A narrow 24-18 win over the Jaguars (see observations) may not seem impressive, but the Eagles needed a lot of “A” performances from stars to pull out the victory in London.
Carson Wentz: 21/30, 286 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT
One of Wentz’s most impressive performances to date considering he was under constant pressure. Navigated messy pockets, hit the deck when necessary and showed escapability, rushing six times for 28 yards. Fumbled and threw a pick on Eagles’ opening possessions, then led scoring drives on four of next six possessions. Touchdowns two and three were special plays.
Josh Adams: 9 ATT, 61 YDS
Replay saved Adams from a near-fumble at the Eagles’ own 35-yard line in the fourth quarter, almost negating earlier gains of 21 and 17 yards. Wendell Smallwood took a screen 36 yards to the house, while Corey Clement’s five touches went for five yards. Pass protection was a serious issue.
Wide receivers/tight ends
Jordan Matthews: 4 REC, 93 YDS
Matthews made big plays — two receptions over 30 yards — and clutch plays, including a 36-yard gain on the decisive scoring drive, and a 13-yard grab to help ice the game. Five players had at least 26 yards receiving, including Dallas Goedert with a 32-yard catch-and-run to the end zone and Zach Ertz, who caught the five-yard game-winner.
Lane Johnson exited and did not return and Jason Peters missed a few series, thrusting unreliable Halapoulivaati Vaitai into action. Then again, Vaitai wasn’t on the field when Wentz got clocked from behind and fumbled on the Eagles’ opening possession. The quarterback bailed the O-line out.
Chris Long: 2 TKL, 1 TFL, 2.0 SK
The Eagles weren’t able to mount much of a pass rush without blitzing. Only six quarterback hits on 49 dropbacks from the front four, though two sacks for Long and a half-sack for Michael Bennett. Fletcher Cox also came up big when it mattered most with back-to-back pressures on third and fourth down of the Jaguars’ final series, including a batted pass.
Jordan Hicks: 12 TKL, 1 TFL, 1.5 SK
The blitz was effective in part because Hicks is so disruptive. He’s usually all over the field, but this was a ton of plays in the backfield even for him. Nigel Bradham added seven tackles and a pass breakup. The unit did a nice job limiting a scrambling quarterback.
Malcolm Jenkins: 4 TKL, 2 PD, 1 FR
Jenkins and Avonte Maddox each surrendered a touchdown, but created more big plays than they gave up. Maddox altered the momentum permanently with a forced fumble in Eagles territory. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Rasul Douglas — subbing for an injured Jalen Mills — had quietly strong games as well. Nickel cornerback Dexter McDougle was the obvious weak link.
Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 3/3 XP
Perfect kicking day was needed from Elliott. A 29-yard Jaguars’ punt return was not great for the coverage unit.
Eagles’ record: 4-4
Kudos to Jim Schwartz this week, recognizing the defensive line wasn’t getting the job done and bringing extra pressure pretty frequently. Didn’t get the sense either Schwartz or Doug Pederson took the foot off the gas pedal, either. There are a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball, but the game plan was built to suit the personnel that’s out there. Bonus points for winning in London.
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