Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Los Angeles Rams
- QuarterbackThe Eagles saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks, and while the loss is not likely to cause the team any long-term problems, it will be interesting to see how head coach Doug Pederson approaches this assignment. Carson Wentz remains a top MVP candidate, and he squares off with fellow 2016 draftee Jared Goff.The Rams have been nearly as good as the Eagles, and appear to have an excellent chance of holding onto the lead in the NFC West and earning a division title. If they can catch and pass the Eagles, they can gain one of the two top spots in the NFC playoffs. Goff has thrown for 3,184 yards while completing 62.2 percent of his passes. He has tossed 20 TDs and just six interceptions.
- OffenseThe Eagles made several moves in the offseason to upgrade their offense and the two biggest were adding running back LeGarrette Blount from the Patriots and wideout Alshon Jeffery from the Bears. Blount is a power back with finishing ability whole Jeffery has power and long arms, and can make difficult catches. Nelson Agholor has turned his career around by catching 40-599-7.The Rams were a bit worried last year because running back Todd Gurley regressed during his second season. He has realized that NFL careers can be short and has rebounded by running for 939 yards and eight touchdowns. Rookie Cooper Kupp has become the go-to receiver since Robert Woods (shoulder) has missed the last two games. Sammy Watkins could play a big role here.
- DefenseThe Eagles have done a sensational job on defense this season, ranking fourth in yards allowed and that’s a major achievement considering that they don’t have a unit filled with superstars. Nigel Bradham has speed and range at the OLB position and is tied with fellow backer Mychal Hendricks as both have a team-high 63 tackles. DE Brandon Graham has 8.5 sacks and has a burst coming around the corner.The Rams are capable of making a slew of big plays on defense, and they rely on their speed and quickness. If they have a weakness, it may be their lack of size and power against a running back like Blount. Defensive end Aaron Donald can line up anywhere on the defensive line and he has a team-high 8.0 sacks. Mark Barron has 79 tackles, three interceptions and seven passes defensed.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles are usually going to hold their own on special teams, but that could be an issue this week since the Rams are one of the strongest teams in that area. Kenjon Barner has a 76-yard punt return to his credit, while Jake Elliott has done a fine job, making 19-of-23 FG attempts.The Rams can do it all on special teams, and they have a pair of explosive return men in Pharoh Cooper and Tavon Austin. PK Greg Zuerlein and P Johnny Hekker are two of the best specialist in the league. Zuerlein has made 36-of-38 FG attempts, and Hekker has a 44.5-yard net average.
This is a very tough assignment for the Eagles as they stay on the West Coast for the second consecutive week. Philadelphia wants to avoid a losing streak, while the Rams want to move ahead of Philadelphia in the standings.
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