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Eagles vs. Rams Week 15 observations and reaction

Is it really happening again?

The season died last week in Dallas, that was the narrative. Then the Tuesday bombshell came about Carson Wentz’s back. If it wasn’t over before, it was surely over then. The 13-point Philadelphia Eagles were now limping into Los Angeles to take on the 11-2 Rams in a must-win scenario.

That task wasn’t too daunting for Nick Foles.

The Super Bowl LII MVP calmly and cooly spread the ball around and was pin-point with his accuracy when he had to be. Foles also got aided by Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Avonte Maddox and a re-invigorated defense en route to a stunning 30-23 Eagles upset win over Los Angeles at the Coliseum.

Go get your masks back out, it’s Underdog SZN!

Foles was given protection by the offensive line, who double-teamed Aaron Donald consistently throughout the night. Donald came in with 16 1/2 of LA’s 34 sacks on the season. Philly was mimicking was Chicago did last week, take Donald away and make other pass rushers win, which they did not. Foles finished 24-of-31 for 270 yards with an interception.

Foles was emotional after the game.

“It’s been really emotional. You hate for your teammate to get hurt. I feel really bad for Carson.

“What you’ve done in the past, what I’ve done in the past, it doesn’t matter when you step on that field. It’s a new day. So I was dealing with the emotions, but prepping as hard as I could, and then realizing I’m not alone. I have great teammates out there. All I have to do is spread the ball around, lean on them, stay in the moment, and we were able to do that tonight. Today was a huge win for us.”

As we saw last winter, the Eagles are more than just their star quarterback Wentz. Doug Pederson reiterated that.

“It’s not about one guy, and it never has been. It’s about the team. That’s what that locker room focuses on.”

Jared Goff might’ve been sacked just once, but Cox and Bennett were in Goff’s face alot. Goff labored through a 35-of-54 effort, totaling 339 yards and two picks. Todd Gurley was also limited to 48 yards on 12 carries, which is only four yards per tote for a guy coming in with a mark of 4.9.

Avonte Maddox’s return to the secondary provided a huge spark. He had a key interception and made a key tackle late in the game to keep Gurley inbounds, forcing the Rams into one final play before time expired.

The Eagles ripped off 17 straight points coming out of the locker room after the game was tied 13-13 heading into the break. Both teams began the second half with three-and-outs, but Alshon Jeffery hauled in a 50-yard reception, coming down with it despite Nelson Agholor also being in the area. Jeffery, who caught eight balls for 160 yards, broke wide open on the play and had to adjust to the underthrown pass following the shot on Foles. Smallwood scored from nine yards out a play later and added a field goal later in the third after forcing another Rams three-and-out.

Then things started getting weird.

Goff stumbled after taking a snap on an attempted handoff, then lost it again while trying to regather it. Corey Graham plucked the ball from mid-air for the interception and Wendell Smallwood’s 4-yard scamper expanded the advantage to 30-13.

Philadelphia then got good field position when a Rams fake punt was ruled incomplete following a review.

That’s when Foles made his lone mistake of the night, getting suckered into throwing this pick to Aqib Talib.

With momentum on the Rams’ side, a Greg Zuerlein 37-yard field goal preceded a Gurley 1-yard TD run, which clawed the Rams within 30-23 with 4:06 to play. Equipped with a pair of timeouts, LA looked to be in a good position. The Rams got the three-and-out they wanted, but JoJo Natson muffed the punt.

Philly subsequently drained the clock until the 1:13 mark, when Jake Elliott missed from 53 yards out and gave the Rams one final chance to tie. That’s when Maddox stepped up and made the tackle of Gurley inbounds, preceding the final heave, which fell harmlessly incomplete.

As for potential No. 6 seed scenarios, Eagles have to beat both Houston and Washington to close the year, while needing one loss apiece from Minnesota and Carolina. The Vikings play at Detroit and Chicago at home, while Carolina plays New Orleans twice with a game against Atlanta at home mixed in. There’s also the other possibility of Seattle losing twice, which I don’t think is likely with a Week 17 home game against Arizona awaiting if it faulters against Kansas City next week.

“Our backs have been against the wall for the last few weeks. Hopefully this gives us momentum for the rest of the season. Our goals are still in front of us.”

Yes they are, it’s nice to be excited in December about Eagles football again!


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here.

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