If your Christmas wish was a definitive power statement by the Eagles offense, then you and I did not get our wish.
Inept and pathetic was more like it—in both coaching and player execution. Oakland’s defense seemed to know the play that was coming before we called it. That’s understandable for a preseason game—but not a Week 16 game with the #1 NFC seed on the line.
Fortunately for the Eagles their own defense created some opportunistic turnovers which stalled out some key drives for the Raiders. Also helping was Derek Carr (who does not look completely healthy re. his back injury) had a really bad game at QB—almost as bad a game as Nick Foles had.
I should not sneer in the face of a win. I was just lulled into numbness by our offensive effort. Maybe it was just the stereotypical “bad game” that all teams have from time to time on offense, as when the Patriots got pasted a few weeks ago by Miami. Or maybe it was a sign of more trouble to come.
Even the home crowd seemed lethargic and apathetic for the most part. Maybe it was the late evening start and too much eggnog, I don’t know, but what good is home team advantage when fans with tickets sit on their hands for most of the game? It came across as a wine and cheese crowd, and there was plenty of cheese left over for our cornerbacks to bite on again when Raider receivers turned slants into double-move sluggos.
In the end, Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs with a sloppy 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night.
Ronald Darby intercepted Derek Carr‘s pass and ran it back 52 yards with 54 seconds left, but was ruled down by contact at the spot of the pick. Nick Foles then completed four straight passes for 21 yards. After an incomplete pass, Elliott nailed his kick right down the middle. Derek Barnett returned a fumble for a touchdown after picking up a lateral on Oakland’s final play from scrimmage.
Oakland nearly spoiled Philadelphia’s Christmas. Carr threw a 63-yard TD pass to Amari Cooper to tie it at 7 early in the second quarter. Cooper was wide open after cornerback Jalen Mills tried to jump the route, on which Cooper hung a double-move on Mills.
Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 25-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter to give the Raiders a 10-7 lead.
The teams traded turnovers on three straight possessions, starting with Patrick Robinson intercepting Carr and returning it to Oakland’s 44.
Eagles left guard Chance Warmack then caused Jay Ajayi to fumble when he tried to push the pile and hit his teammate. The Raiders recovered at their 30, but gave it back on the next play when Marshawn Lynch fumbled at the same spot.
Philadelphia couldn’t do much with excellent field position and settled for Elliott’s tying 35-yard field goal.
Oakland’s first drive ended with Carr throwing the ball away on fourth-and-2 from Philadelphia’s 42.
The Eagles scored on the ensuing possession when Foles tossed a 17-yard TD pass to Ajayi for a 7-0 lead. Corey Clement ran 2 yards on fourth-and-1 to extend the drive.
That was basically the last we saw of anything resembling a competent offense for the rest of the game.
Raiders: Nelson dropped what should’ve been a pick-6 thrown right to him by Foles in the second quarter.
Eagles: Elliott was wide right on a 33-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
Raiders: OT Vadal Alexander sustained a concussion.
Eagles: DE Brandon Graham left with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. I also saw Nick Foles limping a little after taking a hard fall on his right hip under pass rush pressure. That was late in the game. Hopefully he is okay—we’re running out of bullets at quarterback.
|Passing 1st downs||4||7|
|Rushing 1st downs||6||3|
|1st downs from penalties||3||2|
|3rd down efficiency||3-13||1-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-2||2-2|
|Yards per Play||4.3||3.5|
|Yards per pass||4.6||3.5|
|Yards per rush||4.2||3.7|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||1-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
Two stats that kinda tell the whole story for me about our offense last night—Donnie Jones had to punt 8 times, and Alshon Jeffery had 0 catches on 2 targets. If that particular stat combo ever comes up again the rest of the way in the 2017 playoffs, we are finished.