- Carson Wentz and the Eagles played with a sense of desperation on Thursday night, going into Lambeau Field and knocking off the previously unbeaten Packers to even their record at 2-2.
If at first it looks disastrous, try and try again.
That seemed to be the Philadelphia Eagles' new motto for the 2019 season. Slow starts had plagued the team for three straight weeks. They were incapable of scoring on offense. They couldn’t get any stops on defense. They had done what they could to overcome poor performances out of the gate, but the outcome didn’t change.
But Thursday night was different. Determined to keep themselves alive in the NFC East––sitting at 1–2, facing the Packers at Lambeau and desperate for a win––the Eagles tried again.
This time, they got it.
After suffering back-to-back losses heading into the contest, Philadelphia earned a big 34–27 victory over the Packers in a back-and-forth shootout worthy of primetime lights. They got it thanks to Carson Wentz, who led five scoring drives to turn the tables and finished the game 16-of-27 for 160 yards and three touchdowns to help the Eagles hand the Packers their first loss of the season and drop them to 3–1.
They got it thanks to Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, who pounded away at the Packers early and often. Howard rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries and finished with his best performance of the season, scoring two touchdowns on the ground and one through the air as a receiver. Sanders had 72 yards on 11 carries to balance out the attack, hitting holes hard and gaining big first downs.
And they got it with a defense that didn’t completely break despite a depleted secondary. Though they had trouble stopping Aaron Rodgers (422 yards, two touchdowns and an interception) and Davante Adams (10 catches for 180 yards) throughout the game, the unit showed up when it mattered most, intercepting Rodgers in the end zone with 28 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.
It could have gone wrong for Philadelphia. Even in the win, that fact can’t be lost upon the team. What if Rodgers had been able to give the Packers a late dose of magic the way he often has? What if Green Bay’s highly-touted defense had actually shown up the way it did in Weeks 1, 2 and 3? This is a team that can’t afford any more injuries and threats to their depth. Can’t afford the penalties and mistakes. Can’t afford the slow starts.
These are shortcomings the Eagles will certainly need to address moving forward if they’re going to live up to their NFC Super Bowl contender status. But with a long week ahead and their toughest challenge yet in the rearview mirror, at least they can find solace in the fact that on Thursday, they overcame them. They held on. They came up big.
They avoided disaster.
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1. Melvin Gordon is still the Chargers' No. 1 guy, even after the holdout.
2. No, Jalen Ramsey has not changed his mind.
3. The NFL won't push for 18 games, but they still want to expand the season.
4. What's Andrew Luck been up to, one-month post-retirement? His former teammates give The Athletic's Stephen Holder a glimpse.
5. Leonard Fournette is very frustrated with the run game.
Eagles fans are truly a different breed.
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