It was one of the most obvious face-masking calls in NFL history. And the refs finally admitted they missed it.
Miles Sanders was ruthlessly mugged from behind by Lions linebacker Miles Killebrew last week during the Eagles’ 27-24 loss to Detroit. The running back had his entire helmet turned around in a 180-degree angle and the play drew no call. Not one yellow flag for a blatant face-mask. On Sunday, the league announced it was fining Killebrew $10,527 for unnecessary roughness on Sanders.
The missed call had been the subject of much chatter centering around the NFL’s insistence on looking out for major head injuries. Killebrew’s strange angle could have easily led to a concussion or neck injury. Luckily, Sanders escaped unscathed and laughed it off after the game. He also put his performance behind him after fumbling twice.
“All I can say is I’ve got to put it behind me and keep going,” Sanders told The Inquirer. “It’s a long season. I’ll continue to grow and get ready for next week.”
He did just that against the Packers’ brutal run defense. On Thursday, Sanders carried the ball eleven times for 72 yards. No fumbles.
Craig James Unlikely Hero for Eagles
Cornerback Craig James is certainly enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. James was forced into action Thursday night after injuries to Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox made him the next man up. On his third-ever NFL snap, the undrafted free agent made the biggest play of the game.
James deflected a pass from Aaron Rodgers with 28 seconds left in the contest on a slant pattern intended for Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The young cornerback knew the veteran quarterback was going to target him. James was ready and waiting to tip the football which landed in the arms of linebacker Nigel Bradham to secure the victory. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had told James that the Packers were coming at him.
“He was ready for the challenge, obviously, and made a huge play for us to get a win,” Jenkins told ESPN. “At a great time for us because we needed it against a great team on the road. No bigger moment than that for him, so I’m definitely proud of him.”
Doug Pederson Delivered Fiery Speech
When the Eagles beat the Packers Thursday night they became the first team to ever beat Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field when the quarterback had a 10-point lead. That’s an impressive piece of history that head coach Doug Pederson can add to his mantle.
After the victory, the Eagles revealed a portion of Pederson’s fiery speech to his players. He congratulated them for never quitting despite being down early.
“Listen, I have told you guys this before, one thing I love about you is the way you fight for 60 minutes,” Pederson said. “And you hang in there with one another. When things don’t look pretty — and it’s never a pretty win, okay? — but it is a win. Hey, listen, it took all 60 minutes and every man in this room, every man in this room to get this thing done. There is no quit in this team.”
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