More Sports:

October 02, 2022

Eagles pounce on Jaguars' turnovers to stay undefeated

The Eagles followed five turnovers and a run of 29 unanswered points to a 4-0 record

Sometimes you just need a bit of luck. Luck and error from the other side. 

The Eagles fell into a 14-0 hole early and the offense stalled out in the first few possessions trying to figure out the wind, rain, and the Jacksonville defense. 

Sunday was trending toward a statement victory for Doug Pederson's upstart Jaguars. Then, early in the second quarter at the Philadelphia 34, quarterback Trevor Lawrence scrambled right and the rain-soaked ball slipped right out of his hand. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox fell on it. Eagles ball. Momentum shifted. 

What followed was a run of 29 unanswered points, and after four recovered fumbles and an interception, a 29-21 win for the still undefeated Eagles. 

After Lawrence's first fumble, the Eagles' offense finally found their way onto the board with a seven-play, 57-yard drive capped off by quarterback Jalen Hurts' three-yard touchdown run up the middle on 4th and goal. 

The defense forced a three and out on Jacksonville's next possession, then Hurts and company came right back out to knot up the score at 14, this time with a 10-yard scoring run from running back Miles Sanders to end a nine-play, 71-yard series. 

With 3:00 remaining in the half and the Eagles defense really starting to clamp down, Jacksonville faced a 3rd and 1 at its own 34 and was trying to press. Lawrence dropped the snap and edge rusher Haason Reddick found it in the pileup, giving the Eagles' offense one more shot before the half. 

They made it count, pulling ahead of Jacksonville 20-14 off a 10-yard Kenny Gainwell touchdown run going into the intermission. 

"We were on the sidelines saying 'There's a lot of ball left,'" Reddick said postgame. "We knew the game was far from over and we just decided to go out there, work, and do our best to dominate the men in front of us." 

Turnovers allowed the Eagles to take the lead in the first half, then, in the second, were what helped them preserve it. 

The Jaguars had driven the ball all the way down to the Philadelphia 16 with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter and were looking to strike. On 2nd and 7, Lawrence dropped back and tried to float a pass toward his top receiver Christian Kirk by the left pylon. Cornerback James Bradberry jumped the route and plucked the ball right out of the air. 

Possession was going back the other way and any momentum the Jaguars had going came to a screeching halt. The Eagles tacked on a field goal to go up, 23-14.  

They tallied up six more shortly after. At the 12:06 mark in the fourth quarter, with the ball on Jacksonville's 31, Reddick broke through coverage, knocked the ball out of Lawrence's hands again, and recovered it himself on the bounce, leading to the drive that resulted in Sanders' second rushing touchdown. 

"He's a guy that's been able to force a lot of fumbles, not only get to the quarterback but force a lot of fumbles," head coach Nick Sirianni said postgame of Reddick. "We talk so much about creating turnovers and how you create turnovers, and there are definitely things we can do as coaches to take it to another level, but make no mistake, it's about the players creating turnovers and good players know how to create turnovers."

The Jaguars scored midway through the fourth to make it a one-possession game, and the following Eagles drive to try and run out the clock stopped short in a turnover on downs. But as soon as the Jaguars took back over with time winding down, Reddick got to Lawrence and knocked the ball out again for defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to recover. 

The offense was free to kneel out the clock from there.

The Eagles were down but got a bit of luck. The Jaguars erred, a lot by the end of the day, and made them pay for it. 

"It just shows who we are," Reddick said. "They got up on us early, but nobody wavered. Nobody flinched. Everybody [went] 'Let's go...Let's keep going." Everybody [went] 'We got 'em,' and that's exactly what we did. 

"We kept our heads down, continued to work, played ourselves back into the game, took the lead, and got the W today."

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports