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Eagles Grind Down Rams, Remain Undefeated

Oct. 13, 2023

Morgan Killian-Moseley

INGLEWOOD, Calif.- It may have been a home game for the Los Angeles Rams, and they had Cooper Kupp back for the first time this season, but considering the Eagles' performance in their 23-14 victory over L.A., combined with the amount of people wearing green (of both the Kelly and Midnight shades) in the stands at SoFi Stadium, Rams' House may as well have been Birds' House.

The Eagles hit paydirt on the opening drive of the game with a six-minute-plus drive capped off with a 6-yard touchdown catch by Dallas Goedert, his fourth catch of the drive.

The Rams would respond with a touchdown drive of their own that took over six minutes off the clock. Kupp would make five catches on the drive for 56 yards, and Rams quarterback Matt Stafford was able to connect with Tutu Atwell on a 3rd-&-goal to finish it off.

In the 2nd quarter, after both teams traded punts, Philadelphia regained the lead on a 34-yard field goal from Jake Elliott with just over two minutes left in the half.

Los Angeles would go into two-minute drill mode, and with 38 seconds remaining, Stafford found Puka Nacua in the right corner of the ens zone to give the Rams a 14-10 lead after Brett Maher's extra point.

With all three timeouts, the Eagles looked to get into field goal range and cut their deficit to one at the half. They did just that on a 3rd-&-1 from their own 34, as Jalen Hurts connected with AJ Brown, who weaved his way to the L.A. 28 before being brought down with a horse collar tackle by L.A.'s Derion Kendrick; tacking 14 more yards on and putting the Birds in the red zone with seven seconds left.

In most similar situations, a team would take one shot at the end zone and then kick the field goal. Hurts tried to connect with Brown again, but Kendrick was all over him. Hurts intentionally threw the pass short and drew the pass interference penalty on Kendrick giving the Eagles a 1st-&-goal at the 1. From there, the "Brotherly Shove" was academic, and Elliott's extra point gave the Birds a 17-14 lead going into the locker room.

After forcing a punt to start the second half, the Philadelphia offense took over at their own 5. Hurts would move the chains with two quick passes to D’Andre Swift, then connect on a deep ball to Goedert for 49 yards. After connecting with Goedert again two plays later, the Eagles were in the red zone yet again. Hurts looked to find Brown again. He again threw it short, hoping for a P.I. But Rams corner Ahkello Witherspoon had it played well, and picked off Hurts’s pass in the end zone.

L.A. looked to have something going on their ensuing drive, as Stafford hit Nacua over the middle for 15 yards on 2nd-&-3 from the L.A. 27- and got 15 more yards tacked on via a horse collar penalty on Eagles safety Reed Blankenship. On the next play however, Stafford was nearly picked off by Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow. In fact, it had been ruled an interception on the field, but replay showed the ball hit the ground before Morrow could secure it.

Two plays later, Stafford tried a screen to Nacua, but Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat ripped it away. Kupp was able to fall on it and the Rams would punt.

That would be the last time the Rams offense would get into Philadelphia territory all game, as the Eagles offense would add two 26-yard field goals from Elliott, And on the last meaningful drive of the game, Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick salted it away with back-to-back sacks.

Hurts was 25-of-38 passing for 303 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Hurts was also Philadelphia's leading rusher with 72 yards and a score on 15 carries.

Swift added 70 ground yards on his 17 carries, while adding six catches for 38 yards. Kenneth Gainwell added seven rushes for 17 yards and a reception for seven yards.

Brown had a game-high 127 receiving yards on his six receptions, while Goedert had 117 yards and the touchdown on his eight. Surprisingly, Devonta Smith had only one six-yard catch in the game. Quez Watkins chipped in two receptions and Jack Stoll chipped in one, with both receivers gaining four yards.

For Los Angeles, Stafford went 22-of-37 for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

On the ground, Khiren Williams had 13 rushing attempts for 53 yards and two receptions for four yards, while Ronnie Rivers gained one yard on his only carry.

Kupp had a good overall day in his first game off the PUP list, leading the Rams with eight receptions for 118 yards. Nacua added 71 yards and a touchdown on his seven catches. Atwell had two catches, one for six yards; the other for three yards and six points. Tyler Higbee added 20 yards on his two catches.

The Eagles defense got to Stafford four times, with rookie defensive end Jalen Carter netting two sacks in addition to Reddick's back-to-back. Hurts was only sacked once; the first in the NFL career of Rams linebacker Zach VanValkenburg.

The Eagles are now 5-0, one of two undefeated teams left in the NFL (the 49ers being the other), and will travel up the Turnpike to Metlife Stadium to take on the New York Jets late Sunday afternoon, whom they have never lost to in the history of both franchises. The 2-3 Jets are coming off a 31-21 win against the Denver Broncos at Mile High.

At that same time, the 2-3 Rams will attempt to regroup as they host the 1-4 division rival Arizona Cardinals, who suffered a 34-20 defeat at home to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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