Eagles Use Balanced Attack to Top Packers
(973espn.com) - It's become a familiar theme for Doug Pederson's Eagles.
Just when you doubt them the most Philadelphia rises up in an unlikely spot to get the momentum going back in the right direction. On Thursday night it was in Green Bay against Aaron Rodgers and the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers.
Moments after Avonte Maddox was stretchered off after taking a friendly-fire hit from Andrew Sendejo, the little-used Craig James broke on a pass intended for Marquez Valdes-Scantling near the goal line and the football popped in the air before Nigel Bradham snared it and secured a 34-27 win for the 2-2 Eagles.
The Eagles defense struggled as a whole, allowing 491 yards and piling up nine penalties but two turnovers proved to de the difference, the first a strip-sack by Derek Barnett that led to a touchdown in the first half and the Bradham pick with under 30 seconds remaining.
The Philadelphia offense was very balanced with Carson Wentz throwing for 160 yards and three TDs and Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders combining for 159 yards on the ground with Howard finding the end zone three times, two on the ground and one through the air.
In by far his best performance as an Eagle, Howard ran it 15 times for 87 yards and added 28 more yards on three receptions. Sanders had 72 yards rushing on 11 carries and a 66-yard kick return that kick-started the Philadelphia offense early.
The top receiving threat was Zach Ertz, who caught seven of eight targets for 65 yards while Alshon Jeffery returned from his calf injury to catch three passes for 38 yards and a TD.
Rodgers threw for 422 yards and added 46 more on the ground but the Green Bay running backs were not a factor, combining for 24 yards on 14 carries. The two-time MVP had been 58-0-1 with a 10-point lead in any home game during his storied career. That ended as the Eagles scrambled back from an early 10-0 deficit as Pederson stayed perfect as the team's coach in Thursday games.
Maddox, who started at his familiar slot position and moved outside to left corner when Sidney Jones went down with a hamstring injury, had movement in all extremities. For precautionary reasons, he has been sent to the hospital for further evaluation.
EAGLES STOCK MARKET:
-The Offensive Line - The Big guys up front dominated the Packers font seven opening up holes you rarely see at the NFL level.
-RB Jordan Howard - Finally given an opportunity the former NFC North star returned to haunt of his old rivals and became the first Philadelphia RB to find the end zone three times since Shady McCoy.
-DE Brandon Graham - ALthough the sacks are still not coming Graham finished the first quarter of the season as one of the best two-way edge players in the NFL.
-The Cornerbacks - Other than Rasul Douglas it was a you-know-what show for the Philly CBs with Jones and Maddox having nightmares trying to check Davante Adams. The only thing that saved the secondary from Adams was a toe injury that sent him to the sideline.
-DT Fletcher Cox - The All-Pro tweaked his foot again at one point late in the game and continues to struggle to put his usual stamp on the game.
-WR Nelson Agholor - Back in a complementary role after being called out but the viral baby-catching sensation, Agholor was invisible getting just one target and no receptions.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen