PHILADELPHIA — Adversity certainly came for the Eagles way early against the Jacksonville Jaguars, yet Philadelphia used an excellent defensive effort to rally for a 29-21 victory at Lincoln Financial Field on a rainy and windy Sunday afternoon. Miles Sanders rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles rushing attack, which gained 213 yards on the ground in the less-than-ideal conditions. The Eagles (4-0) remain the NFL’s lone unbeaten team.
Philadelphia, which trailed by double digits for the first time this season, rallied from a 14-0 deficit and scored 29 unanswered points to take control of the game. Jalen Hurts had a 3-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line to get the scoring started and make it 14-7. The Eagles followed that drive by forcing a three-and-out. On their next series, Sanders had a 10-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14. Kenny Gainwell then scored from 10 yards out to put the Eagles up 20-14 before halftime.
The Eagles scored 20 points in the second quarter and have 85 total second-quarter points through four games, the most in NFL history. The second-quarter dominance built a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jake Elliott added to the lead early in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard field goal before Sanders put Philadelphia up 29-14 with a 5-yard touchdown run — his second of the afternoon. Sanders had a key third down run that went for seven yards on third-and-5 in the final minutes that helped chew several minutes off the clock late in the game.
Jacksonville took the early lead on an Andre Cisco 59-yard interception return that put the Jaguars up 7-0. Jamal Agnew also had a two-yard touchdown catch that put Jacksonville up 14 points in the first quarter. While Agnew finished with two receiving touchdowns on the day, the Jaguars were doomed with five turnovers and a stretch where they went 13 plays for 27 yards while Philadelphia was rallying from its two-touchdown deficit to take the lead.
Down 29-21 with 1:48 left, Haason Reddick forced a strip-sack fumble on Trevor Lawrence (his second of the game) to seal the win. The Eagles forced five takeaways and had three sacks on the day.
Here are the key takeaways from the Jaguars-Eagles game. Recap all the action in the live blog below.
Why the Eagles won
The Eagles rushed for 213 yards against the Jaguars’ No. 1 run defense, despite being without Jordan Mailata for the majority of the game. Sanders rushed for a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns in adverse weather conditions while Jalen Hurts provided 38 yards and a score on the ground. Philadelphia went to its bread and butter in slowing the game down by running the football and having long, sustainable drives that kept the Jaguars defense on the field.
In addition to the rushing attack, the defense forced five takeaways — including two strip-sack fumbles by Haason Reddick in the second half to preserve the win. Jacksonville had a stretch where it ran 16 plays for 27 yards as Philadelphia erased its 14-0 hole and took a 20-14 lead into the half.
Why the Jaguars lost
Five takeaways ended up dooming Jacksonville, including four fumbles on a rainy and windy afternoon. All the fumbles led to Eagles touchdowns on the ensuing drive, and the final one by Reddick ended up finishing the game when Jacksonville had an opportunity to tie it with under two minutes to go.
Christian Kirk was also mostly ineffective as he was targeted nine times and had two catches for 60 yards, while Lawrence threw an interception targeting him in the third quarter. The Jaguars allowed 401 yards as the Eagles wore the defense down, running on them 50 times.
The Jaguars went for the statement on a fourth-and-3 from the Eagles’ 34-yard line early in the second quarter with a 14-0 lead. A first-down conversion would have been near deadly for the Eagles, but Lawrence mishandled the snap and the play resulted in a 14-yard loss with Fletcher Cox recovering the fumble at the Eagles’ 48-yard line.
That gave the Eagles — and the rain-soaked crowd — momentum as they went seven plays for 62 yards and a score to cut the deficit to 14-7. Philadelphia ended up scoring 20 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 20-14 halftime lead.
Play of the game
Jalen Hurts scored a 3-yard touchdown on fourth-and-3 with the Eagles down 14-0 in the second quarter. Hurts took the handoff and went past the open A-gap and into the end zone for the touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7. Not only did Hurts anticipate the hit from Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd as he crossed the plane, he also provided the hit as he was ready to lower his body and score.
The hit ended up with Hurts’ helmet connecting with Lloyd’s, but both players ended up okay in the aftermath. Gutsy play by Hurts.
“I told Doug ‘I really appreciate you and have a lot of respect for you.’ I told him thank you because you’re the reason why I’m here. I have a lot of love and respect for him, his way of coaching, his coaching style, the way he does things, and the great job he’s doing in Jacksonville right now.
“I have nothing but respect for him. I wish him nothing but the best.”
– Jalen Hurts on catching up with Doug Pederson after the Eagles’ win over the Jaguars.
The Eagles (4-0) will head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals while the Jaguars (2-2) will host the Texans next week.