LONDON — A character win, big contributions from a couple unexpected sources, encouraging signs from Carson Wentz and much more in 10 Instant Observations off an ugly but important Eagles win.
The score: 24-18 over the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.
Man, the Eagles don’t make it easy on themselves, do they?
1. This was not an easy week with overnight travel Thursday into Friday, a practice on no sleep and then a game just two days later. This was ugly and it was scary and it was not the kind of football you want to see the Eagles playing, but they deserve credit for battling through it and finding a way to get a win they had to have. There's plenty to criticize and changes are necessary. But winning beats losing, and 24-18 over the Jaguars at Wembley is the most important thing. But there is definitely a lot of work to be done.
2. This is two weeks in a row now where the Eagles’ defense has struggled in the fourth quarter, and Jim Schwartz needs to figure out why this keeps happening soon. The Eagles allowed 21 fourth-quarter points in that collapse last week and the damage was less this week — two fourth-quarter field goals — but the Jaguars moved the ball up and down the field on their last two drives, and the damage would have been worse if a wide-open DJ Clark Jr. hadn’t dropped an easy TD pass with seven minutes left. The Eagles allowed points on five straight fourth-quarter drives before finally getting a crucial stop with 3½ minutes to go and a six-point lead. Not good.
3. Two things I really liked from Wentz Sunday: I liked how he used all his receivers instead of just locking in on Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery. In fact, four different guys had a catch of 30 yards or more and none of them were Ertz and Jeffery. And I just like how he dealt with a really rough start — turnovers on the first two drives for the first time since the Giants game in 2016. He bounced back and finished with typical Wentz numbers — 21 for 30 (70 percent) for 286 yards, with three TDs and the one interception. Big rebound from a rocky start.
4. Jordan Matthews is another one of those guys that fans love to hate for the crime of … I don’t even know exactly why fans don’t like him. And I don’t really care. But he’s a good player, and he’s helped out since returning to the Eagles. He was huge Sunday, with four catches for 93 yards, including two big third-down catches and a 36-yarder to set up the Eagles’ fourth-quarter TD.
5. It’s hard to imagine that the Eagles only have four interceptions in half a season. They had a shot at at least three of them Sunday and came up empty. They seem to get their hands on a lot of balls and just miss INTs all the time. These are plays they have to make. Especially against guys like Blake Bortles.
6. Have to love the way Avonte Maddox has been playing, and he was huge Sunday. First, he blew up Carlos Hyde on a 3rd-and-1 in the first quarter for a loss of one and then he forced a Keelan Cole fumble that Malcolm Jenkins recovered with a big hit just before halftime.
7. Josh Adams looks like a player, and I don’t get why he doesn’t stay in the game when he has the hot hand. On the Eagles’ first TD drive he had runs of seven and five yards and then disappeared for two drives. Next time he’s in? Career-long 21-yard run. Then he adds a huge 17-yard gain down to the 7-yard line to set up the Eagles’ fourth-quarter touchdown. Really like to see the back — whoever it is — that’s moving the chains get a chance to stay on the field. Adams only ran nine times Sunday (for 61 yards). That number has to be higher when he’s running like this.
8. Dallas Goedert is one impressive rookie. That touchdown was not only a nice catch, but he was very aggressive shedding Quenton Meeks at the 10-yard line and finding his way into the end zone. You can just see Goedert getting more and more comfortable each week. The kid definitely has a nose for the end zone. He has three TDs in his first eight games, which makes him the Eagles’ first tight end with three TDs in his first eight games since Charle Young in 1973.
9. There have been way too many instances this year where the offense puts together a great drive and scores a pivotal touchdown and then the defense just comes out and gives that touchdown right back. It happened last week in the Carolina loss after a 90-yard Eagles TD drive and it happened again Sunday after the Eagles took a 17-6 lead with another 90-yard drive. A stop would have really given them command of the game, but they let Bortles drive the Jaguars 75 yards down the field, which just shouldn’t happen. This defense has to figure out a way to make a statement after the offense scores a big TD and finish a team off.
10. The Eagles definitely have some questions to answer on the offensive line. Wentz was sacked four more times Sunday and on most of them, he just had no chance. The trade deadline is Tuesday, and if Lane Johnson is out for a significant amount of time and with Jason Peters kind of perennially hobbled, it’s an area the Eagles have to look at. Big V and Isaac Seumalo did their best Sunday to hold it down, but if you’re going to get this season right, you have to be better up front.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.