By Peter Gleason
It sure wasn’t pretty.
Last night’s Eagles 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on a frigid Christmas night can best be described as a turkey as far as execution is concerned.
But it shoved the once-dominant and now hanging on Eagles to 13-2 and home field all through the winds of January.
Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left after Ronald Darby intercepted a Derek Carr pass and ran it back 52 yards with 54 seconds left, but was ruled down by contact at the spot of the pick. Nick Foles then completed four straight passes for 21 yards. After Foles threw an incomplete pass, Elliott nailed his kick right down the middle.
The Eagles’ Derek Barnett padded the lead by returning a fumble for a touchdown after picking up a lateral on Oakland’s final play from scrimmage.
The Eagles (13-2) have not had home-field advantage through the playoffs in 13 years. They went to the Super Bowl then and lost, 24-21, to the New England Patriots.
Coming off a 12-4 season, the Raiders (6-9) were a popular pick to challenge the Patriots for the A.F.C. title. But they have had a disappointing season, and Sunday’s loss eliminated them from the playoff chase.
Carr, who completed 15 of 29 pass for 140 yards, threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper to tie the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Cooper was wide open after cornerback Jalen Mills tried to jump the route.
Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 25-yard field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter to give the Raiders a 10-7 lead.
The teams traded turnovers on three straight possessions, starting with a Patrick Robinson interception of Carr. Robinson returned it to Oakland’s 44.
Eagles left guard Chance Warmack then caused Jay Ajayi to fumble when he tried to push the pile and hit his teammate. The Raiders recovered at their 30, but gave the ball back on the next play when Marshawn Lynch fumbled at the same spot.
The Birds couldn’t do much with excellent field position and settled for a tying 35-yard field goal.
After Tavecchio missed a 48-yard field goal with 7:58 remaining, Foles threw a pass that bounced off the hands of tight end Zach Ertz and was intercepted by Reggie Nelson at the Eagles’ 37.
But Philly quickly got the ball back when Malcolm Jenkins stripped Jalen Richard and recovered it at the Eagles’ 16. The offense went three-and-out.
Foles completed 19 of 38 passes for 163 yards. Lynch rushed for 95 yards on 25 carries.