The Stretch Drive
And so it began in 2018. After 12 games the defending world champions sit at 6 and 6. They are in danger of not only missing the playoffs but finishing with a losing record. Beat up in the secondary and at running back the Eagles needed more than ever to come together as a team. The Eagles stretch drive starts now.
The Eagles have had success in big D. They travel to Texas having won three of the last four even if two of the games went to overtime. This game held recent trends to a point. Philadelphia and Dallas again played bonus football but the Cowboys came out on top in this one. Despite going 22 of 32 for 22 yards and three touchdowns, Carson Wentz was outplayed by Dak Prescott.
Only able to muster 34 total yards on the ground the defense couldn’t get off the field. Prescott hammered the Eagles to the tune of 455 yards through the air along with three touchdowns of his own. The Cowboys controlled the clock. Plus 23 minutes in time of possession if you include the overtime frame. Philadelphia couldn’t make a stop in OT and went home at 6-7 after falling 29 to 23. At least Wentz was starting to be Carson Wentz again though. On to LA.
About this LA Thing
“Here’s what I can confirm,” Pederson said that Friday before the Rams game. “That he has a stress injury, that this thing has evolved over time, and it requires zero surgery to heal.”
Head coach Doug Pederson is, of course, talking about the fractured vertebrae in Wentz’s back. The good news is that it will heal without surgery. The bad news is that it has to heal at all. I do not consider Wentz injury prone. That is a topic for another time.
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The Nick Foles magic show returned to the same field it started on last year. The Rams, one of the best teams in football were a formidable foe to right the ship against but that’s what happened. The Eagles defense showed signs of gelling when it counted. Holding Todd Gurley and company to 82 yards rushing is tough. Foles despite shaking off some rust was efficient with the football. Completing 24 of 31 with one interception, Foles led the Eagles to a 30 – 23 victory in LA to even the Eagles record at 7-7. Philadelphia also climbed back into the wild-card conversation.
Ok, after a hard-fought first half that left the Eagles trailing by three. Philadelphia came out with some fire and put 16 unanswered up on JJ Watt and company. Then held on through a furious Houston comeback. Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes, sandwiched around a three and out by the Eagles, in 2:38 seconds.
Trailing 29-30 with 2:04 seconds left Philadelphia started on their own 11-yard line. Converting two huge third and ten situations and aided by a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty, the game rested squarely on Jake Elliott’s shoulders. Elliott was up to the task knocking in a 35 yarder that sent the #flyeaglesfly gang home with a 32 -30 win, It also kept the defending champs in the wildcard hunt. They would need some help, however, to make the playoff field.
Washington To Wrap It Up
The embattled Washington Redskins hosted the Eagles at FedExField in the regular season finale. The Philadelphia defense was outstanding in this one. Take away the 30 yards that the Redskins lost from sacks and they had 89 total yards. A 24 to 0 win, well, that’s just old fashion case of imposing your will on an opponent. It’s something that doesn’t happen on the road in Washington very often.
Even though dominating the final game, the Eagles, as I mentioned before needed help to qualify for the playoffs. They got it. The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 24 to 10 knocking out the Vikings and propelling the defending champs into the postseason. It set up the Eagles at those same Bears in the wildcard round. Here we go, on to the playoffs.