Postgame Perspective: Bradford, Matthews deliver for Eagles

The whole week, this was about the make-or-break nature of this game for the Eagles. There was a lot more riding on this game than the Eagles season. This was an important game for Sam Bradford.

Bradford delivered his best personal numbers of the season, and helped key a huge second half offensively. The Eagles scored 20 points in the final 30 minutes and the only points needed in overtime to secure a win.

For seven games, the defense had been the glue that held the Eagles playoff chances somewhat together. And when it became the offense's turn to bail out a rather mediocre night for the defense — hold for Jordan Hicks interception return for a touchdown in the fourth — they delivered, none more so than Bradford and Jordan Matthews.

Looking at the Eagles offense early, there was so much more of the same from Bradford. The third-down passes that didn't make the line of scrimmage, let alone the yardage necessary to keep the chains moving.

But Bradford helped lead a scoring drive early in the second quarter and did the same early in the third. His two drives that led to field goals were crucial as well.

And how about Jordan Matthews?

Plagued by drops all season, Matthews reeled in nine passes on Sunday night for 133 yards, including the 41-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime. 

In the most crucial game of the season — and all of them at this point are crucial — the Eagles got the performances they needed from key guys on offense.

That goes for DeMarco Murray as well. Murray had 161 all-purpose yards against his former team. A makeshift offensive line, playing without Jason Peters, did a solid job protecting Bradford. Six different players caught passes and Ryan Mathews added 67 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

All of the pieces fit into place. And the Eagles protected the ball well. A game with no turnovers is a huge offensive victory in itself. To score 33 points, including 26 in the final half and overtime, when every point mattered and every drive essentially needed to result in points was a resilient effort by an oft-criticized offense.

That doesn't mean the defense didn't have its moments. Hicks' interception broke up what appeared to be a scoring drive for the Cowboys and turned it into an Eagles lead. Brandon Graham was the best Eagles lineman, with seven tackles and two sacks, that included two forced fumbles.

That didn't stop the Cowboys from having a solid offensive night with Matt Cassel, Darren McFadden and Cole Beasley. Yes, those three players nearly derailed an Eagles victory.

That said, sometimes teams have to find a way to win. The good ones do. The Eagles are straddling the line between good and bad week in and week out it seems. But on this week, they were rewarded with the result that good teams get. That has them back in the division race again.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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