What did I like about Eagles 24-18 win? What didn't I like? Glad you asked

Big plays and the play of rookie safety Avonte Maddox stand out about Sunday's must-win

The Eagles don’t play again for two weeks when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. They are 4-4 and still have a season worth playing for halfway through it following Sunday’s 24-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in London’s Wembley Stadium.

So what did I like about the must-win?

What didn’t I like?

Glad you asked.

What I liked

The Eagles had six plays of 20 yards or more and none of them went to Alshon Jeffery or Zach Ertz.

Here’s the rundown of those six gainers:

Carson Wentz to Nelson Agholor for 39 yards.

Wentz to Wendell Smallwood for 36 yards and a touchdown.

Wentz to Jordan Matthews for 36 yards.

Wentz to Dallas Goedert for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Wentz to Matthews for 31 yards on third-and-14.

Josh Adams runs for 21 yards.

The six plays from 20-plus yards ties a season-high. The previous time came against the Vikings, but two of the plays in that game were for just 20 yards.

What I didn’t like

Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins bit on a double move that went for an 11-yard touchdown on a third-and-four throw that made the score 17-12 with 4:33 to play in the third quarter. The score came on the ensuing drive after the Eagles had went up 17-6.

The double-move bite is something you would expect to see from Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby. Not Jenkins.

What I liked

Avonte Maddox has been a revelation at safety. The rookie made a nice tackle on third-and-one that stopped a Jacksonville drive and led to a 50-yard field goal try, which Josh Lambo made for a 3-0 lead. It could’ve been worse.

Maddox also forced a fumble with a nice helmet on ball hit after Keelan Cole had a 15-yard reception to put the Jaguars at the Eagles 42-yard line in the final two minutes of the second quarter. This was huge, because the Jags were nearing field goal range to add to a 6-3 lead and they were getting the ball to start the third quarter.

Instead, Maddox’s forced fumble, which was scooped up by Jenkins and returned 11 yards to the Jags’ 44. It set up the Eagles for Wentz’s 32-yard TD throw to Goedert with 38 seconds left in the half and gave the Birds a 19-6 lead at halftime.

Just putting this out there … Rodney McLeod is set to count $9.9 million against the salary cap in 2019. Maddox is still on his rookie fourth-round contract. Could the Eagles consider moving McLeod in the offseason?

What I didn’t like

Wentz’s first-quarter fumble. It was the quarterback’s seventh fumble of the season and it was the fifth that he lost. He lost just six fumbles in his first two years. The interception was ugly, too, as he tried to force a throw to Joshua Perkins. It was Wentz’s first pick in 181 straight attempts, and just his second this season.

What I liked

Thirty-three-year-old Chris Long played like a rookie and, with Derek Barnett out for the season, it came at a good time for the veteran defensive end. With only one sack in the first seven games, Long had two of them.

What I didn’t like

Sidney Jones can’t get back into the lineup quickly enough. Jones missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury, and Dexter McDougle wasn’t up to the challenge of taking Jones’ place. McDougle missed several tackles and was beaten in coverage too often. In fairness to McDougle, he didn’t play badly last week against the Panthers, especially considering he was signed off the street just days earlier. Still, it’s hard to believe the Eagles don’t have somebody on the roster better.

What I liked

Receiver Shelton Gibson blocking downfield on Smallwood’s 36-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Without that block, Smallwood may not have scored. As for Smallwood, well, it was his second touchdown reception after not having any in his first two seasons. He also has two a rushing touchdown this season. His three touchdowns are tied for second on the team with Ertz, Goedert and Jay Ajayi.

What I didn’t like

The blow to the helmet penalty against linebacker Nigel Bradham. There was no hit the head of Blake Bortles, but the refs saw it differently. The refs, though, were mostly invisible and the game was actually enjoyable to watch without so much laundry on the field. There were just a total of nine penalties, with four for 36 against the Eagles, and five for 45 against the Jaguars.

What I liked

Seldom-used cornerback Rasul Douglas took over for Jalen Mills was carted off the field with an injury and played reasonably well. He was credited with one pass defended.

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