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Eagles vs. Colts: 8 winners and 5 losers

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The good and the bad from Sunday’s win.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles beat the Colts on Sunday, 20-16. It sure wasn’t pretty but they got the job done, which is the most important thing. Now let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from this game.

WINNERS

CARSON WENTZ

Wentz didn’t post an amazing stat line; he finished 25/37 for 255 yards, one touchdown, one real bad interception, and a 84.9 passer rating. He also got strip-sacked to allow the Colts to recover in the red zone.

But overall, this was an encouraging performance from Wentz in his first game back from injury. He showed no physical limitations. Jsut the opposite, really. He looked great moving around out there. The combination of his strength and mobility really came in handy on that clutch 3rd-and-9 conversion to Nelson Agholor late in the game.

Wentz is going to get better as he continues to ease back into the offense and the Eagles aren’t missing their top two running backs and three of their top four wide receivers. I’m sure of it.

DEREK BARNETT

It’s been a quiet start to the season for the Eagles’ 2017 first-round pick but Barnett showed up HUGE today with a clutch fourth down sack on Andrew Luck late in the game. Great to see.

It wasn’t just that play, either. Barnett was also a force against the run. He finished the day with five tackles, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, and 1.5 sacks. Very encouraging.

THE DEFENSE

Jim Schwartz’s unit held the Colts to just 209 yards overall and 3.7 on a per play basis. The Eagles didn’t force an interception or fumble but they did keep Indy to just three conversions on 24 combined third and fourth down attempts. The Colts finished just 1-of-5 in the red zone. Nice to see this unit bounce back after a rough outing against the Buccaneers in Week 2.

DALLAS GOEDERT

Who could’ve guessed good things would happen by getting Goedert more involved? After failing to register a single target last week, Goedert finished with seven targets today. He caught all seven of the passes thrown his way for 73 yards and one touchdown. Continue to get this man involved, Eagles.

JASON PETERS

After having to leave last week’s Eagles-Bucs matchup early, Peters managed to play the entire game today. He still looks pretty good. Peters opened a number of holes in the run game and seemingly did a good job of not allowing pressure from his side. The offensive line as a whole deserves credit for their run blocking in this one. Which brings me to ...

THE RUNNING BACKS

The trio of Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams combined for one touchdown and 196 yards from scrimmage. That’s 51.7% of Philadelphia’s entire offensive yardage. Good to get that kind of production out of your third, fourth, and fifth string running backs. The only thing I’ll say is that it was frustrating to watch Smallwood leave yards on the field. There were some moments where a big hole would open up and he’d only managed to get a four-yard gain. That’s why the Eagles need Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles back.

JALEN MILLS

I imagine there’s going to be some “Jalen Mills in the winners section?!” outrage after reading this. But yes, I’m including Mills in the winners. He did allow 51 yards on two pass interference penalties, which certainly isn’t good, although those calls were questionable to some extent. But you can’t just rip Mills for those plays and not give him credit for the big pass breakup he had on an Andrew Luck throw to Eric Ebron in the red zone. He had another pass breakup in this game and he also made some really nice open field tackles on screen plays (one counted as a tackle for loss). Hardly a perfect game but I felt like I had to include him in one of these two categories and I think there was more good than bad.

EAGLES FANS

Kudos to the fans for sticking it out in the rain and cheering their team on to a 17-3 home record since the beginning of the 2016 season. Best home record in the league during that stretch.

LOSERS

COREY CLEMENT AS A PUNT RETURNER

On his first punt return attempt, Clement made a poor decision to field the ball with a player bearing down on him. Then he muffed two other returns. He was very lucky the Colts didn’t recover one of those. The Eagles need to get someone more sure-handed on returns.

JOSHUA PERKINS

The Eagles inexplicably targeted him three times on the first drive. He finished with one reception for 10 yards and a drop. That’s three drops within the last two games.

SHELTON GIBSON AND EAGLES WIDE RECEIVERS AS A GROUP

Gibson had a very productive summer but he’s failing to get on the field despite the fact the Eagles are without three of their top four wide receivers. Philadelphia desperately needs someone who can stretch the field and Gibson has that ability. But the coaching staff clearly doesn’t trust him to play. Disappointing.

Eagles wide receivers combined for 45 yards on 6 receptions. Nelson Agholor had a few clutch first down conversions in there, so it wasn’t like they gave this team nothing. But it’s clear how badly this team needs Alshon Jeffery back. It sounds like he might be able to return next Sunday.

BENJAMIN SOLAK

BGN’s own Ben Solak once wrote: “Derek Barnett is literally never going to make a single big play in his entire career.” OK, so he didn’t actually write that. I’m just poking fun at Ben being a Barnett skeptic.

THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Vikings have nothing to do with this game but I couldn’t not point out that Minnesota lost AT HOME to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. The Vikings were 17-point favorites and they lost by a final score of 27 to 6! Lolololololol. You vike that?