Eagles

Best of NFL: Jared Goff, stingy Rams defense halt Saints' winning streak

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Best of NFL: Jared Goff, stingy Rams defense halt Saints' winning streak

LOS ANGELES  -- Jared Goff passed for 354 yards and hit Sammy Watkins and rookie Josh Reynolds for touchdowns, and the Rams snapped the Saints' eight-game winning streak in a meeting of NFC division leaders with a 26-20 win.

NFL scoring leader Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals for the Rams (8-3), who earned their fifth victory in six games. For the first time since 2006, this revitalized franchise is guaranteed not to finish the regular season with a losing record.

Los Angeles turned in a gritty defensive effort against the high-scoring Saints (8-3), holding Drew Brees to 246 yards passing -- just 96 in the first three quarters -- and sacking him three times.

Alvin Kamara made an early 74-yard touchdown run and a late TD reception for the Saints, who finally lost for the first time since Sept. 17.

One week after rallying from 15 points down late in the fourth quarter to beat Washington in overtime, the Saints fell behind on the opening drive and never caught up (see full recap).

Julio Jones' big game leads Falcons past Buccaneers 34-20
ATLANTA -- Julio Jones hauled in 12 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in one of the best games of his career.

Rekindling memories of the Super Bowl, the Falcons (7-4) nearly squandered a big lead to a team playing its third game without injured quarterback Jameis Winston. The Buccaneers (4-7) rebounded from a 27-6 deficit behind backup Ryan Fitzpatrick and drove deep into Atlanta territory after forcing a fumble at the other end of the field.

But Keanu Neal battled down Fitzpatrick's pass on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 18 with just over seven minutes remaining, and the Falcons drove for a clinching touchdown on Tevin Coleman's 14-yard run with just under two minutes to go.

Jones, who had only one touchdown catch through the first 10 games, doubled that total in the first half. He hauled in a 51-yard scoring pass from fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu and went 25 yards for a TD on a throw from Matt Ryan, finishing off the play with a spectacular dive for the pylon.

Jones now has three games in his brilliant career with at least 250 yards receiving. He had a career-high 300 yards vs. Carolina last season and 259 at Green Bay in 2014. No other player in NFL history has more than one game with 250 yards receiving (see full recap).

Kuechly, Clay lead Panthers to 35-27 comeback win over Jets
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Luke Kuechly returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown and Kaelin Clay had a 60-yard punt return for a score, capping a stunning swing in the fourth quarter that lifted the Panthers.

It was the fourth straight victory for the Panthers (8-3), who were trying to keep pace with the first-place Saints in the NFC South. The teams meet next Sunday at New Orleans.

This one turned in a span of 2 minutes, 11 seconds on mistakes by the Jets (4-7) -- and the Panthers taking advantage.

First, Kuechly scooped up a fumble by Josh McCown, who was sacked by Wes Horton and had the ball knocked out of his hand as he was about to throw, and rumbled to the end zone for a touchdown.

Cam Newton then hurdled over linebacker Jordan Jenkins for the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers a 26-20 lead with 12:05 left.

Then Clay fielded Lachlan Edwards' kick and spun out of a tackle attempt and sped into the end zone (see full recap).

Seahawks overcome slow start, earn 24-13 win over 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns to give him 150 career TDs passing and also ran for a short score.

Wilson connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Vannett in the third quarter, and a 1-yarder early in the fourth to Jimmy Graham, whose 16 TD receptions passed Jerramy Stevens for most by a Seattle tight end.

Jimmy Garoppolo made his 49ers debut with 1:07 remaining after starting quarterback C.J. Beathard went down on a hit by Michael Bennett as he threw a pass. Garoppolo -- acquired from New England at the trade deadline last month and hoped by the 49eers (1-10) to stay on the shelf a little longer -- immediately scrambled to gain 4 yards and found Louis Murphy for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired.

Wilson completed 20 of 34 passes for 228 yards and moved past Joe Flacco to become the winningest quarterback in his first six seasons with 63 victories.

The Seahawks (7-4) won their ninth straight in the series in a streak that began with the NFC title game in January 2014 at Seattle (see full recap).

Film Review: Eagles go back to same play with Nick Foles

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Film Review: Eagles go back to same play with Nick Foles

Arguably the best and worst play in the Eagles' 43-35 win Sunday over the Rams came on the same call from Doug Pederson. 

The interception in the first quarter and the key 3rd-and-8 conversion late in the fourth were nearly identical. Carson Wentz was the quarterback for the first one, Nick Foles ran the second. 

Give credit to Pederson. The play clearly didn't work the first time, but he went back to it at a pivotal moment in the game. That's trusting the play and trusting the backup quarterback. 

Let's first take a look at that early interception: 

 

It's 3rd-and-5 from the Eagles' 30-yard line. Wentz is in shotgun with LeGarrette Blount flanking him. One tight end on the same side. Alshon Jeffery at the top of the screen, Torrey Smith at the bottom. Nelson Agholor (circled) is being given a cushion by Rams cornerback Nickell Roby-Coleman. The aptly named cornerback is the Rams' slot corner in their nickel package. 


The running back and tight end stay in to block, which creates a lot of room in the middle of the field for Agholor vs. Roby-Coleman. Wentz is locked in. The Eagles need to get to the 35-yard line for a first down, so Agholor reaches the top of his route at the 39, before cutting back. 

You can see there's not much of a window here, but this is a back shoulder throw that has to be perfect. 

It's a tight window, and although Wentz hits Agholor in the hands, Roby-Coleman is able to get a paw in there to deflect it to Kayvon Webster, who broke toward the play. Webster picked off the ball on the deflection and the Rams took over in Eagles' territory and scored a few plays later. 

So the play didn't work the first time. Had the throw been absolutely perfect and if Agholor could have made a great catch, it would have. But this is a play that has to be perfect to work. 

The next time, it was. 

This probably looks pretty familiar. It's 3rd-and-8 from the Eagles' 23-yard line. With 1:52 left in a two-point game, they know if they pick up this first down, they can pretty much run down the clock and escape Los Angeles with a win. This is huge. 

Same play. This time, Foles is in shotgun with Blount next to him. The tight end on the same side; both will block again. Jeffery and Smith are the wideouts. But we'll focus on Agholor (circled). He's against Roby-Coleman again and has that cushion. 


Foles is locked on Agholor, just like Wentz was in the first quarter, but there's just not much separation. Really, there's no separation. Roby-Coleman plays this really well. 

Foles needs his pass to be absolutely perfect. He needs to put it in a spot where only Agholor can catch it. 

How's this for perfect? 

On this particular play, Foles actually threw a better pass than Wentz did in the first quarter. Now, Foles obviously isn't going to be Wentz, but this pass should at least give fans some confidence. 

And confidence isn't lacking. At an absolutely pivotal moment of the game, Pederson went back to a play that produced an interception the first time. And he went back to it with his backup quarterback who hasn't really played much all season. It was gutsy, it worked out and it shows the head coach's confidence in his new QB.

On Wednesday, Pederson pointed out Foles and Agholor were able to complete this pass after not working together all week or all season. All those reps have been going to Wentz. Now, Foles will get the chance to work with Agholor and the other starters the rest of the way. 

Report: Carson Wentz has surgery on torn left ACL

Report: Carson Wentz has surgery on torn left ACL

Carson Wentz underwent surgery Wednesday on his torn left ACL, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

The surgery was performed by Dr. James Bradley, a Pittsburgh-based orthopedic knee specialist, per Mortensen.

The typical recovery timetable for an NFL player with a torn ACL is 9-12 months. 

Two days after Wentz suffered the depressing injury in Los Angeles, he was at the Eagles’ practice facility Tuesday helping Nick Foles game plan for the Giants, even though it was the players’ day off (see story).

While Wentz recovers, the Eagles anticipate he’ll put on his “coaching hat” and do what he can to assist the offense.