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Eagles finally win at home, move into first place in the NFC East

Nov 17, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT

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412 days had passed since the Eagles last won at Lincoln Financial Field—10 games and over a full calendar year. The Birds finally gave the home crowd a reason to cheer on Sunday though, their 24-16 victory over Washington ending the losing streak and catapulting Philadelphia into first place in the NFC East.

The Eagles’ record improved to 6-5, already two wins more than they had in all of 2012. They’re above .500 for the first time since Week 1 of this season. Best of all, they now own a half-game lead over idle Dallas for tops in the division.

Similar to their first meeting against Washington, the Eagles raced out to a big lead, going up 24-0 through 36 minutes of action. In fact, the Birds took a shutout into the fourth quarter until Robert Griffin III began mounting a desperate comeback.

Griffin sprung Washington’s offense with a 62-yard catch-and-run to fullback Darrel Young, a fortuitous play that was broken open by a collision between Patrick Chung and Trent Cole down the field. Griffin later found wide receiver Aldrick Robinson for a 41-yard score, an underthrown pass that Roc Carmichael failed to turn around and defend. A pair of two-point conversion made it a one-possession game.

Yet it would prove too little, too late for Washington. Their final drive would start at their own 4-yard line following a 70-yard punt from Donnie Jones. Griffin moved his offense into scoring position, but foolishly heaved a prayer that was intercepted by Brandon Boykin in no-man’s land in the game’s final minute.

RG3 never looked like himself. Washington had just eight net passing yards through three quarters, as Griffin seemed hesitant to throw the football. Much of the time, he was taking off or eating sacks, and even once he started to let loose in the fourth quarter, he missed several throws.

Griffin completed less than 50 percent of passes (17/35) for 264 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He was sacked four times, including a strip by Connor Barwin that was recovered by Fletcher Cox.

The Eagles also contained Alfred Morris, the NFL’s third-leading rusher entering the week. Morris finished with 93 yards on 22 carries.

It was the seventh week in a row the Eagles’ defense held their opponent to 21 points or less, the ninth time in 11 games. It was all the more impressive considering the trio of starters that was out for the Birds. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks, cornerback Bradley Fletcher and safety Earl Wolff were all inactive due to injuries.

Philly’s offense got the job done as well, led of course by Nick Foles who still has yet to throw an interception this season. Foles connected on 17 of 26 passes for 298 yards. He also ran a whopping nine times for 47 yards and a touchdown. He may not be fast, but he takes what the defense is willing to give him.

Gritty performance for LeSean McCoy too, who went down late in the second half with an apparent hamstring injury. It didn’t appear to slow him any after halftime, as Shady finished with 150 total yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns. The All-Pro back had his second strong game in a row, and eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the season.

DeSean Jackson led Eagles receivers with four receptions for 82 yards on four targets. The two-time Pro Bowler is just 15 yards from surpassing the 1,000-yard milestone himself.

Overall, it was another great team performance for the Birds, their winning streak now at a season-high three games. Now they’ll have a bye week for some dinged-up players to get healthy.

It’s not always pretty, but you have to feel good about the fact that this team is getting the job done. Everything seems to be firing on all cylinders, and a playoff berth seems like an increasingly real possibility for this squad. The way they’re playing right now, they could really make some noise.

We’ve moved past them simply getting in. The question is becoming how far can they go?

  1. Matt S. - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Much needed bye week coming up time to get everyone healthy. 2 really tough games coming up against the Cards and Lions gotta grab at least 1 before the Minnesota game. I don’t see us as a contender yet but this is still a fun team to watch. Still need to work on closing teams out though.

    Reply
  2. AdamQ - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Unimpressed with Foles today. This team is a lot better than we thought. Put Michael Vick back there in the pocket and this team goes deep into the playoffs. Not with Foles. He isn’t the answer. Debate should be Vick vs. someone in the Draft.

    Reply
    • Jason R. - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      So you stopped watching after the Cowboys game, huh?

      Reply
    • Matt S. - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      17-26 298 yards Rushing TD 0 picks 104.3 Rating and 16 TD’s 0 picks on the year. Yeah dudes a complete stiff.

      Reply
    • BenE. - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Well the Eagles are likely going to finish in the top 15 in the NFL, so Mariota and Manziel are probably out of the question. However, they should be able to scoop up Danny Troll, Mark Hoser, or Troy Fuchoff in the 1st round.

      Reply
    • Larry H - Nov 17, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      I don’t care to hear about the fact that you were unimpressed with Foles. Vick has not done diddly.

      Reply
    • Steve - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      Come on Marcus,stop it already,even your brother Mike is giving Foles his props.The only way Vick plays now is as a backup/

      Reply
  3. Bob - Nov 17, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    At the game and the Linc rocked today. Even with the Skins rallying, it was positive energy. Loudest ive heard in a long time

    Reply
  4. sfsu - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    “The question is becoming how far can they go?”

    1. Seahawks
    2. Lions
    3. Saints
    4. Eagles
    5. Bears
    6. Panthers

    Eagles over Bears, Panthers over Saints,

    Eagles over Lions, Panthers over Seahawks

    Eagles over Panthers

    Chiefs over Eagles

    Reply
    • lahoe819 - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      I love the optimism thinking we could get to the Super Bowl, but I just don’t buy it. I’d love to be wrong, but I see this team as maybe 1 wild card win at home in the wild card round. I don’t see them getting in by any other means except for winning the division. I actually think they should win the division. NYG and the skins dug themselves too deep a hole to come back, they need to be perfect here on out and need a lot of help. Dallas is Dallas. I don’t think they’re a good team. They’ve got 1 game against each divisional opponent left and then games against the Bears, Packers and Raiders. I’d be surprised if they do any better than 3-3 to finish the season off. All the Eagles need to do is play .500 football and beat the Boys in Dallas in week 17 to get the East. Once you’re into the dance, who knows what can happen.

      Reply
      • sfsu - Nov 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        My scenario is the ultimate optimism (only having to beat the Bears, Lions, and Panthers in the playoffs, dodging the top 3 NFC teams). I was just answering his question on how far “can” they go.

      • willh888 - Nov 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        If Eli Manning has taught us anything, it’s that scenarios like this actually happen.

    • hitnrun - Nov 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      My optimism knows no bounds for the rest of the calendar year, but this team is not winning a playoff game, much less four of them. The problem with playoff games is that they’re all against playoff teams. I just have a hard time imagining this squad beating a team with more wins than losses when it counts (aside from a situation like with Rodgers).

      Foles is a second year quarterback with tons of potential upside, but he’s still a second year quarterback with tons of potential upside (and not the running variety). Kelly is a rookie head coach with no NFL experience. The defense is a total conversion project in its first year. All of these elements play like exactly what they are – very good versions right now, but exactly what they are.

      They beat who they’re supposed to beat and that’s very important going forward, but it’s not going to make them real contenders. Still, I’ll certainly enjoy me some January football.

      Reply
      • sfsu - Nov 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        “My optimism knows no bounds for the rest of the calendar year, but this team is not winning a playoff game”

        Then you have no idea what the phrase “knows no bounds” means.

        I would do ANYTHING to save my brother’s life if he were dying, but not if he was living in Canada.

  5. strangelaw - Nov 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    [image]http://i1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii522/mjnavalk/tears3_zps44bedffe.jpg[/image]

    Reply
  6. psudrozz - Nov 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    as far as im concerned, we beat dallas we are playing with house money the rest of the year.

    Reply
  7. erzug - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    I found it interesting that Foles was running with the ball so much late in the game. At the time, I thought Kelly was actually auditioning him to see if he could really be his option QB of the future. Granted, he’s not RGIII or Vick with the feet, but he is faster and more elusive than most have given him credit for being.
    When he threw the ball, even his incompletions that weren’t drops, were at least somewhat close to the receivers. RGIII was throwing the ball out of the zipcode much of the time. In fact, I really didn’t see any improvement in his play since the Birds’ game 1 win, where he also came on in the second half and passed the ball with more consistency.

    The question is, with the bye next week, and the fact that Mike Vick will most likely be healthy for the Cardinals game, who will Kelly start?

    Reply

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