Can the Eagles Win Without Wentz?
Week 14 was full of exciting games, so let’s get into it. There was a lot to talk about, but here are some of the big stories of the week.
Two of the NFC’s top teams met over the weekend in a matchup that could have some impact over final seeding come playoff time. The Rams played host to the Eagles, and the two highest scoring teams in the NFL did not disappoint. For a while it looked like the Eagles were going to run away with it, as Wentz threw 3 touchdown passes in the half and built a 24-14 lead. Wentz got the Eagles on the board once again, throwing a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey late in the third quarter, but it was a play that happened just before that has everybody talking.
The Eagles managed to hold on and won the game 43-35, and have officially locked up the top spot in the NFC East, but lost their star quarterback in the process.
Prior to the injury, Wentz was in the middle of an MVP-calibre season, throwing for 3296 yards and 33 touchdowns, with only 7 interceptions. The Eagles are now forced to rely on Nick Foles for the rest of the season. While he’s only a few seasons removed from a season where he threw 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, including tying an NFL record with 7 touchdowns in a game, he’s spent some time bouncing around the league as a backup. Eagles fans are hoping that Foles can find his form and play like the quarterback they once saw.
In a relatively meaningless game this week, the Bills and Colts played a game at the North Pole… alright not actually, but it definitely looked like it in Buffalo this week.
Neither team was able to generate much of anything really, but that’s really what made it so entertaining. The Bills quarterback duo of Nathan Peterman and Joe Webb combined for just 92 yards, one score and one interception. Meanwhile, Jacoby Brissett completed just 50% of his passes for 69 yards and a touchdown late in the game to force overtime. The following two point conversion would’ve won the game, but the play was called back on a holding penalty, forcing Adam Vinatieri to hit one of the toughest extra point kicks you’ll ever see.
It was all for nothing though, as LeSean McCoy rushed for a 21 yard touchdown late in overtime to win the game for the Bills. Both running backs were really the only positive thing for both teams this game. McCoy finished with 156 yards and the game-winning touchdown, while Frank Gore rushed for 130 yards. Luckily for us, but maybe unfortunately for the teams, Buffalo could be in store for another snow game in Week 15, and the team is already trying to prepare for it.
Far away from the snow, the Jacksonville Jaguars proved that they might be better than we actually give them credit for after they beat the Seahawks 30-24. It was a slow start, but both teams exploded in the second half, with the Jaguars scoring 21 in the 3rd quarter alone. Blake Bortles played competently enough, throwing 2 touchdown passes with 268 yards, and Leonard Fournette rushed for 101 and a touchdown. Despite that, it was the defense that was the main talking point of the game, and for once it isn’t Seattle’s defense getting all of the attention. The Jaguars pressured Russell Wilson all afternoon, getting two sacks and intercepting the Seahawks quarterback 3 times.
Then, the game started to get ugly in garbage time. The Jaguars were trying to kneel out the clock, but Michael Bennett apparently had other plans, and dove at the legs of a Jaguars lineman, starting a fight. After he was ejected, things somehow got even worse. Quinton Jefferson was the next Seahawks player ejected, and Jaguars fans let him have it.
In the end, the Jaguars improved to 9-4 and took sole possession of the AFC South, while the Seahawks at 8-5, remain a game behind the Rams for top spot in the NFC West.
In case you missed it, check out the Week 13 recap here.