Philadelphia Eagles overcome Los Angeles Rams, injury to Carson Wentz

By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 10, 2017 at 11:13 PM
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LOS ANGELES -- Carson Wentz couldn't wait to congratulate his Philadelphia Eagles teammates after they prevailed over the Los Angeles Rams, 43-35, in a battle between NFC divisional leaders at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.

Unfortunately, Wentz gave his high-fives in the locker room, where he sat out the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

Wentz passed for four touchdowns and Jake Elliott added three field goals to clinch the NFC East title for the Eagles.

But it might have come at a cost.

"We will find out more tomorrow," Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson said, discounting a report that Wentz had suffered a torn knee ligament. "You're speculating he is going to be out, but I just don't know yet."

Wentz didn't play after hurting his knee in the third quarter. Nick Foles replaced Wentz and got the Eagles in position for Elliott's final field goal with 3:45 to play.

"That's what they brought me in here to do," Foles said. "It's your job and you have to do your job."

Chris Long stripped Rams quarterback Jared Goff of the ball to set up Elliott's go-ahead kick from 33 yards.

"I held onto it for too long and Chris Long came in and made a good play," Goff said. "That's my job to execute the play and I didn't."

Tight end Trey Burton had two scoring receptions for Philadelphia. Brent Celek, another tight end, also had a touchdown catch.

Wentz left after taking a big hit on a third-quarter touchdown run that was called back because of a penalty. But he stayed in the game to deliver his last touchdown pass before hobbling to the sideline. He would leave the stadium on a motorized cart to reach the team bus.

The Eagles (11-2) rebounded after their nine-game winning streak was snapped against the Seattle Seahawks last week. The victory clinched the NFC East title.

Los Angeles (9-4) had a two-game winning run halted as they lost for the third time at home.

"Sometimes you have to learn some lessons the hard way," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "That was a tough football game against a very good team. They made more plays at the end than we did."

Before Wentz exited, he completed 23-of-41 attempts for 291 yards, with an interception.

In the first matchup of the 2016 draft's top two picks, Wentz got the better of Goff, the No. 1 overall selection that year. Goff was 16 of 26 for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Rams rookie Cooper Kupp paced all receivers with 118 yards on five catches, with a score.

Elliott's second field goal from 41 yards closed the gap to 35-34 with 10 minutes remaining.

Todd Gurley, the game's leading rusher with 96 yards, ran for his second score to open the fourth quarter and put Los Angeles in front 35-31.

The Eagles had regained the lead 31-28 on Alshon Jeffrey's scoring catch of 2 yards after the Rams committed two 15-yard penalties. For Wentz, it was his 33rd touchdown pass of the season, breaking Sonny Jurgensen's franchise mark set in 1961.

But he was also injured on the possession, which could be a significant blow to Philadelphia's future.

Los Angeles' Michael Thomas blocked Donnie Jones' punt and it was recovered by Blake Countess, who returned it 16 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. Five minutes into the second half, L.A. was up 28-24.

Sammy Watkins corralled a 1-yard pass in traffic to start the third quarter, getting the Rams to within 24-21. Los Angeles stymied the Eagles in the red zone just before the half and they had to settle for Elliott's 32-yard field goal to seize a 24-14 cushion.

Kupp's 6-yard touchdown reception cut the Eagles' lead to 21-14. Kupp had a 64-yard catch on the possession as the Rams scored after allowing 21 straight points.

With his second catch, Burton put the Eagles ahead 21-7 early in the second quarter. An 18-yard reception by Nelson Agholor kept the drive alive.

Burton pushed the Eagles ahead 14-7 late in the first quarter on a 20-yard scoring reception. Wentz delivered a beautiful pass to Burton despite him being double-covered.

Philadelphia tied the score 7-7 on its second possession when Wentz clicked with Celek on a 5-yard scoring pass.

The Rams struck first when taking advantage of Wentz's seventh interception of the year. Cornerback Kayvon Webster picked Wentz and that led to Gurley's 2-yard run through the right side for a 7-0 lead.

NOTES: Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) was out. ... Philadelphia was playing its third game on the West Coast this season and their second straight after facing the Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles didn't return to Philadelphia last week, practicing instead at Angel Stadium if Anaheim. ... Rams WR Robert Woods (shoulder) and OLB Connor Barwin (forearm) were unable to play. ... CB Kayvon Webster (ankle) exited in the first quarter. ... Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (concussion) didn't finish the game.

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