Grading how the Eagles have fared against the NFL's top wide receivers this year

Eagles’ Jalen Mills celebrates a third quarter stop against the 49ers in Week 8. His touchdown off an interception earlier that day was one of the highlights of the season for the Eagles defense. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

The Eagles have faced some decent receivers this season, but nothing like what they’re going to get Saturday against Atlanta’s Julio Jones.

Jones was second in the league in receiving yards to Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and is the second player in history with four consecutive seasons of 80 catches and 1,400 yards. Marvin Harrison is the other.

Jones had nine catches for 94 yards a touchdown last week against the Rams and averages 104.7 in seven postseason games.

With all of that as backdrop, here is a look at how the Eagles have done against opposing No. 1 wide receivers this season.


Game Opponent No. 1 WR Targ. Rec. Yards TD Eagles’ result Eagles’ Grade
 1 @Wash. Terrelle Pryor 11 6 66 0 Won, 30-17 B+
2 @KC Tyreek Hill 6 4 43 0 Lost, 20-27 B
3 NYG Odell Beckham Jr. 13 9 79 2 Won, 27-24 D
4 @LAC Keenan Allen 11 5 138 0 Won, 26-24 D


1- Pryor was making his debut with the Redskins and was held in check thanks largely to a strong Eagles pass rush, which harassed quarterback Kirk Cousins throughout the day.

2- Already without Ronald Darby (ankle), the Eagles lost replacement Jaylen Watkins and safety Rodney McLeod to hamstring injuries. They did a decent job with Hill, who almost had a long TD early if not for an overthrow, but tight end Travis Kelce got loose for 8-103-1.

3- Eli Manning went 14-for-15 with 204 yards and three touchdowns — all in the fourth quarter — against a depleted secondary, plus first-half injuries to LB Jordan Hicks (Achilles) and DT Fletcher Cox (calf). Jake Elliott’s miracle field goal at the finish saved the Eagles. Sterling Shepard’s 7-133-1 line included a 77-yard touchdown against fourth-string safety (and special-teams ace) Chris Maragos.

4- Keenan Allen (138 yards) and Tyrell Williams (115) each had big plays. Williams toasted rookie Rasul Douglas on a 75-yard TD.

Camera icon Clem Murray / Staff
The Eagles were doing a good job on Odell Beckham in Week 3 until he exploded with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including this beautiful one-handed catch, which Jalen Mills could not have played better. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer


Game Opponent No. 1 WR  Targ. Rec. Yards TD Eagles’ result Eagles’ Grade
5 ARI. Larry Fitzgerald 10 6 51 0 Won, 34-7 B+
6 @Car. Kelvin Benjamin 13 9 99 0 Won, 28-23 B
7 WASH. Terrelle Pryor 4 2 14 0 Won, 34-24 B
8 SF Pierre Garcon 4 2 17 0 Won, 33-10 A


5- Fitzgerald had just three catches through the first three quarters as the Eagles bottled up the Cardinals for most of the day.

6- The numbers for Benjamin and running back Christian McCaffrey (10-56-1) were decent, but Rasul Douglas, Jalen Mills, and Patrick Robinson each had interceptions.

7- Tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis combined for 12-131-2, but the Redskins got nothing out of Pryor, a $6 million free agent who was benched during the game. Reed’s second TD came in garbage time.

8- Jalen Mills had a spectacular interception return for a touchdown as the 49ers figured out that C.J. Beathard is not their long-term solution at quarterback. The next day, they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Camera icon Yong Kim / Staff
Rasul Douglas (32) had one of the Eagles three interceptions in the Week 6 road win over Cam Newton and the Panthers. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer

GAMES 9-12

Game Opponent No. 1 WR  Targ. Rec. Yards TD Eagles’ result Eagles’ Grade
9 DEN. Demaryius Thomas 12 8 70 1 Won, 51-23 B+
10 @Dal. Dez Bryant 14 8 63 0 Won, 37-9 A
11 CHI. Dontrelle Inman 9 4 64 0 Won, 31-3 A
12 @Sea. Doug Baldwin 7 5 84 0 Lost, 10-24 C


9- Rodney McLeod and Patrick Robinson had interceptions and Demaryius Thomas scored his touchdown in the fourth quarter, when the score was 44-9. ‘Nuff said.

10- The Eagles forced three Dak Prescott interceptions (Rodney McLeod, Ronald Darby, Malcolm Jenkins) and outscored Dallas 30-0 in the second half. Darby made an open-field tackle limiting Bryant to 2 yards and broke up a pass on consecutive red-zone plays in the first quarter, when the Eagles led by just four points.

11- The Bears have lacked a No.1 receiver since Alshon Jeffery signed with the Eagles. Jeffery, by the way, put up 5-52-1 against his former team.

12- Doug Baldwin got away from Rodney McLeod as the Eagles brought a blitz for a 47-yard completion on a third-and-10 to set up one of the Seahawks’ touchdowns. That drive came right after Eagles QB Carson Wentz fumbled through the end zone.

Camera icon Dave Maialetti / Staff
Cornerback Ronald Darby goes high to deflect a pass intended for Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant in the first quarter of the game in Dallas. DAVE MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

GAMES 13-16

Game Opponent No. 1 WR  Targ. Rec. Yards TD Eagles’ result Eagles’ Grade
13 @LAR Cooper Kupp 7 5 118 1 Won, 43-35 B
14 @NYG Sterling Shepard 16 11 139 1 Won, 34-29 D
15 OAK. Amari Cooper 4 3 66 1 Won, 19-10 B+
16 DAL. Dez Bryant 8 3 24 0 Lost, 0-6 B


13- Kupp, a rookie possession receiver, had his best game of the season. He turned a 12-yard out, which he caught over Rodney McLeod, into a 64-yard catch by slipping tackles by Malcolm Jenkins and Patrick Robinson.

14- The Giants were without Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall and still the Eagles gave up 434 passing yards to Eli Manning. The Eagles were bailed out by Nick Foles’ four touchdown passes. Otherwise, this week’s game might be against the Saints.

15- Amari Cooper badly beat Jalen Mills on a 63-yard slant-and-go, but otherwise the Eagles defense held firm. Patrick Robinson and Ronald Darby picked off Derek Carr and the Eagles clinched the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

16- This was like a fourth preseason game — except way colder. Dez Bryant played 16 games this year and had zero 100-yard outings. Remember that when fantasy drafting next season.


Pos. No. TD
Patrick Robinson CB 4 0
Rodney McLeod *S 3 0
Jalen Mills *CB 3 1
Ronald Darby *CB 3 0
Corey Graham S 2 0
Rasul Douglas CB 2 0
Malcolm Jenkins *S 2 0
Eagles 19 1
Opponents 9 1

* – Starter