INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP)Philadelphia went 74 yards in 30 seconds and lined up at the Rams 1 for one final snap before halftime. Just about everybody in SoFi Stadium knew that last play would be the “tush push,” the “Brotherly Shove,” or whatever Jalen Hurts’ secret name is for the Eagles’ signature short-yardage surge.
Los Angeles knew it was coming, but still couldn’t keep Hurts from scoring a touchdown that put Philly ahead for good.
That’s what it’s like facing the powerhouse Eagles these days: They don’t always execute perfectly, but they just keep moving forward.
Hurts passed for 303 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 72 yards and another score, and Philadelphia outlasted the Rams 23-14 on Sunday to remain unbeaten.
Dallas Goedert had eight catches for 117 yards and an early TD for the Eagles, who are off to consecutive 5-0 starts for the first time in franchise history despite never pulling away in this meeting of the last two NFC champions. Philadelphia has won 22 of its last 23 regular-season games.
“It’s tough to win in this league, so we’re really happy with where we’re at,” Goedert said. “We do have stuff we need to clean up, but it’s a good start for us.”
A.J. Brown had six catches for 127 yards, but the Eagles couldn’t reach the end zone in the second half and had to rely on their defense, which shut out the Rams (2-3) after halftime. Hurts’ surge into the end zone at the halftime gun was the game’s final touchdown, but that was enough for Philadelphia.
“Not to pour more water into that jug, but it’s something we’ve been able to do at a high level,” Hurts said of the signature play, which he calls by a name he wouldn’t disclose. “It’s clear that it doesn’t always work for everyone else, so we just want to continue to execute whenever it’s called. … We just want to continue to grow. It’s truly about growing.”
The Eagles earned another road victory punctuated by another set of successful tush pushes, but they’ll also lament missed opportunities. They racked up 454 total yards but failed to score at least 25 points for the first time this season.
Philadelphia went 13 for 18 on third downs after struggling in that area last week. Still, the Eagles settled for short field goals by Jake Elliott after drives lasting 17 plays, 15 plays and 10 plays.
The Philly defense covered for the offense’s shortcomings, with Eagles rookie Jalen Carter picking up two sacks in the stadium where he won a national title with Georgia nine months ago. Haason Reddick also had two sacks.
“At the start of the game, they were getting the ball out to their receivers really quick,” Carter said. “We knew we had to get to (Matthew Stafford) faster, and we did that … and it changed the game.”
Cooper Kupp had eight catches for 118 yards in the former Super Bowl MVP’s dynamic season debut for the Rams, who have lost three of four despite hanging in with three probable Super Bowl contenders during that stretch. Kupp made five catches for 56 yards on Los Angeles’ opening drive, but the offense only made one more TD march.
Stafford passed for 222 yards and hit Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua for touchdowns, but Los Angeles’ offense didn’t cross midfield in the second half. Nacua finished with seven catches for a career-low 71 yards.
After coming off injured reserve this week, Kupp made a remarkable return to the NFL in the first game since November 2022 for the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year. Kupp missed the final eight games of last season with an ankle injury before getting sidelined early in this year’s training camp with a hamstring injury.
“There’s a few things that I’m sure I’m gonna look at tomorrow and just feel like, ‘Man, just didn’t happen a little bit faster,’” Kupp said. “But it did feel good to be out there playing football again.”
Goedert caught a 6-yard scoring pass to cap Philadelphia’s opening drive, but the Rams responded with a 14-play march that included six targets of Kupp before Atwell’s TD catch.
Los Angeles went up 14-10 with 32 seconds left in the first half with a drive including two exceptional throws by Stafford, who hit Kupp for a 39-yard gain before finding Nacua in the corner for a 22-yard TD.
But Hurts still scored after the Eagles got major help from Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick, who committed 28 yards in penalties while trying to defend Brown.
LA’s Ahkello Witherspoon made an impressive end-zone interception in the third quarter to keep the Eagles from pulling away, but the Rams’ offense couldn’t capitalize on any opportunity.
“I think we’re too talented of a group to keep losing these types of games, coming up close against good opponents,” Witherspoon said. “It’s time to start cashing in on W’s, and I think we have the group that can do it.”
Eagles: DT Fletcher Cox (back pain) missed his first game of the season.
Rams: DL Bobby Brown left the field on a cart with his right leg stabilized with 1:50 to play. … OL Joseph Noteboom missed his first game of the season after injuring his groin last week.
Eagles: At the New York Jets next Sunday.
Rams: Host Arizona next Sunday.
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