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LONDON (CBS) — Everyone was wrong in Brandon Graham’s world as the Eagles’ defensive end was playfully pointing fingers at fans and media lining the path to the Eagles’ dressing room beneath Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The fact was, there was a lot wrong with the Eagles before they wrenched away a 24-18 victory over the listing Jacksonville Jaguars and keeping their season alive.
The Eagles are now 4-4 with the bye week, possibly a game out of first place in the NFC East, with still a lot to fix what is wrong—despite what Graham thinks.
Carson Wentz completed 21 of 30 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Wentz was also sacked four times for minus-24 yards. Wentz completed passes to nine different receivers—including himself.
But there were numerous unsung heroes in this. One was Josh Adams, who rushed for 61 yards on 9 carries, translating into 6.7 yards a carry. The other was Jordan Matthews, who caught a team-high four passes for 93 yards, including a 36-yard reception with 13:10 left in the game on a first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 25. That completion led to Zach Ertz’s 5-yard reception from Wentz with 9:55 left in the game.
With 3:32 left, Wentz hit Matthews for a 13-yard gain and a fresh set of downs at the Jags’ 35.
This was an ugly game, as Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins predicted it would be earlier in the week. And it didn’t start well for the Eagles. They turned the ball over on their first two drives. Tackle Jason Peters failed to switch off blocks and pick up the looping Marcell Dareus, who bolted around Peters to strip-sack Carson Wentz on the Eagles’ first drive.
On the second drive, Wentz tried to force the ball into the end zone and it was picked off by Jacksonville’s loquacious Jalen Ramsey.
The Eagles then scored on three of their next seven possessions, two were touchdowns and it includes going into their victory formation.
The game started with an offensive line that went, left to right, Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson. By the second quarter, it looked like this: Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Kelce, Brooks and Seumalo.
Not good, obviously.
For once this season, the Eagles dealt with the adversity.
With 6:48 left, Adams, who had been running great, looked like he fumbled the ball to Jacksonville. But the replay determined that Adams’ was on the ground when the ball came free. It was fortunate because Wentz was sacked by Yannick Ngakoue for seven yards with just over six minutes to play, then a dubious call on third down to go to Nelson Agholor and not throw the ball up field was a head-scratcher.
Fortunately, Blake Bortles was on the other side, and Jacksonville turned the ball over on downs.
The Eagles ran out the clock and they’re able to breathe again entering their bye week.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins fumble recovery and 11-yard return with 1:29 to go in the first half. It created the Wentz-to-Dallas Goedert 32-yard TD pass and a 10-6 Eagles’ halftime lead. Jenkins later came up with a great play on second-and-10 from the Eagles’ 15 when he broke up a pass intended towards Dede Westbrook in the end zone with 13:21 left in the game.
Carson Wentz’s first completion—to himself, which went for four yards and a first down with 13:44 left in the first quarter. Wentz showed great athleticism reaching the ball and reacting.
Wentz’s third-down completion to Jordan Matthews for 31 yards on third-and-14 while falling down, with 12:27 left in the quarter. Then Wentz fumbled the ball away on the next play.
Wentz hitting Alshon Jeffery for a 12-yard pass on third-and-9 at the Eagles’ 6. The completion sparked the Eagles’ longest drive this season, a 9-play, 95-yard drive that resulted in Wendell Smallwood’s 36-yard TD reception off a screen.
Cornerback Avonte Maddox coming up to stuff Carlos Hyde on third-and-1 at the Eagles’ 32 to force the jags into a first-quarter field goal. Maddox came up with another great play late in the first half when his hit jarred the ball loose from Keelan Cole and recovered by Jenkins, setting up the Eagles’ first TD.
Great play design by Doug Pederson on the 39-yard completion from Wentz to Nelson Agholor at 3:07 of the first quarter. Two plays later, the Eagles turned the ball over a second time in the first quarter when Wentz threw an interception in the end zone.
The combined 7-yard second-quarter sack from Jordan Hicks and Michael Bennett, which pushed the Jags back to the Eagles’ 49.
Defensive end Chris Long’s 8-yard sack on the last play of the first quarter.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks’ 1.5 sacks for minus-13 yards.
Running back Josh Adams’ big gains and rushing for 61 yards on 9 carries, translating into 6.7 yards a carry.
Receiver Jordan Matthews caught a team-high four passes for 93 yards, including a 36-yard reception with 13:10 left in the game that set up on a first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 25. With 3:32 left, Wentz hit Matthews for a 13-yard gain and a fresh set of downs at the Jags’ 35.
Defensive end Brandon Graham losing contain on Blake Bortles on first-and-10 at the Jacksonville 41 with 9:33 left in the first quarter. Graham knew it, too.
The Eagles wasting a timeout with 12:52 left in the third quarter when time ran out on the play clock. Wentz hit Alshon Jeffrey with a 12-yard reception on third-and-9, making it the sixth third-down conversion on eight chances.
Jenkins biting on Westbrook’s double move on third-and-7 at the Eagles’ 11, which resulted in Jacksonville’s first touchdown with 4:38 in the third quarter.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks losing T.J. Yeldon third-and-4 at the Jacksonville 42 with 8:16 to play. The completion resulted in a 37-yard play.
Wentz fumbling away on the first possession.
Wentz throwing an interception on the second possession.
Tackle Jason Peters failing to switch off blocks and pick up the looping Marcell Dareus, who bolted around Peters to strip-sack Wentz on the Eagles’ first drive.
Linebacker D.J. Alexander being called for unnecessary roughness on touchback with 2:43 left in the first half. (How does that even happen?).
Linebacker Nigel Bradham getting flagged for hitting Bortles when he was down with 7:47 left to play. The penalty brought the ball to the Eagles’ 8.