble

 

Jared Goff had a bad day, but most of that was out of his control. His offensive line looked overmatched and gave up pressure almost every play that was a clear passing down. His receivers struggled to create separation which forced Goff into predictable check-downs that the Eagles were easily able to rally to for the tackle. Goff didn’t really miss on any throws because he didn’t take any downfield shots, but those throws also just weren’t there. Goff certainly didn’t do anything to elevate the offense, but it’s also not his fault the Lions were blown out.

 

Running Backs

 

D’Andre Swift: 12 carries, 27 yards, Fumble | 5 targets, 5 receptions, 24 yards

Godwin Igwebuike: 3 carries, 18 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards

Jermar Jefferson: 2 carries, 6 yards, TD

 

Jamaal Williams was a late inactive for today’s game. D’Andre Swift took over the majority of the backfield work in William’s absence, but that also meant Swift was used more as an inside runner than he had been previously. Swift didn’t have much success on those carries mostly because the defensive line was able to meet him at or behind the line of scrimmage consistently. Swift was clearly the focus of the defense any time he ran a route, and while he managed a solid five receptions his run-after-the-catch opportunities were contained. Swift also had a fumble that was returned for a defensive touchdown.

 

 

As you can see in that clip, as soon as Swift caught the ball there were four Philadelphia defenders around him ready to bring him down. Godwin Igwebuike was the second running back into the game and looked very fast every time he touched the ball. If Williams misses any extended time Igwebuike would be a name to watch as a change of pace to Swift going forward. Jermar Jefferson scored the first touchdown of his NFL career late in the game on a carry in the red zone where he did a nice job of finding the rushing lane.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

T.J. Hockenson: 11 targets, 10 receptions, 89 yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 46 yards

Kalif Raymond: 1 target, 0 receptions

KhaDarel Hodge: 2 targets, 0 receptions

 

T.J. Hockenson appears to have fully recovered from the injury that bothered him early in the season. He was seemingly always open, and even when there was a defender nearby Hockenson was able to use his frame to create a window for Goff to deliver the ball. Hockenson was the lone bright spot for the Lions today, aside from him the passing attack was anemic. Amon-Ra St. Brown had the longest play of the game for the Lions on a 34-yard reception but didn’t do much else.

 

 

KhaDarel Hodge had a brutal drop downfield on a pass that hit him right in the hands, and Kalif Raymond was invisible just a week after Goff compared him to Cooper Kupp.

 

 — Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter).

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