Grading the Eagles: Performance in win over Rams earns 'A' | Paul Domowitch
The Eagles stayed committed to the run, recording three rushing touchdowns for the first time since 2016. The defense forced three turnovers and hung on for dear life in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles beat the Rams, 30-23, on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Paul Domowitch is handing out grades. Read his assessment and then offer up your own.
The Eagles made an early commitment to the ground game and stayed with it. They ran the ball 16 times in the first half and 30 times overall as their line took the fight to the Rams. The Eagles had three rushing touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2016, including two by Wendell Smallwood.
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So much for thinking Nick Foles would be rusty. Aside from an early-fourth quarter interception in the red zone, Foles turned in a solid performance, hitting receivers deep and short, and spreading the ball around to seven different people. He averaged 8.7 yards per attempt. Foles targeted Alshon Jeffery eight times and he caught all eight for a season-high 160 yards.
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The run defense was a little shaky in the first half. They gave up 75 yards, including 57 on first down. They did a better job on the Rams in the second half, holding them to seven yards on five carries. Todd Gurley, who finished with 48 yards on 12 carries, had back-to-back 21- and 9-yard runs in the first half, but just 18 yards on his other 10 carries.
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Things got a little hairy again in the fourth quarter. But for most of the game, the Eagles did a nice job of neutralizing Jared Goff and the Rams’ potent passing game. They kept the ball in front of them and with a few exceptions, limited the yards after the catch. Goff didn’t throw a touchdown pass, had two interceptions and was held to 6.3 yards per attempt by the Eagles.
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Jake Elliott hit three of four field goal attempts, including a 51-yarder that gave the Eagles an early lead. His only miss was a 53-yarder in the fourth quarter. The Eagles’ coverage units turned in one of their best performances of the season, shutting down the Rams’ two returners, Pharoh Cooper and JoJo Natson, and recovering a critical fourth-quarter fumble by Natson.
You lose an overtime heartbreaker to the Cowboys to fall to 6-7. You find out your starting quarterback probably is done for the season with a back injury. You have to fly across the country to play a team that has lost just twice in 13 games. If there ever was a time to mail it in, this was it. But they didn’t. The offense rallied behind Nick Foles. The defense kept Jared Goff out of the end zone and forced three turnovers. The special teams had one of their better games. And they flew back to Philly still kinda, sorta in the playoff hunt.
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