Rams down Eagles in home opener
Jared Goff soundly outdueled Carson Wentz as the Los Angeles Rams overwhelmed the Eagles 37-19. The victory improves the Rams’ record to 2-0 while it will sink the Eagles’ record to 0-2 on the season.
The Birds’ defense simply showed no sign of resistance when faced with the task of stopping Sean McVay’s high-powered attack. As a result of an opening drive Miles Sanders’ fumble, the Rams offense was able to obtain the ball right away and wasted no time putting points on the board. A play-action fake led to Jared Goff hitting tight end Tyler Higbee for a touchdown, just one of his three on the day. You read that correctly, Tyler Higbee just dropped a hat trick of touchdowns on the Eagles’ defense.
Much credit goes to Goff who began the game on a serious hot streak. He completed his first 13 passes which included two touchdowns. After an end-around touchdown run courtesy of Robert Woods, the Rams were already up 21-3 just minutes into the second quarter.
The Eagles didn’t entirely give up and roll over after this initial deficit. There appeared to be a concerted effort on offense to utilize rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor (4 catches for 41 yards) and he drew an important “unnecessary roughness” penalty on the next Birds drive. This resulted in a fresh set of downs at the goalline which Wentz easily turned into a touchdown with a quarterback sneak. The Rams snuffed out an outside run by Miles Sanders during the following two-point conversion attempt.
Building on this momentum, the Eagles punt coverage team stripped Cooper Kupp and recovered the ball in the red zone at the very end of the first half. A Miles Sanders burst up the middle gave the team two rushing touchdowns on the day and brought the score to 21-16 at halftime.
Unfortunately, in a fashion very similar to last week’s second half collapse, the Birds would only score three total points in the second half. This is especially frustrating given that the best looking Eagles drive occurred to start the third quarter. Wentz and company strung together multiple positive plays and even converted a number of third down attempts to keep the ball rolling deep into Rams territory. The Eagles hopes of pulling ahead were dashed when cornerback Darious Williams intercepted Wentz in the endzone.
The Rams further capitalized on that momentum-swinging interception by converting a 4th and 1 play, Goff keeping it himself and picking up the crucial yardage needed. After a third touchdown from tight end Hibgee the game was clearly over, the Eagles still left groping for answers.
The Eagles did a fabulous job containing Robert Woods, usually a significant cog in the Rams’ offensive machine, but it was other weapons that succeeded for them today. Higbee’s trifecta of touchdowns speak for themselves while Cooper Kupp (5 receptions for 81 yards) displayed precisely why he is Goff’s favorite target on third down.
Despite the loss, there are few bright spots of encouragement for the Eagles. After allowing 8 sacks in their opening game, Wentz wasn’t downed once in week 2, even by the all-pro disruptive force that is Aaron Donald. Additionally, DeSean Jackson looked more comfortable as a receiver going for 64 yards on 6 catches. Finally, after Sanders’ initial fumble he was very efficient on the ground and showcased some of the burst that made him such a special playmaker down the stretch last season.
The Philadelphia Eagles will battle Joe Burrow and the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday. One of these teams won’t remain winless for much longer.