Eagles

Eagles 34, Redskins 24: Studs, duds, turning point and more

Eagles 34, Redskins 24: Studs, duds, turning point and more

The Eagles didn't look like the best team in the NFL. Not even close.

For most of the first half on Monday Night Football, the Eagles were a mess. They were committing penalties, giving up big plays and floundering on offense.

Then things changed.

Then Carson Wentz started to look like an MVP. And then the Eagles started to look like the team fans in Philadelphia have become used to seeing over the first half of the season.

They started to look like the best team in the NFL again.

The Eagles recovered from their early missteps to beat Washington 34-24 at the Linc on Monday night to remain in control of the division and the conference (see 10 observations).

With the win, the Eagles are 6-1 and are all alone with the best record in the NFL. They also gained more ground, sweeping the season series with Washington, which fell to 3-3.

While the Eagles picked up a big win, they did suffer a couple losses. Jason Peters (knee) and Jordan Hicks (ankle) both left the game and did not return. The Eagles have lost important players before but these will be hard to overcome. 

Wentz was dynamic on Monday Night Football. In a second straight nationally televised game, Wentz dazzled and showed why his name is at the forefront of the NFL MVP discussion.

Wentz completed 17 of 25 passes for 268 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. His four touchdowns went to four different receivers. Wentz finished the game with a passer rating of 126.3. It's the third game in a row he's had a passer rating over 100 and it's just the sixth such game of his career.

Turning point
The Eagles looked awful early in the game, but then they broke out of a funk when Wentz hit Mack Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown bomb. That changed the game and brought some life back into the Linc.

Key stat
Before the Arizona game, Wentz had never had a three-touchdown game. He has three in a row now and 11 in three games.

Wentz has more touchdown passes in the last three games (11) than 19 teams have all season.

Offensive stud
Wentz is the real deal. After a bad start, he made some spectacular plays and carried the team. He's a legitimate MVP candidate.

Offensive dud
Torrey Smith didn't have much of an impact. He didn't have a catch and was targeted just once.

Defensive stud
Malcolm Jenkins played a great game on Monday night. He was everywhere. He stopped Jordan Reed on a key third down before Wentz hit Hollins on the deep touchdown pass.

Defensive dud
We'll give this to Najee Goode but that's probably unfair. It looked like Chris Thompson was his responsibility on the touchdown. Hard duty, as Jim Schwartz would say.

Key plays
• Corey Graham picked off a Kirk Cousins pass to give the Eagles great field position and Jake Elliott drilled a 42-yarder to add three more points.

• On 3rd-and-8, Wentz somehow pulled off a magic trick and escaped a sure sack. He was able to escape and scramble for 17 yards. He capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. It was Wentz's fourth TD pass of the game and it put the Eagles up 31-17.

• Cousins hit Reed on a short touchdown pass to cut into the Eagles' lead. It made the score 24-17.

• Wentz threw a ridiculous pass while getting hit by two guys and hit Corey Clement in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. Clement tapped both feet in to put the Eagles up 24-10.

• After a Washington three-and-out, Wentz and the Eagles got the ball with 1:52 left in the half and drove down to score another touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 46-yarder to Zach Ertz, who then caught a four-yard touchdown pass to put the Eagles up 17-10.

• Wentz hit Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown bomb in the second quarter to tie the game at 10-10. It was Wentz's fourth 50-yard pass of the season. He had just three all last season.

• Cousins found Thompson for a seven-yard touchdown to put Washington up 10-3. Thompson was wide open in the flat and the Eagles were missing Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks.

• Elliott drilled a 50-yarder to start the second-quarter scoring. It was his 11th straight make.

• Derek Barnett picked up his first solo sack to end a Washington drive in the first quarter. It came at a good time.

• After Washington kicked a field goal on their opening drive, the Eagles' first offensive drive was a disaster. They had four penalties and gained just five yards. It ended when Wentz threw a deep interception that was basically an interception.

Injuries
Ronald Darby (ankle) might return next week but was inactive against Washington. So was Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), who popped up on the Eagles' injury report during the week.

The Eagles lost Hicks (ankle) on the second play of the game and Peters (knee) on the first drive of the second half (see story).

Up next
The Eagles have two more home games before their bye week. Next Sunday, they'll face the winless 49ers and then face the Broncos before their week off.

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

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AP Images

Eagles no longer have best odds to win Super Bowl

After a beatdown of the Cowboys Sunday night, the Eagles remain the most likely team in the NFL to win the Super B... wait, what? The evil empire has taken over? OK, Vegas. 

The Patriots (11/4) have passed the Eagles (15/4) and now have the best odds to win the Super Bowl, according to Bovada. However, the Eagles' odds actually improved from the previous week (5/1).

The Patriots (8-2) are riding a six-game winning streak and seem to be back on track after a 2-2 start. 

However, Bovada did hilariously troll the rest of the NFC East by taking the divisional odds off the boards.

"Odds for this division are off the board due to the enormous lead of the Eagles," reads the site.

The Eagles' odds to win the NFC also improved from 12/5 to 19/10. That puts them atop the NFC, ahead of the Saints (15/4) and the Vikings (11/2).

Unfortunately, you can't bet on the Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell saga. At least not yet.

Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott moving through concussion protocol

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Eagles Injury Update: Jake Elliott moving through concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has not yet cleared the NFL's concussion protocol, but he's getting closer. 

And head coach Doug Pederson thinks Elliott will be able to play Sunday. 

"I do believe and I feel in the bottom of my heart that Jake will be ready," Pederson said. 

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of the game against the Cowboys, which forced the Eagles to finish the game without a real kicker. Kamu Grugier-Hill filled in on kickoffs and the offense went for two-point conversions after touchdowns. 

"Obviously, we'll take it day by day with [Elliott] and we're hoping obviously," Pederson said. "At the same time, we have to have a backup plan if that doesn't come true. As of right now, everything is looking good for him, where he's at right now."

While Elliott hasn't cleared the concussion protocol, he is apparently moving through it quickly. He was in meetings Wednesday and even participated in practice. He's apparently in Stage 4 of the NFL's concussion protocol, which allows him to kick. 

If Elliott isn't ready for game action Sunday, the Eagles have a couple options. The first would be to bring back Caleb Sturgis from injured reserve. Sturgis hurt his hip in the opener, which actually allowed Elliott to come in and win the job. 

Sturgis has been kicking and rehabbing and Pederson said Sturgis is "close" to being able to return. In order to activate Sturgis, the Eagles would need to cut someone to create a roster space. 

But if Sturgis and Elliott are both not ready for the game Sunday against the Bears, the Eagles would need to go outside of the organization and sign a kicker. They're obviously hoping they don't have to do that. 

Either way, the Eagles are going to have a kicker against the Bears. When asked if he would consider going into a game without a real kicker, Pederson flatly said "no." 

"You definitely want somebody that can kick," Pederson said. "A professional kicker."

Grugier-Hill filled in adequately on kickoffs against the Cowboys but did not attempt an extra point or field goal. He became the emergency kicker after Chris Maragos was lost for the season with a torn PCL. 

Maragos was at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday and said he got a kick out of watching Grugier-Hill kick off. He texted him to compliment him on his "golden toe."