The Eagles improved to 3-0 after manhandling the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. It wasn’t a perfect game by any means … but it was probably their best all-around performance yet. Notably, there were big contributions by the Eagles’ rookies.
Jalen Carter: A+
For the third straight week, Jalen Carter proved to be a force of nature when he was on the field. Not only did he just blow up the inside of Tampa Bay’s line on passing downs, logging another half sack, a QB hit and a few more pressures, he made his presence felt in every other aspect of defensive play. Carter played part in two of the biggest defensive plays of the game: He chased down Tampa Bay running back Rachaad White and punched the ball out to force his first career turnover and he was crucial in the Eagles getting a safety, drawing a ton of attention and opening up the Bucs backfield for Nicholas Morrow. It’s hard to overstate just how good Carter has been and what a natural fit he is next to Jordan Davis on the Eagles line.
Nolan Smith: B+
Nolan Smith did not get a ton of snaps but he made the most of his playing time. He hustled after Baker Mayfield and drilled the quarterback while throwing to help force a deep pass incompletion. Exactly the kinds of plays you want to see from Smith.
Sydney Brown: B
Injuries in the secondary finally gave way to Sydney Brown earning some snaps. He looks really solid, including a huge pass defended in the end zone that would have otherwise been a touchdown. Brown got banged up, however, injuring his thigh late in the first half. If he is healthy by next week, he could fill in a bit more.
The Rest: The Eagles’ other rookies did not make much of an impact. It is worth monitoring injuries in the secondary though as Eli Ricks or Kelee Ringo could become a factor sooner than later.