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The Eagles are living dangerously with these late-game comebacks | Early Birds

Over their last five games, the Eagles have outscored teams, 62-32, in the fourth quarter.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz dives into the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown past New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers on Thursday.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz dives into the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown past New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers on Thursday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Good morning. One thing you can say about the Eagles is that they aren’t boring. Thursday night’s 22-21 win over the visiting New York Giants came after the Eagles trailed by 21-10 with less than five minutes remaining.

Why the Eagles offense waited so long to erupt is a question that coach Doug Pederson will be looking at since there will be some extra time off before the Nov. 1 home game against the reeling Dallas Cowboys. This is a time for the Eagles to get some rest, have some injuries heal, and go to the drawing board and wonder why the recent late-game urgency isn’t shown throughout games.

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Having a few too many close calls

Every week, it seems, we talk about the fight that the Eagles show, and that’s certainly an admirable trait. However, if they want to be a playoff team — even though there’s a low bar to qualify in the NFC East — they are going to have to play consistently.

Sure it was exciting to see them rally from a 24-6 fourth-quarter deficit to get within 30-28 before missing a two-point conversion Sunday in a 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. And again in Thursday’s win, overcoming a 21-10 deficit with less than five minutes left showed great heart.

It also showed that there was little margin for error. The Eagles needed help, and Evan Engram’s drop of a Daniel Jones pass that hit him in stride allowed the Eagles to come back.

Leading, 21-16, the Giants had a third-and-7 from their own 47-yard line. Engram got open down field and dropped Jones' perfect pass with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game. Instead of a first down around the Eagles' 25-yard line, the Giants were forced to punt, and the Eagles then unleashed their game-winning drive.

In the Eagles' first two games, a 27-17 loss to Washington and a 37-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Eagles were outscored by a combined 26-3 in the fourth quarter.

Here is how the Eagles have done in the fourth quarter during the past five games:

Sept. 27: Cincinnati, 23-23 T, 7-6 fourth quarter

Oct. 4: at San Francisco, 25-20 W, 14-6 fourth quarter

Oct. 11: at Pittsburgh, 38-29 L, 7-7 fourth quarter

Oct. 18 Baltimore, 30-28 L, 22-6 fourth quarter

Oct. 22: NY Giants, 22-21, W, 12-7 fourth quarter

In the last five games, the Eagles have outscored teams in the fourth quarter, 62-32.

“Ideally, we don’t want to put ourselves in those situations,” quarterback Carson Wentz said.

That said, it’s a good reputation to have: a team that never gives up.

“We just keep on fighting,” said defensive end Brandon Graham, whose strip-sack led to a fumble recovery by Vinny Curry that sealed the win for the Eagles.

For the Eagles to be a better team, they will have to play, as the old saying goes, all four quarters. If Engram had caught that pass, the Eagles likely wouldn’t have won.

What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. After seven games, Mike Sielski doesn’t know what to make of the Eagles, but their most admirable trait is they don’t give up.

  2. Marcus Hayes writes that another inconsistent performance by Wentz almost cost the Eagles. Hayes labeled it an “empty-calorie win.”

  3. Jeff McLane writes that Pederson saved himself from having to live down the Hakeem Butler moment in the win. Early in the fourth quarter, on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Wentz threw an incomplete pass to Butler.

  4. EJ Smith writes that late in the fourth quarter, the Eagles defense stepped up and allowed the offense to make its comeback.

  5. Paul Domowitch’s five takeaways from the Eagles win includes a look at the Giant killer himself, Boston Scott.

  6. Domowitch gives grades from the game and not surprisingly, there were no A’s.

  7. In McLane’s Up-Down Drill, it’s no surprise that Scott, who scored the winning touchdown, led the players in the up category.

  8. Here is Smith’s game blog, with events as they happened and many videos of key plays.

  9. After Wentz engineered the comeback win, Pederson had high praise for his quarterback.

  10. Social media reaction to the game includes a comment from last season’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes.

  11. Les Bowen’s Eagles notes center on two players who returned from injury, Lane Johnson and DeSean Jackson. Both departed with injuries, too.

  12. Inquirer photographers Yong Kim and David Maialetti have their photo gallery of the game.

From the mailbag

Question: What veteran O-linemen can the team trade for and he can come in; learn the playbook ASAP and start? (What about Dez Bryant, Antonio Brown?) — Eugene Pough, via Facebook

Answer: Thanks for the question, Eugene. I don’t believe any team that is contending will be trading offensive linemen, and even non-contenders might not. That said, I would go to a team that is already out of it such as the Atlanta Falcons. An example would be Falcons guard James Carpenter. Now, I don’t know if he is available, but that is the type of player, an NFL veteran with a bad team.

As for Dez Bryant, there are reports that the former Cowboy is going to join Baltimore’s practice squad. There are also rumors that Antonio Brown could be signing with Seattle. Actually, one receiver who would really help the Eagles is Michael Gallup of Dallas, which has an abundance of receivers. I doubt, however, that Jerry Jones will want to trade with the Eagles.