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Eagles news: Carson Wentz is as tough as nails

News and notes for 12/23

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Carson Wentz decked, but bounces back - Inquirer

It wasn't pretty. But the Eagles had been losing ugly for weeks. They needed this. They needed some positive momentum heading into 2017. The Cowboys in the season finale remain, but with their 24-19 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night the Eagles helped hand Dallas the NFC East division crown and moved it one step closer to winning the conference.

But the Eagles were playing for pride, and they were playing for their contortionist quarterback, who left late in third quarter after Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon chucked him into the Lincoln Financial Field turf and his head snapped back. It wasn't quite a Willis Reed-like return, but Wentz was back on the field a series later. He drove the Eagles into field-goal territory and a Caleb Sturgis 41-yard boot gave them a 24-16 lead with just under nine minutes left.

Lane Johnson gives Eagles what they were missing - Daily News

And it also probably would be overstating his importance to point out that rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had a 103.5 passer rating with seven touchdown passes and just one interception and was halfway through the door at Canton with Johnson manning the right-tackle spot, and had 70.1 passer rating with six TDs and 12 interceptions when Allen Barbre and rookies Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Isaac Seumalo were trying to replace him.

But it's definitely not an overstatement to say that the Eagles offense is much, much better with Johnson at right tackle than without him.

Johnson made his long-awaited return to the Eagles Thursday night. It obviously was too late to help save their season, but not too late to help ruin the Giants'.

Johnson kept himself in shape during his 2 1/2-month hiatus. But there is gym shape and then there is football shape.

He said earlier in the week that he was just going to play as hard as could for as long as he could, which, not surprisingly, turned out to be all 60 minutes in the Eagles' inspired 24-19 win over the Giants.

For Philadelphia Eagles' Terrence Brooks, game-sealing pick helps recapture confidence - Penn Live

"I get the love from those guys, and they support me, and they didn't hesitate when they knew I was going to go in the game," Brooks said.

On a personal level, Brooks wanted to feed off his teammates energy to recapture his own fire. He needed to somehow get back to playing with motivation.

"We went out and just pretty much just said, 'Hey, man, get back to having fun like we did in high school and the younger days,'" Brooks said. "I feel like I lost that just a little bit in the league. If you just go out there with no hesitation and that determination, you'll make plays."

That's what the third-year defensive back tried to do. And now that he's made a few plays with the Eagles, he thinks his ceiling is rising. Brooks said he hopes to continue proving his worth as a special team player and perhaps earn more time as a defensive back in next week's season finale against the Cowboys.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Giants game - Philly Voice

All season long, it feels a lot like the Eagles have had an abnormal number of obviously wrong calls go against them. Against the Giants, Nolan Carroll committed what looked like pass interference on a crucial fourth down play that the officials did not call.

So why did the Eagles start getting questionable calls going their way?

Well, the Dallas Cowboys clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC with the Giants' loss, meaning that they benefited from an Eagles win. I would like to note here that the NFL's head of officiating, Dean Blandino, doubles as the Cowboys' No. 1 fan.

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