It was a match-up made in NFL heaven. The first and second draft picks from 2016 making a lot of noise in their sophomore season after suffering losing records in their rookie year.
Philadelphia won the epic battle 43-35 but lost their fearless leader, quarterback Carson Wentz, to a knee injury he sustained late in the third quarter – a bittersweet moment on a day he reached 33 touchdown passes, the most in Eagle’s history, surpassing Sonny Jurgensen’s 32 in 1961.
LA got a gift on the Eagles first drive when a deflected pass off of Nelson Algohor fell into the hands of Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster. Two plays later Todd Gurley barreled through a pair of Phillies defenders for a short lived 7-0 lead.
On the Eagles second possession a catch and run by Corey Clement followed by a blocking party by his offensive line garnered 28 yards. Running back Jay Ajayi gained 16 in consecutive runs, a sideline pass to Alshon Jeffrey got them to the red zone and a five-yard bullet to Brent Celek tied the score.
Later in the quarter, while the Eagles were deep into Rams territory, Webster was carted off the field after rupturing his right Achilles in a noncontact play near the end zone putting a premature stop to his prolific year. Two plays later on third and long Wentz launched a 20-yard pass to Trey Burton for the go ahead TD.
The Wentz/Burton duo struck again early in the second quarter after USC standout Algohor kept the drive alive with 18 yards on a 4th and 1. On 3rd and 8 Burton caught a pass in the end zone touchdown pass with LA cornerback Trumaine Johnson draped all over him.
In their next possession, the Rams answered back when rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp fought his way inside the pylon to cut the lead 21-14.
Wentz and his boys got three back after a series of passes to Jeffrey, Burton and Torrey Smith gave a leg up to placekicker Jake Elliot who put it through the uprights from 22-yards out.
The Rams came roaring out of the gate in the 3rd quarter with an opening TD off of Gurley’s combined air and ground 42-yard gains, Kupp’s 23-yard reception, capped off by Sammy Watkins 2nd and goal catch in the end zone.
LA’s secondary started to click on all cylinders after delivering their first three and out, Blake Countess recovered a block kick on the Eagles 30 and ran it in for a 28-24 lead. But instead of holding Philadelphia to a potential field goal on their next drive, Ram’s Johnson taunted Jeffrey after putting the kibosh on a completed pass giving the Eagles a set of new downs and seven more points nine plays later.
The Rams recovered with a 1-yard touchdown by Gurley swinging the pendulum back to LA for a four-point lead. With Wentz AWOL, Nick Foles stepped into the pocket and led the Eagles within one on Elliot’s 41-yarder.
Goff got LA a first down via a defensive pass interference call then gave it away on a forced fumble by Chris Long, which resulted in a 33-yard go-ahead field goal.
Down by two, the Rams picked a bad time to go three and out, and on the Rams next possession, Eagles rookie Algohor, who wreaked havoc on LA all day, kept the drive alive converting a 3rd and 8 with a lunging 9-yard reception with 1:52 remaining.
Ram’s first year coach Sean McVay has been magic, but with one second on the clock, all he could do was watch his team’s last ditch proverbial lateral turn into a 16-yard fumble recovery touchdown and a loss to the NFC East clinching Eagles, whose fate is unknown with their star quarterback out for the rest of the season.