Philadelphia swiftly advanced 74 yards in just 30 seconds, positioning themselves at the Rams’ 1-yard line for one last snap before halftime. Virtually everyone at SoFi Stadium anticipated the forthcoming play, commonly referred to as the “tush push” or the “Brotherly Shove,” or whatever secret name Jalen Hurts has for the Eagles’ trademark short-yardage maneuver.
Despite Los Angeles being well-aware of the impending play, they couldn’t prevent Hurts from scoring a touchdown, giving Philadelphia the lead for good.
This is what it’s like to go up against the formidable Eagles nowadays: They may not always execute flawlessly, but they persistently make forward progress.
Hurts threw for 303 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing for 72 yards and another score. Philadelphia ultimately prevailed over the Rams with a final score of 23-14, maintaining their unbeaten status.
Dallas Goedert made eight receptions for 117 yards and an early touchdown for the Eagles, marking their first-ever consecutive 5-0 starts in franchise history. However, despite this being a showdown between the last two NFC champions, Philadelphia never managed to establish a significant lead. Nevertheless, the Eagles have triumphed in 22 of their last 23 regular-season games.
“It’s challenging to secure victories in this league, so we’re extremely pleased with our current position,” stated Goedert. “We do acknowledge that there are areas we need to refine, but it’s a promising beginning for us.”
A.J. Brown hauled in six receptions for 127 yards, but the Eagles couldn’t find their way to the end zone in the second half. They leaned on their defense, which effectively shut out the Rams (2-3) in the latter part of the game. Hurts’ rush into the end zone as the halftime buzzer sounded marked the game’s final touchdown, but it proved sufficient for Philadelphia.
Speaking of their signature play, which Hurts prefers to keep the name undisclosed, he said, “It’s something we’ve been able to do at a high level. It’s clear that it doesn’t always work for everyone else, so we just want to continue to execute whenever it’s called… We just want to continue to grow. It’s truly about growing.”
While the Eagles secured another road victory, characterized by a series of successful short-yardage surges, they will also lament missed opportunities. Despite accumulating a total of 454 yards, they failed to score at least 25 points for the first time this season.
Philadelphia achieved a 13-for-18 conversion rate on third downs, a notable improvement after last week’s struggles in that area. Nevertheless, they often settled for short field goals by Jake Elliott following extensive drives lasting 17 plays, 15 plays, and 10 plays.
The Philly defense compensated for the offense’s shortcomings, with Eagles rookie Jalen Carter registering two sacks in the same stadium where he won a national title with Georgia just nine months ago. Haason Reddick also contributed with two sacks.
“When the game began, they were quickly delivering the ball to their receivers,” Carter commented. “We recognized the need to get to (Matthew Stafford) more swiftly, and we did just that… and it had a significant impact on the game.”
Cooper Kupp, the former Super Bowl MVP, had eight receptions for 118 yards in his highly anticipated season debut for the Rams. Despite losing three of their last four games, the Rams remained competitive against three likely Super Bowl contenders during that stretch. Kupp made five receptions for 56 yards on Los Angeles’ opening drive, but the offense only managed one more touchdown drive.
Stafford passed for 222 yards and connected with Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua for touchdowns. However, Los Angeles’ offense failed to advance beyond midfield in the second half. Nacua finished with seven receptions, a career-low 71 yards.
Kupp made an extraordinary return to the NFL in his first game since November 2022, following his 2021 Offensive Player of the Year award. Kupp missed the final eight games of the last season due to an ankle injury and was sidelined early in this year’s training camp with a hamstring injury.
“There are a few things that I’m sure I’ll review tomorrow and think, ‘Man, I wish they had happened a bit faster,'” Kupp admitted. “But it felt great to be back out there playing football.”
Goedert caught a 6-yard touchdown pass to conclude Philadelphia’s opening drive. However, the Rams responded with a 14-play march that featured six targets to Kupp before Atwell’s TD catch.
Los Angeles took a 14-10 lead with 32 seconds remaining in the first half, highlighted by two exceptional throws by Stafford. He connected with Kupp for a 39-yard gain before finding Nacua in the corner for a 22-yard TD.
Nevertheless, Hurts managed to score after the Eagles received significant assistance from Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick, who committed 28 yards in penalties while attempting to defend Brown.
LA’s Ahkello Witherspoon executed an impressive end-zone interception in the third quarter to prevent the Eagles from extending their lead. However, the Rams’ offense failed to capitalize on any opportunity.
“I believe we have too much talent within our group to continue losing games like these, coming close against formidable opponents,” Witherspoon remarked. “It’s time to start converting these opportunities into wins, and I believe we have the squad capable of achieving that.”
Eagles: Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was sidelined for his first game of the season due to back pain.
Rams: Defensive lineman Bobby Brown had to be carted off the field with his right leg stabilized and only 1:50 left to play. Offensive lineman Joseph Noteboom also missed his first game of the season after suffering a groin injury last week.