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Week 4 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 23, Tennessee Titans 26


What you need to know

Philadelphia Eagles

It was a tough road loss for the Eagles, but the positive include Carson Wentz continuing his feel in his second start since a late-season 2017 knee injury and the debut of Alshon Jeffery to the tune of 105 yards and a touchdown. While the run game was efficient, the Eagles did not stick with it as Carson Wentz threw 50 passes. Jordan Matthews took a step up with a long touchdown and Week 3 breakout performer Dallas Goedert took a step back in his involvement. Nelson Agholor’s performance was concerning with three drops and a fumble and contributing an alarming 22 yards on 12 targets.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans offense may have started slow, but Marcus Mariota helped spark them to a big win in overtime over the Eagles. Mariota showed no ill effects from his elbow injury, passing for over 340 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 46 yards and another touchdown. Corey Davis had a career day hauling in 10 of 15 targets for 161 yards and the first regular season touchdown of his career--the game-winner at the end of overtime. Taywan Taylor was the clear WR2 getting the start over Tajae Sharpe. Derrick Henry and the ground game struggled while Dion Lewis thrived in the pass-heavy game script.

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Carson Wentz, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 33 - 50 - 348 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 8 - 0
The offensive line did not play particularly well against the Titans as Carson Wentz dealt with pressure on many obvious passing down situations. On early-game drives, Wentz took hits on two straight plays to result in a punt, a sack killed the second drive, and another third down massive hit thwarted a first half drive. On the positive side, Wentz’s movement is outstanding considering this was his second game since returning from a major knee surgery. Wentz was also bold and accurate down the field, including to Alshon Jeffery in his 2018 debut. Despite building a 17-3 mid-third quarter lead, the Eagles stalled on offense with a fumble lost in their own territory and a near interception (and stalling for a field goal) in overtime, contributing to the loss. While Nelson Agholor took a step back in his play, the addition of Alshon Jeffery as a focal point and Jordan Matthews adding another solid option to the previously-depleted wide receiver corps are positive takeaways heading into a key Week 5 tilt against the Vikings.

RB Jay Ajayi, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 70 - 0, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (4 targets)
By necessity Jay Ajayi saw an uptick in snaps and role against the Titans in Week 4 with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles inactive. Ajayi’s 18 touches mark an early-season high. Ajayi saw significant snaps early in the game especially, but his best plays came later. In addition to his 70 rushing yards, Ajayi had a 20+ rushing gain called back by penalty. Ajayi also contributed a powerful chunk gain on the ground through contact in overtime and another 15+ yard gain as the Eagles drove for a potential game-winning score. Despite Clement and Sproles being inactive, Ajayi was still the early-down back and Wendell Smallwood saw most of the hurry-up and obvious passing situation snaps.

RB Wendell Smallwood, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 39 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (5 targets)
Smallwood had an elevated role with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles inactive against Tennessee. Jay Ajayi was the clear preferred option for snaps on early downs but Smallwood had his change-of-pace and hurry-up passing role for eight touches. Smallwood did log a drop, but also exhibited nice balance through contact on yards-after-the-catch on another occasion.

WR Alshon Jeffery, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 105 - 1 (9 targets)
Jeffery saw his 2018 season debut against the Titans, a much-needed addition to the Eagles up-and-down wide receiver corps. While Nelson Agholor saw more targets, Jeffery was far more efficient. Jeffery started out with an impact, securing a down-the-sideline target for 30+ yards, one of Carson Wentz’s better throws on the day. Jeffery saw two end zone targets, hauling in one with an impressive high-point in traffic. The chemistry with Wentz was also impressive as the pair connected on a back-shoulder throw.

WR Nelson Agholor, 72 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 22 - 0 (12 targets)
Agholor took a step back in Week 4 against the Titans, logging by far his worst game of the season despite 12 targets. Agholor contributed three drops, including two on third downs and one in overtime, plus fumbled after a catch, which fortunately when out of bounds. Alshon Jeffery returned and showed strong chemistry with Carson Wentz. After the strong game in Week 2, Agholor is on a declining track to a short-range receiver within the construct of the Eagles passing game and third in line behind Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz.

TE Zach Ertz, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 112 - 0 (14 targets)
Ertz saw 10 or more targets for the fourth straight game, leading the Eagles with 14 looks against the Titans. Ertz was especially active on deeper routes, winning down the seam and corralling a target behind him late in the fourth quarter. After Dallas Goedert’s breakout performance in Week 3, the rookie tight end drifted back to the shadows this week as Ertz maintained his heavy target load. Ertz did not see any touchdown opportunities and did add a late fourth quarter drop on third down to soften an otherwise dominant performance.

TE Dallas Goedert, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)
After his breakout Week 3 game, Goedert was back to an ancillary role with Alshon Jeffery back, Jordan Matthews flashing with a long touchdown, and Zach Ertz seeing 10+ targets for the fourth straight game. Goedert’s best contribution was drawing a long defensive pass interference penalty against safety coverage.


Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 43 - 344 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 10 - 46 - 1
Marcus Mariota had his best game of the short season this week despite battling through an elbow injury, passing for 344 yards and his first pair of passing touchdowns of the season. Mariota did not appear limited at all by his injury here as he was making all kinds of throws, consistently pushing the ball downfield with deep shots from start to finish here. Mariota missed an open Corey Davis early on their first drive on what would have been a touchdown play, but he followed it up with a few nice throws including another deep ball to Davis, who was his favorite target on the day. Mariota did have a momentary lapse in judgment as he airmailed an ugly interception near the end of the first half. He used his legs to score the Titans’ first touchdown of the game late in the third quarter though as Mariota he ran it in himself from two yards out--his first rushing touchdown of the season. He rushed a season-high 10 times here, showing great mobility to extend plays and get meaningful gains with his legs. Midway through the fourth quarter, Mariota took a deep shot on the first play of the drive and connected with Corey Davis for 51 yards to spark the offense when they really needed it. This was a very well thrown ball that dropped right between two defenders, hitting Davis perfectly in stride for Mariota’s biggest play of the day. Just a few plays later in this drive, Mariota would find Tajae Sharpe on the right side of the end zone for the 11-yard touchdown pass--his first touchdown pass of the day. As the game went into overtime, Mariota would have his best drive of the game, leading the Titans 75 yards downfield for the overtime victory. Mariota came up big in numerous clutch situations here, including a huge throw on 4th-and-15 to Taywan Taylor to keep the drive alive. Later on another long down, 3rd-and-19, Mariota scrambled for 17 yards to set up a manageable fourth down that he would convert on a short pass to Dion Lewis. To cap the game off with only five seconds left, Mariota found Corey Davis in the middle of the end zone on a high throw that he knew only Davis could elevate to haul in.

RB Dion Lewis, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 0 - 0, Rec: 9 - 66 - 0 (9 targets)
Dion Lewis was a workhorse through the air this week, hauling in all nine of his targets as he ties for the team lead in receptions and finished with 66 receiving yards. Lewis was a key safety blanket for Marcus Mariota as he consistently leaked out of the backfield for short routes throughout the game. One of his longest receptions of the day came midway through the third quarter as Lewis snuck out of the backfield to be left wide open about four yards downfield. Lewis caught the ball and turned it upfield, spinning out of an arm tackle to gain an extra dozen yards as he finished with a 17-yard gain. The most impactful play for Lewis came late in overtime on 4th-and-2 when Lewis hauled in a short pass to convert the first down, then sped down the sideline to put the Titans in a great spot for their eventual game-winning touchdown.

RB Derrick Henry, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 24 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
Derrick Henry had a rough day on the ground with limited touches as he managed only 3.0 yards per rush attempt. Henry’s day started with surprise reception coming off a nice play-action fake by Marcus Mariota. It was a screen pass that Henry gained 13 yards on with great effort after the catch to charge downfield. Henry would haul in one more reception, but it was a busted screen pass that he lost six yards on. His longest gain of the day came early in the second quarter on a pitch to the left side that he took for 14 yards, bouncing off defenders to gain an extra few yards beyond the first down marker. Henry would have one more solid rush during overtime, but no other notable plays outside of that as he was used on a rather limited basis this week due to the Titans playing from behind for much of this game.

WR Corey Davis, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 161 - 1 (15 targets)
Corey Davis had a heck of a game this week as he led the team in all receiving categories while hauling in the first regular season touchdown of his career. Davis could have started off the day with a huge splash had Mariota been able to connect with him on a deep ball that surely would have been a touchdown. Davis instead settled for a 28-yard reception as his only catch of the first drive. Davis led off the next drive with another deep reception for 25 yards. He was peppered with targets throughout the game with more impactful gains up until his longest play of the game, which came in a big spot midway through the fourth quarter. On the first play of the drive, Davis streaked down the field at full speed as Mariota hit him perfectly in stride for a 51-yard reception that put the Titans in great shape to eventually find the end zone to take the lead. His next big moment came at the end of overtime as Davis hauled in the game-winning touchdown reception-- a 10-yard grab on which he elevated to bring in the contested catch to close this one out.

WR Taywan Taylor, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 77 - 0 (9 targets)
Taywan Taylor saw a heavy workload here as the departure of Rishard Matthews led to Taylor serving as the Titans #2 receiver behind Corey Davis. Taylor got involved in the third drive as he was the recipient of a short pass for 12 yards to kick it off. He was the culprit of a false start penalty on the next play, but then followed it up with another big catch for 16 yards. Later in the drive, Taylor nearly brought in a deep ball that would have been at least a 40-yard gain if not for an excellent play by the defender to knock the ball away. Taylor would see one more reception before halftime. Taylor had a relatively uneventful second half before making what was one of the biggest plays of the game for the Titans. On 4th-and-15 in overtime, the Titans had to convert to avoid taking the loss. Taylor would find his way behind the coverage to haul in a huge catch that moved the chains and kept the Titans in the game. This was his last reception of the game to cap off what would be the most productive game of his short career with highs in both receptions and receiving yards.

WR Tajae Sharpe, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 27 - 1 (3 targets)
Tajae Sharpe played behind Taywan Taylor as the third receiver for the Titans and was targeted only three times, but he made the most of his opportunities with a couple big receptions. His first catch came on a slant route where Sharpe was left wide open in the middle of the field, allowing him to easily pick up 16 yards. Sharpe’s next reception was a big one, coming late in the fourth quarter as he ran a clean route that ended in an 11-yard touchdown reception--Sharpe’s first touchdown of the season.