The Philadelphia Eagles took the flight overseas and were able to come out with a victory in London, 24-18 over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The game was hard fought and a few players were injured along the way. Here are our likes and dislikes from week 8:
1 – Carson Wentz: Carson Wentz rebounded from an early end zone INT by Jalen Ramsey and put up a fine statistical performance. Wentz threw for 286 yards and 3 TDs to go along with 28 yards rushing. Wentz now has back-to-back games with a QB rating of 119. With not much working early in the running game and his top WR Alshon Jeffery blanketed by Jalen Ramsey for most of the day, Wentz was able to find some secondary options to keep the offense moving. WR Jordan Matthews led the Eagles in receiving with 4 catches for 93 yards and rookie TE Dallas Goedert was able to reel in his lone target of the day and find the end zone for a 44-yard score.
2 – Avonte Maddox: The Eagles were hurt big time with the loss of Rodney McCleod a few weeks ago. The play of a rookie 4th round cornerback has helped heal the wound of the McCleod loss. Avonte Maddox has played above expectations after making a position change mid-season of his rookie year in the NFL. Maddox came up big this week with a “Dawkins-esq” forced fumble were he put his helmet right on the football while making a tackle, forcing the fumble and setting the Eagles offense up in good field position.
3 – Bringing Pressure: The fans all across Philadelphia this week were clamoring for Jim Schwartz to bring the blitz more often. Was he listening? This week sure looked like it. Schwartz brought the blitz far more often than in previous weeks and it paid off with Jordan Hicks racking up 1.5 sacks. The defensive line was also able to keep the pressure on Blake Bortles as the defense got to him for a total of 4 sacks, including 2 from Chris Long.
1 – The Injury Plage Continues: The Eagles have had their share of injuries throughout this first half of the NFL season. That trend continued in week 8. The Eagles lost RT Lane Johnson early in the first quarter. Johnson has a reported MCL sprain for which he is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks. With Lane already carted to the locker room, LT Jason Peters was next to leave in the second quarter. Peters was able to return in the second half but he continues to struggle to stay healthy for a full game. Finally, CB Jalen Mills exited with an apparent foot injury. The extent of Mill’s injury has yet to be determined, however, he was unable to return to the game. This lead to Rasual Douglas finally seeing some time on the outside at CB. Douglas was up and down throughout the rest of the game but the Mills injury put another needle in an already banged up secondary.
2 – Too Close for Comfort: The Eagles had the lead late in the fourth quarter, up 24-18 and trying to run the clock out. The give is to Josh Adams and as he attempts to fight for a few extra yards. The ball is ripped out of his hands and the fumble was recovered by the Jags and every Eagles fan was ready to throw the remote through their TV. Fortunately, the call was overturned. The Eagles offense nearly handed the ball back to the Jaguars. This game started to look a lot like that late loss to the Panthers a week ago. While they were able to run out the rest of the clock, the Eagles need to tighten it up and bury these teams when they have the lead in the fourth quarter. This came was too close for comfort late.
3 – Corey Clement is Struggling: The Eagles are searching for one of their running backs to take control of the backfield. Corey Clement, he ain’t it chief. In the last two games, Clement has a combined 12 carries for a grand total of 12 yards. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury and that may be partial to blame for his struggles. However, Clement has had an opportunity to show he can be a big part of this backfield for not only this season but the future as well. He has simply not taken advantage of this opputunity and is in danger of losing more and more snaps to rookie RB Josh Adams.
The Eagles head into their bye week at 4-4. They fly back to the states for some much need rest and recovery. Philadelphia will take this time to get healthy and make a strong push in the second half of the season.