Good morning, Eagles fans! The Birds are back from England and are recovering from any jet lag after a huge 24-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday. Head coach Doug Pederson will speak with the media at noon and we will carry that live. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with how a gritty game was won.
1. Big Players By Big Players
The Eagles won a backyard brawl with a tough Jaguars team yesterday. The game included several turnovers, players missed time with injuries, and it was decided with plays in the trenches. In the end, big plays made by leaders on the Eagles won a crucial game. Eagles' Insider Dave Spadaro has more on what made the difference at Wembley.
"We did what we had to do," Kelce said. "We've got versatile guys and we needed them today. It was tough out there today. We knew it would be against that defense. That's a good defense, very quick and aggressive."
2. Wentz At Wembley
Quarterback Carson Wentz made his fair share of mistakes in yesterday's win. The first two drives of the game began with big-yardage plays and ended with Wentz turnovers. But Wentz stayed composed, took advantage of opportunities, and fired three touchdown passes in a big day for the offense. Most importantly, the offense found a way to score in fourth quarter, run out the clock, and finish a game. There were a lot of improvements for Wentz and the offense from last week:
"We finished," Wentz said with a smile in his postgame press conference from Wembley Stadium. "At the end of the day, we finished. We still didn't finish the way we wanted offensively. We had that chance to kind of seal the deal and went three-and-out, which was unfortunate. But the defense stepped up. At the end of the day, we finished well this week and we didn't last week."
3. Young Guns Make The Difference
In a crucial game yesterday, several Eagles players made a difference. But it was the rookies that stole the show. Second-round pick Dallas Goedert made a 32-yard touchdown grab that gave the Eagles the lead before halftime. That play only happened because of a forced fumble by fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox who is filling in at safety for Rodney McLeod. Undrafted free agent Josh Adams led the team in rushing. Alex Smith has more on the impressive collective effort by the newest Eagles:
"I'm blessed to be here so I'm just staying patient and waiting for whenever my opportunity may come. Just taking it one day at a time, trying to get better each day," Adams said. "I just each and every week try to stay ready. You never know what can happen on gameday, so I try to prepare as well (as I can). It just so happened that I got a little bit more today, but I don't focus on stuff like that. I just try to focus on what I can do, and if I get my opportunity, try to take advantage of it."
4. J-Matt: Just Like Old Times
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews had a breakout game in London a week after he didn't have a single reception against the Panthers. With a team-leading 93 yards on four receptions, it was arguably Matthews' best game since returning to the Eagles on September 19. Dave Spadaro has more on how Matthews' emergence adds to the offense and how he and Wentz got on the same page yesterday:
"You need to have a quarterback who can put the ball where it needs to be and Carson does that," said Matthews, who has 10 receptions for 200 yards and a touchdown since rejoining the team on September 19. "I'm kind of a 'feel' player and a lot of those routes I just have to find space and Carson is going to put the ball where it needs to be. He made it easy for me so it was great to go out there and help us get the win."
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Jaguars in London.
5. Brandon Graham's Travel Diary: Gameday
Eagles' defensive end Brandon Graham kept a travel diary from his time in London. Yesterday, he completed his final journal entry by reflecting on his time abroad and, most importantly, recapping a crucial victory. Graham writes that it wasn't a pretty win, but the defense found a way to make plays late in the game and close out the victory:
Late in the game, we're out there with the score tight and we needed a stop. We weren't able to do that a couple of times this year (in Tennessee, against Carolina) so it was another test of what we have inside us. We had heart today. We finished. That felt good. I hope we have some momentum going into the second half of the season.
6. Player of the Week
Several Eagles stood out against the Jaguars yesterday. Vaughn Johnson selected three players as nominees for the Toyota Player of the Week, which you can vote for here. Two of the three nominees are rookies:
CB Avonte Maddox
The fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh has been asked to take on a ton of responsibility in his first NFL season.
Fortunately for the Eagles, Maddox has answered the call in a big way.
In London, Maddox had four total tackles, but two of them ended a pair of Jacksonville possessions.
The first came on the Jaguars' opening drive, as running back Carlos Hyde took the ball and attempted to rumble up the gut for a first down on a third-and-1. However, Maddox stepped up into the box and stymied Hyde short of the first down, forcing the Jags to settle for a field goal.
Later in the first half, the Jaguars had the lead, the ball, and looked poised to take firm control of the game.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles found Keelan Cole on a pass play, Maddox hit Cole to knock the ball loose. Safety Malcolm Jenkins calmly ran over to the ball and regained possession for the Eagles.