Sunday, October 05, 2014

Eagles offense sputters again, defense does just enough in narrow win over Rams

Thanks to CBS
Philadelphia,  PA -- The  Eagles' offense  was once  again contained  to  pedestrian levels, but  touchdowns on defense and special teams helped Philadelphia hold off the St. Louis Rams, 34-28, in Week 5 action.

The Eagles (4-1) relied on a defense that forced three turnovers and a special teams unit that scored on a blocked punt for the second straight week.

Defensive end Cedric Thornton recovered two fumbles, picking up one in the end zone and returning another 40 yards to set up a Jeremy Maclin touchdown catch.

Nick  Foles threw a  pair of touchdown passes but finished with just 207 yards with  an interception  and a lost fumble for Philadelphia, which was outgained 466-352  one week after being held without an offensive touchdown in a loss to the 49ers.

The  Rams (1-3)  scored the  final  21 points  and  moved the  ball just  past midfield  in  the final minute, but  two dropped passes and an incompletion on fourth down spoiled a chance at a miraculous comeback.

Austin  Davis  came  on  strong  late  and passed  for  375  yards  and  three touchdowns, two going to Brian Quick.

Benny  Cunningham's  14-yard touchdown  run in  the final  minute of the third quarter  cut St.  Louis' deficit to 34-14,  and the Rams turned a Foles fumble into  seven  points on Kenny Britt's  30-yard touchdown catch six minutes into the fourth.

Following  a  quick Philadelphia  punt, the Rams  pulled within one possession with  a  drive that lasted  just 2:07, as  a Davis-to-Quick connection of five yards capped the 6-play, 75-yard march.

Pinned  at the 7-yard line inside the two-minute warning, Quick came down with a huge 43-yard catch before a pair of drops by Austin Pettis and an incomplete pass intended for Quick sealed St. Louis' fate.

Davis threw three straight incompletions to start the game, and on the ensuing punt,  James Casey  went  virtually  untouched up  the  middle  to block  John Hekkers'  kick. Chris Maragos picked up the spinning loose ball at the 10-yard line and went in for an easy touchdown.

The Eagles moved inside the Rams' 10-yard line their first two possessions but settled for short Cody Parkey field goals and led 13-0 after one quarter.

After  Foles was  intercepted by E.J. Gaines, the Rams embarked on an 11-play, 84-yard  drive that ended in Davis finding Quick in the end zone for an 8-yard score with 3:23 remaining in the half.

Foles led the Eagles into the red zone before halftime and cashed in with a 9-yard  touchdown pass to Riley Cooper, who outjumped cornerback Janoris Jenkins along the sideline to give the hosts a 20-7 lead at the break.

On the Rams' first play of the second half, Trent Cole came in on Davis' blind side  and strip-sacked  the quarterback. The ball bounced around near the goal line and Thornton recovered it while lying in the end zone.

Zac  Stacy  fumbled later in the  third quarter, and Thornton's return down to the  Eagles'  24-yard line paved  the way for Maclin's  fourth TD catch of the year and what looked like an iron-clad 27-point edge.

Notes: Philadelphia  improved  to 8-3 against  the Rams since the franchise relocated from  Los Angeles  to St.  Louis for  the 1995  season ...  The Eagles  have a combined  seven  defensive and special  teams touchdowns this season ... Quick caught  five passes for 87 yards, while Maclin led the Eagles with five for 76 ...  The Eagles have won four straight meetings ... Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was limited to 81 yards on 24 carries.
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