Eagles clinch homefield, look far from No. 1 seed in process

Eagles clinch homefield, look far from No. 1 seed in process


Ever get a good Christmas present but the wrapping job was really bad?

That's kind of what happened at the Linc on Christmas night.

The Eagles beat the Raiders, 19-10, to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield throughout the playoffs, but it wasn't pretty. It really wasn't pretty (see Roob's observations).

Nick Foles struggled and there was a ton of sloppy play. It still counts, but it's fair to question a lot about this team as the playoffs near. At least the defense really tightened up.

Late in the game, after a sloppy evening, Ronald Darby had a huge interception and the offense was finally able to do enough to get Jake Elliott into field goal range. The rookie hit a 48-yarder to win the game before the defense held one more time.

With the win, the Eagles improved to 13-2 and have a 13-win season for the second time in franchise history. The other one came in the 2004 Super Bowl season.

With the loss, the Raiders fell to 6-9 as their disappointing season continues. Oakland had high hopes coming into the year, but things haven't gone its way.

Foles threw an early touchdown pass, but the offense sputtered with him at quarterback Monday. The loss of Carson Wentz was really felt Monday and if this game was a glimpse into the future, you might want to hold off on buying those tickets to Minnesota.

Turning point
The Darby interception gave Foles and the offense a chance. They did enough to get Elliott in field goal range.

Key stat
The Eagles were 1 for 14 on third downs. That was an area where they excelled with Wentz, who found unique ways to make plays.

Offensive stud
Zach Ertz had a good game statistically but got most of his yards in the first half.

Offensive dud
Not a great game from Foles (see report card). Without Wentz, the offense just seemed limited Monday night.

Defensive stud
Chris Long seemed to have a good game. He had a strip sack and had good pressure a lot of the game.

Defensive dud
Jalen Mills was roasted on a double move (sluggo) in the first half. He was beaten on a double move last week too.

Key plays
• The Eagles scored on the last meaningless play of the game (although it meant something to plenty of gamblers) to make the final score 19-10.

• Darby picked off a pass with just under a minute left to give the Eagles the ball back near midfield. After Foles moved the Eagles into field goal range, Elliott drilled a 48-yard game-winner.

• It looked like the Raiders were nearing a score to give them a late lead, but Malcolm Jenkins ripped the ball from Jalen Richard's hands to give the ball back to Foles and the offense. That came after Foles threw an interception on a high pass to Ertz.

• Late in the third quarter, there were three turnovers in 38 seconds. First, Patrick Robinson picked a pass off, then Jay Ajayi fumbled, then Marshawn Lynch fumbled. At the end of all that, Elliott hit a 35-yarder to tie the game at 10-10.

• Richard broke off a 34-yard run on the first drive of the second half and Giorgio Tavecchio hit a 25-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 10-7 lead.

• After a drive to get down to the Raiders' 15-yard line with seconds left in the first half, kicker Elliott missed a 33-yard chip shot that would have given the Eagles a lead. Instead, the score was 7-7 after two quarters.

• Mills, who came into the game with an ankle injury, was roasted by Amari Cooper on a sluggo route that went for 63 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles have given up five 60-plus-yard passes this year. No team has given up more.

• Foles threw a terrible pass early in the second quarter that was nearly a pick-6. Safety Reggie Nelson jumped the route and had daylight in front of him but dropped the pass.

• The Eagles opened up the scoring on their second drive of the game. After running the ball down the Raiders' throats, Foles threw a screen pass to Ajayi that went 17 yards for the touchdown.

Injury update
Stefen Wisniewski (ankle) missed the game after being listed as questionable heading in. Chance Warmack started in his place.

Up next
The Eagles will finish out the regular season next weekend, on New Year's Eve, with a 1 p.m. kickoff at home against the Cowboys, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Nick Foles leads entire NFL in player sales merchandise this offseason

Nick Foles leads entire NFL in player sales merchandise this offseason

Everyone knows the plan is for Nick Foles to eventually head back to the bench in favor of Carson Wentz.

Apparently, Eagles fans just didn’t care.

Because when the NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales list for the first quarter of 2018 was released on Thursday, Foles was right at the top for all officially licensed merchandise from March 1-May 31.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Nick Foles
2. Tom Brady 
3. Carson Wentz
4. Saquon Barkley
5. Dak Prescott
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Ezekiel Elliott
8. Jimmy Garoppolo
9. Odell Beckham Jr. 
10. Derek Carr

That means the NFC East took six of the top 10 spots, which is pretty wild.

But it’s even crazier to think that Foles went from starting last season as a backup to having more products with his likeness sold this offseason than any other player in the league, including the guy whose job he took and who is expected to take it back. He also beat that guy who didn’t catch a pass in the Super Bowl.

We definitely saw a Super Bowl spike in this list, starting with Foles, who led all players in photography products sold. I guess everyone wanted an image of him catching the football on the "Philly Special" or perhaps something with the now famous photo of Foles with his infant daughter. On the previous list from last year (from March 1, 2017-Feb. 28), Foles was at No. 22, so we should have seen this coming. Wentz held steady at No. 3, despite the injury and missing the Super Bowl.

Here’s every Eagle on the new list with their ranking on the last in parenthesis:

1. Nick Foles (22)
3. Carson Wentz (3) 
13. Zach Ertz (17)
33. Alshon Jeffery (43)
34. Brandon Graham (N/A)
46. Fletcher Cox (N/A)

The only Eagles player to drop out of the top 50 is Jay Ajayi (45), who is entering the final year of his current contract.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Foles can stay at or near the top of the list, especially if he starts the season on the bench. But based on the way most Eagles fans have celebrated the win in Super Bowl LII, Foles merchandise isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon.

More on the Eagles

Roob Knows: Reminding you how good Carson Wentz is

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Roob Knows: Reminding you how good Carson Wentz is

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank reminds fans of how good Carson Wentz is; despite the magical run from Nick Foles, don't forget about Wentz. Alshon Jeffery's impact goes well beyond his statistics. An unbelievable stat on Zach Ertz. And why Brian Dawkins is a truly unique athlete in Philadelphia sports history.

2:00 - Don't forget how good Carson Wentz is.
4:30 - Alshon Jeffery's value.
9:30 - Unbelievable Zach Ertz stat.
13:00 - Brian Dawkins' route to the Hall of Fame.
18:00 - Dawkins is a unique Philly sports figure because everyone adores him.

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