In one of the most improbable comebacks in recent memory, the Eagles fell short. Two points away from forcing overtime after fighting back from a 24-6 third-quarter deficit. Carson Wentz was brilliant in the clutch, but the Ravens stymied a last-ditch effort to tie it on a questionable read-option play.
Wentz ran in a touchdown from the 1-yard line to cut Baltimore’s lead to 30-28 with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter. Then, the Eagles put the game in Boston Scott’s hands on a potential game-tying two-point conversion. The Ravens snuffed out the poorly-executed read option. After the game, Doug Pederson took full responsibility for the gaffe and told reporters the decision to run that play was “on me.”
“My decision to go with the play call, so that’s on me,” Pederson said. “Again, great opportunity right there to score, tie the football game. I can do better as far as getting the play in and giving our guys a better opportunity play-call-wise in that situation. But credit them; made the stop and just a little bit short.”
Wentz finished 21-of-40 for 213 yards and three touchdowns, including a rushing score and a beautiful 19-yard jump-ball heave to Travis Fulgham. The franchise quarterback put the Eagles on his back on a feisty 40-yard scramble where he broke tackles at will. He ran it five times for 49 yards, plus hit 10 different receivers in the game.
Wentz’s performance was even more impressive considering he was under duress all afternoon. He was sacked six times — a number that probably should have been higher — since he was playing behind a porous, makeshift offensive line.
“Pain and soreness, bumps and bruises — that’s part of footballm” Wentz said of getting knocked around. “Every guy out there is feeling something along those lines within the games, you don’t notice those things.”
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Pederson Explains Decisions on Two-Point Conversions
The head coach always takes the blame in tight games, especially when he opts to go for two points early in the contest. That’s what happened during Sunday’s 30-28 loss to Baltimore. And, to his credit, Pederson owned up to all of it.
The Eagles went for two points four times and converted two of them, but missed the one they needed to tie it. The reason why they needed to go for it there came down to them failing to convert after their first touchdown in the third quarter. The one where Miles Sanders rumbled 74 yards before being stripped deep in Baltimore territory and watching J.J. Arcega-Whiteside pounce on the loose ball. The Ravens held a 17-6 lead at the time. Pederson decided to go for two.
“At that time, it just gives you the best probability to win the game,” Pederson said. “In that situation, you go for two, and then you’re down a touchdown, and a field goal wins the game, obviously, if things stay status quo, but just gave us the best probability at that point to win.”
By not getting the first two-pointer, the Eagles had to chase those missed points all day. They left two points on the board and wound up losing by two. Of course, Jake Elliott’s missed 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half cost them another three points. There was enough blame to go around. Wentz admitted the team came out of the huddle a little late on the two-point try at the end of the game.
“We probably did get a little later out of the huddle than we wanted,” Wentz said. “I think it’s a 20-second play clock, seems like it goes pretty quick on a two-point play, and so we have to be more urgent to get up to line and get our calls and get our checks. We had a scouted look there that we felt confident in. They made a good play, made life tough on us. It’s frustrating to come up short, but hats off to them.”
Eagles Down to 2 Starters from Original Camp Roster
The Eagles’ ongoing struggle with injuries can’t be used as an excuse for their poor start. Or can it? Even the most hardcore Philly hater has to admit this is getting ridiculous. The team watched TE Zach Ertz (ankle), RB Miles Sanders (knee), RT Jack Driscoll (ankle), DT Malik Jackson (quad), and K’Von Wallace (shoulder) all leave Sunday’s game and never return. The ailments to Ertz and Sanders looked serious as MRI results loom.
The Eagles are literally down to just two starters from what was supposed to be their starting offense. They are relying on practice-squad players all over the field, including Fulgham and new tight end Jason Croom who both scored touchdowns versus Baltimore. Fulgham has found the end zone in three straight games.
“We have had some injuries here before, but obviously this is on another level,” Kelce said. “The whole offseason and everything that has transpired this season, COVID and everything, you are seeing injuries up across the league. Everybody seems that they are dealing with this issue right now. I haven’t really been a part of something like this drastic like this in my career, but you are always trying to overcome this stuff.”
Kelce, of course, is the only starter still standing from the offensive line. The Eagles have already lost Andre Dillard, Jason Peters, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Pryor — and now Driscoll is hurt while backups Jordan Mailata and Jamon Brown have been thrown into the fire. Insanity on the offensive line, for sure.
“Are we getting the job done as a unit? It could have been better today for sure,” Kelce said. “Really good defense. It’s just part of the way this game is going and the way this season is going. You roll with the circumstances and try and do the best you can and find a way to get it done.”
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