Carson Wentz didn't dazzle, but Philadelphia didn't need him to on Sunday night
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the only drama in the Sunday night game centered around whether linebacker/emergency kicker Kamu Grugier-Hill, filling in for the injured Jake Elliott, would get to attempt a field goal. There were plenty of chances in the 37-9 blowout, as the Eagles easily drove into Cowboys territory, but they kept moving on three straight second-half touchdown drives (going for two each time) that turned a 9-7 halftime deficit into a laugher. With the victory, the 9-1 Eagles pretty much locked up the NFC East—they're the only team in the division with a winning record—while staying ahead of the 8-2 Vikings and Saints in the hunt for homefield advantage in the playoffs. It's safe for fans to start looking forward to that time of year: January, if not February.
Carson Wentz was not even at his best Sunday night, finishing 14-of-27 for a season-low 168 yards. But he played mistake-free and let the rest of the team show why this might be the league's most complete roster. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount led a ground game that rushed for 215 yards. Meanwhile, the defense forced four turnovers, as what could be the NFL's best front brought Dak Prescott down four times (including two sacks by rookie Derek Barnett). The Cowboys, far from themselves without injured left tackle Tyron Smith, linebacker Sean Lee and suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott, were held to 225 yards.
“The players right now just have that confident mindset when they take the field on game day that they’re not going to be denied,” coach Doug Pederson said. “That’s something that’s special that group really has.”
The Eagles may have started slow, but with 30 unanswered points in the second half, they proved they are the NFC's team to beat.
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1. Saints 34, Washington 31 (OT). For the first time in franchise history, New Orleans came back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Saints actually rallied from 15-down, with Drew Brees completing 11 straight passes on a pair of touchdown drives before Alvin Kamara successfully rushed for a game-tying two-point conversion. After the defense held Washington on drives at the end of regulation and to open overtime, Mark Ingram gashed the visitors for 51 yards on two carries, setting up any easy Wil Lutz game winner.
2. Vikings 24, Rams 7. Los Angeles drove down for a game-opening touchdown in this battle of 7-2 teams, but Minnesota held its visitors scoreless the rest of the way, limiting the powerful offense to 254 total yards (including just 37 for Todd Gurley on the ground). On the other side, Latavius Murray scored twice, Adam Thielen tallied 123 yards receiving, and Case Keenum played well enough to keep holding off Teddy Bridgewater.
3. Giants 12, Chiefs 9 (OT). The stunner of the day went down in the Meadowlands. Alex Smith had his worst game of the year (27-of-40, 230 yards, two interceptions), allowing New York to earn its second victory this season. The game seemed headed for a tie until a fourth-down, 34-yard circus catch by Roger Lewis set up Aldrick Rosas for a 23-yard game-winning kick.
4. Eagles 37, Cowboys 9. After last night's disappointment, Dallas fans will be eagerly watching tonight's game featuring two other NFC wild-card hopefuls, Seattle and Atlanta.
5. Patriots 33, Raiders 8. Tom Brady planted his flag in Mexico City with a 339-yard, three-touchdown performance (Brandin Cooks had 149 of those yards). Oakland didn't score until the fourth quarter. At 4-6, there's still a path to the playoffs in a weak AFC, but not if the Raiders keep playing like that.
6. Lions 27, Bears 24. Detroit avoided a devastating loss thanks to Matt Prater's late 52-yard field goal, and a missed 46-yarder from Connor Barth with eight seconds left. Chicago outgained the Lions, thanks largely to 222 yards on the ground, including 125 from Jordan Howard and 53 from Mitchell Trubisky.
7. Chargers 54, Bills 24. Welcome to the NFL, Nathan Peterman. The rookie lasted just a half before being pulled after throwing five interceptions. Ultimately, Chargers players gained more yards (84) and touchdowns (1) on his tosses than did Bills (66, 0).
8. Ravens 23, Packers 0. Suddenly the Ravens are right back in the playoff mix. Baltimore forced five turnovers en route to its third shutout of the season to move to .500 and in good position in a weak AFC wild-card race. Meanwhile, the home loss just about dooms any postseason hope in Green Bay.
9. Jaguars 19, Browns 7. A Jaguars-style win and a Browns-style loss: five Cleveland turnovers, one Jacksonville defensive score, 111 Leonard Fournette rushing yards. What else did you expect?
10. Bengals 20, Broncos 17. This might have been an elimination game as Cincinnati moves to 4-6 while Denver falls to 3-7. A C.J. Anderson fumble set up a Bengals touchdown that put the visitors up 10, too much for Brock Osweiler and Co.
11. Buccaneers 30, Dolphins 20. In the Hurricane Irma makeup game, Jay Cutler threw three interceptions before leaving with concussion symptoms. In stepped Matt Moore, who led a 13-point comeback that came up just short thanks to a Patrick Murray field goal for Tampa Bay with four seconds left. (A Bucs touchdown on the Dolphins' ensuing kickoff return tossaround gave us the 30-20 final).
12. Texans 31, Cardinals 21. With Blaine Gabbert and Tom Savage playing to a draw, the running game and defenses decided this one. Adrian Peterson managed only 26 yards on 14 carries for Arizona, while rookie D'Onta Foreman scored twice, including a 34-yard score (on which he tore his Achilles) in the fourth quarter to give Houston breathing room.
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