3 takeaways from Eagles Week 15 victory over Rams

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It was not pretty nor easy, but the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) shocked the entire NFL world on Sunday night, defeating the Los Angeles Rams  30-23. It was another must-win game for the defending Super Bowl champs, especially with last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime.

Coming into this game, Philadelphia was listed as -13.5 point underdogs as they were without starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who has a fractured vertebra.

With Wentz on the shelf, veteran quarterback Nick Foles was back under center for the Eagles and did not look frazzled by the moment. Despite a second-half interception, Foles ran the offense to perfection and got multiple players involved, which led to a huge game for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

The defense had a huge game too, as they applied constant pressure to Rams quarterback Jared Goff and forced him into throwing two interceptions. It is now the fourth-straight game, where Philly’s defense has come away with an interception.

With the victory, the Eagles keep their faint playoff hopes alive with two games remaining in the regular season. Here are three takeaways from an exciting late-season road win:

1. Foles to Jeffery combo is still intact

Remember when Foles and Jeffery were in sync during last season’s Super Bowl run and everything was spot on between the two. On Sunday night, it appeared that the dynamic duo was in sync once again.

Foles and Jeffery hooked up a lot in this game, which led to big passing plays through the air. One of those big plays happened in the third quarter as Foles found Jeffery for a jump ball reception in the red zone.

It was a ridiculous play as the ball could have either gone to Jeffery or Nelson Agholor, who standing right next to him.

From there, you could see that it was going to be one of those games for Jeffery. The Eagles’ No.1 wide receiver had eight receptions on eight targets for 160 yards.

If Foles and Jeffery can keep this up for the next two weeks, then it should open up more lanes in the vertical passing game.

2. Defense stands tall, plays with pride

After giving 576 total yards of offense to the Cowboys and multiple big plays in the air, the Eagles’ defense had to look themselves in the mirror and figure out what type of unit would they be.

Would they be the unit that gave up big passing plays to Dallas or New Orleans? Or would they play with pride and exert themselves on their opponent?

If Sunday night was an indication of what it is to come over these next two games, then the defense should be in good shape.

As previously mentioned, the Eagles’ defense did a good of applying pressure to Goff and forcing him into mistakes. They also held Gurley in check, who only had 48 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns.

What about those big passing plays through the air? They were non-existent as Rasul Douglas, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Avonte Maddox, Corey Graham, and Malcolm Jenkins did a great of job tackling and keeping everything in front of them.

Furthermore, the Eagles’ defense only gave up 413 yards of total offense, which is good, especially when you can cause three turnovers.

3. Wendell Smallwood comes alive

Earlier this week, the Eagles received some bad news about Corey Clement, who was placed on injured reserve.

With Clement out for the season, someone else had to step into his role. That, someone, was Wendell  Smallwood, who led the Eagles with 48 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.

Smallwood ran the ball with purpose and would not be brought down just by one player. The former fifth-round pick now has three touchdowns on the ground this season, which is a career-high.

Each week, you never know who will respond to call and have that eye-opening performance. Over the last couple of weeks, it has been Josh Adams, who also had a rushing touchdown against Los Angeles.

However, for this week’s game, the night belonged to Smallwood.

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