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Eagles v. Rams: 15 winners, losers, and I dunnos

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GUESS WHICH GROUP THE EAGLES ARE IN (somehow)

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Winners

The Philadelphia Eagles

Here is a story in three tweets

Nick Foles

He just wins, folks.

Foles remains one of the most productive primetime QBs in the history of the league, and his playoff numbers are Top-2 as well. He can’t move the ball an inch against an awful Tampa Bay defense in an average, casual Week 2 game — but boy, when it comes to the faintest of hopes on the road against the class of the NFC, he just wins.

Foles had a decent game: he made good throws underneath, got the ball out very quickly, and generally kept his nose down and his wits about him. He only put the ball in harm’s way once — and it was a pick — and made a few good trust throws that maximized Alshon Jeffery’s leaping ability and catch radius (we’ll get to him).

Foles played how you’d expect a high-end backup to play, really. The question is: can the Eagles continue to win with that level of production, and will Foles start enough games at his next spot in 2019 to turn back a 3rd round compensatory pick?

Carson Wentz

Why is Carson a winner? Because despite all of the madness and all of Foles’ success with Doug, Carson is clearly a better franchise quarterback than Nick Foles. Not tough to see on film. Beware those who would attempt to lead you otherwise and astray.

Jim Schwartz

Jimbo! Been a while since he’s seen a winner column. Round of applause for the man.

I would never have expected the Eagles defense to hold the Rams to 23 points — especially with all three field goal attempts coming from inside (or almost inside) the red zone! The Rams knocked on the door often, but Schwartz kept it shut — and he greatly limited the Rams’ ability to hit big plays in the passing game.

All with as ragtag and ramshackle a secondary as ever. With a thinner defensive line depth chart than he’d ever seen in midnight green.

Flex on ‘em, Jimbo.

Avonte Maddox

I wrote about Avonte Maddox not being ready to be a starting slot corner this season after the draft. And technically, I was right, because he was ready to be a starting free safety/outside corner/swiss army knife/whatever the heck he is. So wow, good job Ben.

Maddox is the storyline of this defense, man. Unbelievable.

Alshon Jeffery

Uh...is this good?

Philadelphia clearly liked their Alshon v. Talib matchup, and with good reason — Jeffery worked him like a pack mule. I had a lot of thoughts on the Alshon/Ertz balance conversation now that we’ve seen the offense run through Alshon, and you can catch those on BGN Radio and the recap Kist & Solak Show, but the gist is this: If a QB likes a receiver and he makes him a focal point, I’m really okay with that.

But in a vacuum, shouts to Alshon, who won all of his trust-throw reps. That’s huge for Nick Foles, a backup, who basically hung a few key throws up there and just expected/let Alshon do the dirty work. That’s what Jeffery can offer to this team, and we should expect to see it integrated more often regardless of who’s at the helm.

Secrets

Doug is legit trying to tell us he doesn’t know who’s starting at quarterback against Houston. M-kay, m-kay.

Wendell Smallwood

Is Wendell good now? If Nick Foles can be good, and Corey Graham can have a game-changing turnover, and the refs can call a fumble in the Eagles’ favor...why not?

The Losers

The Los Angeles Rams

Here’s a story in one tweet

Sean McVay

Sean McVay takes a big ol’ L for two reasons.

  1. The Rams had more than enough time, even after the muffed punt (oh my goodness what a play), to drive the short length of the field (Jake Elliott why did you have to miss?) and tie that thing up. But they didn’t clock the ball once (yet never saw a third or even a fourth down), got tackled in bounds twice, and only had one end zone shot. And while a lot of that rests on the shoulder of the players, McVay deserves some heat as well.
  2. He was unable to generate big, booming pass plays against the defense in the league most susceptible to explosive plays through the air. He seemed more oriented on what his unit did well — the bunch sets, the play action crossers — than what the Eagles did poorly. And as a result, there were not enough isolation routes up the sideline on Rasul Douglas or Avonte Maddox. That’s the blueprint for beating the Eagles, and he didn’t follow it.

Jared Goff

Jared Goff, who is worse at football than Carson Wentz, has not played well in a hot second. He turns into a rotten pumpkin near the red zone, afraid of tight windows and unwilling to extend plays. He rushes to his checkdown even when pressure is avoidable or minimal. And he doesn’t have great arm strength when it comes to ball velocity.

Philadelphia lined Fletcher Cox up over C John Sullivan all game long and gave Goff fits. He couldn’t step into his throws or sit back, watching the multi-break routes develop down the field. I don’t think Goff is wholly a product of the system, but he’s anything but system proof at this point: when he needs to give a little extra to get the wheels turning, he struggles to bring the juice.

That INT was awful.

Us

Gonna be hard to fire Mike Groh when the Eagles MAKE THE PLAYOFFS LET’S GOOOOOO (I’m just playin’)

I dunnos

Josh Adams

He still doesn’t do anything that excites me. And least Clement last year did some eye-popping things. Adams gets exactly what is blocked, +/- 1 yard.

Nelson Agholor

Eagles really paying him almost $10M next season?

Doug Pederson

I dunno about Doug, man. Maybe he shouldn’t have won the Coach of the Year award in 2017. He ended up beating Sean McVay, the 2017 winner, more emphatically in 2018 than he did in 2017. Good on the voters to discern that Pederson’s win over McVay in 2017 wasn’t as good as it could have been — that was a great reason to withhold the award.