Philadelphia Eagles clinch home field with win over Oakland Raiders

By Andy Jasner, The Sports Xchange – UPI

The Philadelphia Eagles look like a vulnerable No. 1 seed, yet they will take the top status.

Despite an ugly performance Monday, the Eagles still managed to come up with their 13th victory of the season. And homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

“It wasn’t pretty at all,” Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson said after a 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders. “We have lots and lots of work to do. I’ll take the win. I won’t give it back. But it wasn’t pretty. We know there’s a long road ahead if we want to keep on going.”

Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining and the Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a narrow victory over the Raiders Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

“We take the win and move on, but by no means are we satisfied,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “We are happy with the win but not happy with how we played throughout the game. We will go back and correct a lot of mistakes.”

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles looked shaky but improved to 2-0 since Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL. Foles went 19 of 38 for 163 yards, one touchdown and one interception as the Eagles improved to 13-2 overall and 7-0 at home.

“I didn’t play good enough,” Foles admitted. “I’ve got to play cleaner.”

The Eagles conclude the regular season on Sunday at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles were also 13-2 in 2004 when they advanced to the Super Bowl.

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr finished 15 of 29 for 140 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Raiders, who had already been eliminated from playoff contention, fell to 6-9.

“I know we enjoyed being on the national stage on Christmas night,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “I know we embraced it. You don’t win them all.”

The Eagles went ahead 7-0 when Foles tossed a screen pass to running back Jay Ajayi and he proceeded to scamper 17 yards into the end zone with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter. Foles guided the offense on an efficient 11-play, 58-yard drive in 6:16 that resulted in Ajayi’s first career receiving touchdown.

Carr connected with wide receiver Amari Cooper on a 63-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 7 with 12:36 remaining in the first half. Cooper’s double-move fooled cornerback Jalen Mills and he ran wide open down the sideline into the end zone.

The Eagles failed to take advantage of a late drive as their drive stalled at Oakland’s 15-yard line. Still, they had a chance to go ahead 10-7 but Elliott — who had been 24 of 28 — shanked a 33-yarder.

Oakland went ahead 10-7 when Giorgio Tavecchio booted a 25-yard field goal to cap an eight-play, 69-yard drive to open the third quarter.

A bizarre sequence of plays late in the third produced three turnovers — the Raiders turning the ball over twice on an interception by Carr and a fumble by running back Marshawn Lynch along with Ajayi fumbling the ball.

The Eagles turned Lynch’s fumble into a 35-yard field goal by Elliott and a tie game at 10 with 2:13 left.

“We win or lose as a team,” Del Rio said. “It’s the ultimate team game.”

Ronald Darby‘s interception — the fifth takeaway by the Eagles in the second half — set up the Eagles with possession at their own 47 and 54 seconds left.

“It was a matter of going out and making a play,” Darby said. “I was able to make a play.”

Derek Barnett scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery as time expired and the No. 1 seed became official.

“I just told them, ‘Congratulations, men,'” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, referring to what he talked to the team about after the game. “Every team in the postseason is coming right through here. That was our goal this week.”

NOTES: Eagles OL Stefen Wisniewski was inactive with a knee injury. … Raiders LT Donald Penn had surgery last week on his right foot and was placed on injured reserve. Penn had started 170 straight games dating to the 2007 season. … The Eagles retired former LB Trent Cole’s No. 58 in a halftime ceremony. Cole played for the Eagles from 2005-14 and still ranks second in franchise history with 85.5 sacks. … Raiders WR Amari Cooper returned after missing the last two weeks with an injured ankle. … Dannell Ellerbe earned his first career start for the Eagles at MLB. … Injured Eagles QB Carson Wentz joined the team on crutches at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.