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Week 15 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 30, Los Angeles Rams 23
What you need to know
The Eagles rebounded from a tough divisional loss last week and losing Carson Wentz
for an impressive road win against the Rams. Philadelphia’s defense and key passing moments were driving forces for the victory. Nick Foles
took a host of big hits but delivered downfield to Alshon Jeffery
of note. The backfield is as dispersed as ever with Darren Sproles
gaining prominence by the week and Wendell Smallwood
seeing a collection of critical snaps in the red zone to soften Josh Adams
’ role. Zach Ertz
was held in check by the Rams despite seven targets.
remains in a funk, and the Rams' redzone offense performed extremely poorly. They left 8 points on the field in the first half, struggling to convert touchdowns inside the redzone and settling for field goals instead. They also remain sloppy in the penalty department. The Rams look like a team that peaked about six weeks too early.
|QB Nick Foles, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 31 - 270 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0|
Foles is back leading the Eagles offense with Carson Wentz
’s latest injury. Foles not only filled in admirably but was a driving force behind the Eagles’ road win against the Rams. Foles was bold in his decision making and connected on critical downfield passes. Foles was not without his mistakes, however, adding a momentum-shifting interception in the fourth quarter to allow the Rams back in the game and nearly throwing two other interceptions earlier in the game. Foles also overthrew Zach Ertz
on a wide open touchdown opportunity. Foles showed a quality rapport with Alshon Jeffery
as more than half of Foles’ yardage was through Jeffery and Foles had a bold confidence in targeting Jeffery in contested situations.
|RB Josh Adams, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 28 - 1 (1 targets)|
was the lead back by title early in the game but heeded critical snaps and touches to both Darren Sproles
and Wendell Smallwood
in the red zone and later in the game, a growing trend in recent weeks. Adams faced tough defensive looks in the first quarter and was stuffed on third and fourth down short yardage situations as well in the first half. Adams logged a goal line touchdown, but only had one other run of note the entire game, powering through contact for a mere eight yards. Adams’ lack of passing game involvement and Smallwood and Sproles being central red zone options both siphon Adams’ upside going forward.
|RB Wendell Smallwood, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 48 - 2, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)|
Smallwood’s 12 touches marked his highest total since back in Week 6 as the Eagles’ backfield turned into a full three-headed amalgam in Week 15. Smallwood was active in the red zone with two touchdowns through contact and exploiting multiple other runs for 10 yards with outstanding blocking. Smallwood also had a nine-yard run called back by penalty. Smallwood was the hot hand over Josh Adams
as the game progressed and rose in involvement this week with the season-ended injury to Corey Clement
|RB Darren Sproles, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 30 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)|
Sproles continued his progression into the Eagles’ offense with high efficiency on his six touches, totaling nearly 50 yards. Sproles as effective on delay rushing attempts, exploiting a Rams defense lurching upfield in the red zone as Sproles zipped past them. Sproles topped the running backs in targets against the Rams and looks to have his same top-end foot frequency dating back to before his injury.
Jeffery was the highlight for the new look Eagles offense with Nick Foles
at quarterback. Jeffery led the team in targets and collected more than half the team’s receiving yardage as Zach Ertz
was firmly held in check by the Rams. Jeffery’s chemistry with the bold-throwing Foles was sublime as Jeffery corralled all four of his deeper targets from Foles. Jeffery exceled in high-point opportunities, including a deep underthrow by Foles as he was hit on the play but Jeffery came back to the pass to seize it from the defensive backs. Jeffery also had a reception called back in the game. The only thing missing from Jeffery’s big game was a touchdown opportunity as all of Jeffery’s big plays were in the middle of the field without after-the-catch angles to take one to the end zone.
|WR Golden Tate, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 0 (5 targets)|
Tate rebounded from an invisible Week 14 performance for a solid game in Week 15 against the Rams. Tate nearly scored on a red zone screen as his best touchdown opportunity and was generally held in check otherwise for after-the-catch yardage. Twice Tate was stopped short of the sticks on third down receptions. Nick Foles
clearly favored deeper throws towards Alshon Jeffery
this week, a tempering sign for Tate to close season as an ancillary option in the Eagles passing game.
|TE Zach Ertz, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (7 targets)|
Despite seven targets Ertz was silenced for a second straight game, this time by the Rams. Ertz’s two big play opportunities was coming open in the end zone but Nick Foles
notably overthrew Ertz for the touchdown and catching a seam pass in the end zone which was knocked out at the last moment by a defensive back. Ertz was limited to three short receptions and a drop by Ertz late in the game nearly ended up as an interception. While Ertz is on pace to break the single-season tight end receptions record in 2018, his past two games have been the least productive stretch of the year for Ertz.
Goedert was active early in the game against the Rams with two receptions, including a third down conversion. However, Goedert turned into a bystander for the Eagles passing game, not seeing a target for the rest of the game. The two targets marked the lowest total for Goedert since Week 10.
Los Angeles Rams
|QB Jared Goff, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 35 - 54 - 339 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 11 - 0|
is struggling, plain and simple. His throws outside the numbers lack velocity and accuracy. Defenses are committing to taking deeper drops at the second level and leaving just checkdowns open for the Rams. Goff did lead the Rams' touchdown drive in the first quarter, but it featured almost all checkdowns and short throws (Gurley capped the drive off with a five yard run). He was intercepted on the Rams' first drive of the second quarter ń a deep comeback to Josh Reynolds
that was thrown too far inside, allowing the corner to break on the ball and intercept it. He led a solid hurry up to close out the first quarter, moving the ball to the 18 yard line with 20 seconds remaining. The drive ended with three consecutive 9 routes to Josh Reynolds
, none of which were really in play for the receiver to make the catch. The drive again ended in a field goal. Goff continued to mostly live on checkdowns in the second half. His second interception of the day was downright inexcusable, and will live on in NFL Films blooper reels for eternity. His center stepped on his foot, causing Goff to fall and fumble as the play began. He recovered his own fumble ń but instead of taking the loss and living to see another down, he got up and tried to throw the ball away. He ended up lightly tossing the ball to an Eagles defender as he was wrapped up and being tackled. In the fourth quarter, he had a potential touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds
overturned, with the ball being placed a the one yard line. It was Goff's best throw of the day, a post route right on the money.
|RB Todd Gurley, 63 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 48 - 2, Rec: 10 - 76 - 0 (13 targets)|
Despite getting stuffed for a four yard loss on his first carry, Gurley did well churning out positive yardage on inside runs early in the game. Eventually, game script turned on the Rams, and he ended the day will only 12 carries. He capped off a touchdown drive in the first quarter with a five yard inside run. He carried the Rams down the field on the drive following Goff's first interception. However, a Robert Woods
OPI penalty killed the drive and ended it with a field goal. Gurley stayed involved even when the game script got out of hand, finishing with 10 catches and 76 receiving yards ń both team highs. He scored his second touchdown of the game on a one yard run after the officials overturned a Josh Reyolds touchdown catch and ruled him down at the one-yard line.
|WR Robert Woods, 76 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 19 - 0, Rec: 7 - 74 - 0 (9 targets)|
He's clearly the best receiver on the Rams, but he isn't capable of carrying a passing game and struggling quarterback by himself. He killed a potential scoring drive in the second quarter by getting called for offensive pass interference while blocking for a Brandin Cooks
screen pass. The penalty was a killer - moving the Rams from 1st and 10 at the 14 to 1st and 20 at the 24 yard line. The drive stalled and ended with a field goal.
|WR Brandin Cooks, 76 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 59 - 0 (7 targets)|
Cooks got very little deep action in this game, as Jared Goff
continues to struggle in that area. He caught a bunch of crossers and screens. He did have one intermediate target in the Rams' two minute drill on a deep comeback, which he successfully caught and got out of bounds to stop the clock.
|WR Josh Reynolds, 75 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 70 - 0 (12 targets)|
Reynolds is performing admirably, but the Rams clearly miss Cooper Kupp
. Reynolds' production has been fairly steady, but it's clear that defenses don't really fear leaving him in single coverage and don't devote extra attention to him. They'll continue to do so until he and Goff make them pay for it. Reynolds was the recipient of a barrage of Goff targets in the redzone to close out the first half. The Rams were out of timeouts, but it was a really questionable sequence of playcalling. The routes were all well-covered and none of the throws were in play. He had a touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter that was overturned, with the referees ruling that he was down at the one yard line.