With their back against the wall, and their playoff hopes on the line, the Philadelphia Eagles came up with their biggest win of the season, defeating one of the league’s best teams this season in the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams were coming off just their second loss of the season to Chicago as they prepared for the Eagles, and things did not get any easier for them as Nick Foles stepped in at quarterback and led Philly to a 30-23 victory at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Foles famously led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title last season after Wentz suffered a season-ending injury against the Rams late in the season, so his teammates had full confidence in Foles’ abilities to win them a critical game to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“I feel bad for [Wentz], obviously, one of my best friends on the team,” Ertz said. “Nick is a Super Bowl MVP quarterback for a reason.”
Certainly, the experience gained in last year’s postseason run smoothed the transition from Wentz to Foles in this game against the Rams, as Foles was able to play freely against a stout Rams defense.
“We were able to go into the game, all of us felt comfortable with everything so we just went out there and we played ball,” Foles said. “Didn’t have to think too much, just had to play.”
Foles finished the game completing 24-of-31 pass attempts for 270 yards, efficiently conducting the Eagles offense all night and leading long drives that kept the ball away from an explosive Rams’ offense for much of the night.
All three Eagles touchdowns of the game came on the ground courtesy of running backs Wendall Smallwood and Josh Adams. Smallwood led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns, finishing the game with 48 yards on 10 attempts with two touchdowns. Adams carried the rock 15 times for 28 yards and contributed a touchdown of his own.
Foles most frequent target was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery who hauled in 8 catches for 160 yards. Most importantly, Foles distributed the ball to all of his receivers, connecting with seven different pass catchers throughout the game.
Zach Ertz caught three passes for 22 yards, while helping in the run game, as well as open up other opportunities in the passing game. With his three receptions Ertz eclipsed the 100-reception mark for the season, which ranks third in the NFL among all players.
“Playing in this offense has been a huge advantage for me,” Ertz said. “Playing with Doug [Pederson], the way he explains things, the way he details everything out is a huge advantage for me.”
Ertz is now just nine receptions shy of Jason Witten’s record for most receptions in a season by a tight end. Witten’s record is 110. Ertz is just the fourth tight end in NFL history to record 100-plus catches in a single season, joining Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and Dallas Clark.
However, Zach’s primary focus is on winning out and qualifying for the playoffs whether that be by winning the NFC East or claiming a wild card spot. Regardless, he knows the team likely needs to win their next two games against the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins to have a chance.
If they can win out and grab a playoff spot, no one will want to have to face the Eagles on Wild Card Weekend as they attempt to defend their Super Bowl title.
The Eagles host the Texans on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field.