As the game entered the final moments of the third quarter, the Eagles were having the game that everyone envisioned possible. A 27-point lead opened up and the Eagles were running away with it.
But then the St. Louis Rams started to capitalize on mistakes and miscues galore. And the lead was cut from 27 to six in the waning moments of the game. It took a stop by the Eagles defense in the final minute to claim a 34-28 win over the Rams in Week 5 on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Despite kicking off first, the Eagles scored the first points of the game in just 20 seconds. A quick three-and-out led to a punt that was blocked by James Casey and recovered by Chris Maragos. He returned it 10 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles the early lead.
A pair of field goals by Cody Parkey from 26 and 27 yards opened up a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Rams got on the board with 3:23 remaining in the half, as Austin Davis found Brian Quick from eight yards out for a touchdown. The Eagles answered in the final minute of the half, scoring on a nine-yard pass from Nick Foles to Riley Cooper.
Another fumble recovery produced points as Trent Cole forced a fumble and Cedric Thornton recovered in the endzone.
With 2:15 remaining in the third, a 24-yard pass from Foles to Jeremy Maclin extended the lead to 27.
With three seconds remaining in the quarter, the Rams scored again on a 14-yard touchdown run by Benny Cunningham.
A 30-yard pass to Kenny Britt and a five-yard pass to Quick cut the Eagles lead to six with under five minutes to play. Quick's second touchdown was the result of an Eagles drive that ended with a fumble by Foles.
The Rams did get the ball back with under two minutes left and drove into Eagles territory but failed to move the chains, turning the ball over on downs following an overthrown pass by Davis.
The Eagles offense was held at bay once again, gaining 352 yards of offense compared to 466 for the Rams. But the Eagles did feature a much more balanced offense, gaining 145 yards on the ground and 207 yards in the air. Both teams had three turnovers.
Foles was 24-for-37 for 207 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. LeSean McCoy had his best game since the season opener, gaining 81 yards on 24 carries. Maclin led the receivers with 76 yards on five catches.
The Eagles defense had four sacks, including two by Connor Barwin. Cole, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry forced fumbles in the game with Thornton recovering two of them and Fletcher Cox recovering the third.
The Eagles improved to 4-1, joining the Dallas Cowboys at the top of the NFC East standings. They face the 3-2 New York Giants on Sunday night next week at 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.