New opponent, same result. Well, sort of.
A week after scoring 34 unanswered points in their season-opening victory, the Eagles struggled to muster momentum in the first half of Monday night’s prime time game against the Indianapolis Colts, only to rebound for their second consecutive comeback win of the year, a 30-27 defeat of Andrew Luck and the defending AFC South champions.
A 36-yard field goal by Cody Parkey as time expired gave the Eagles the win, but quite a bit unfolded before the seconds ticked down at Lucas Oil Stadium, including an explosive night for veteran running back Darren Sproles.
While starter LeSean McCoy (20 carries, 79 yards) was held in check for much of Monday night’s battle, Sproles was a human highlight reel out of the Eagles backfield, finishing the game with 178 yards from scrimmage. Responsible for breaking Philadelphia’s scoreless streak in Week One, the former New Orleans Saints backup scored on a 19-yard run in the third quarter and later set up the Eagles’ go-ahead touchdown in the fourth.
A second-quarter touchdown pass from Luck to tight end Jack Doyle propelled Indianapolis to a 17-6 lead, which the Colts extended early in the third thanks to a field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
Quarterback Nick Foles, playing behind an offensive line that was without two injured starters in Evan Mathis and Allen Barbre, led the Eagles to two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, the first of which ended in a game-tying TD pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Foles wasn’t perfect on the night as one of his 37 throws, an earlier shot at Maclin, was intercepted by the Colts’ Greg Toler, but he finished with 331 yards through the air and helped command the Eagles’ comeback.
Credit for the win also goes to the Eagles defense, which had its fair share of struggles against Indianapolis but came through with a three-and-out stand in the waning minutes of the game. Despite its promising showing against the run last week, the Eagles “D” surrendered a combined 149 rushing yards to Colts backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson. That being said, the defense forced a fourth-quarter turnover when safety Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a pass by Luck and was also responsible for preventing the Colts from scoring on their last drive.
The Eagles, who became the first team in NFL history to twice trail its opponent by more than 14 points in the second half and start the season 2-0, will next return home for a divisional matchup against the Washington Redskins (1-1) Sept. 21.
Other game notes: McCoy, despite averaging less than four yards per carry against Indianapolis, scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on a one-yard run in the third quarter; Philadelphia was forced to rely on backups Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho at inside linebacker after starter Mychal Kendricks suffered a second-half calf injury; Parkey, who was acquired from the Colts via trade during the preseason, unofficially converted his game-winning kick twice since his first attempt was negated by a last-second Indianapolis timeout; defensive end Fletcher Cox was part of an Eagles turnover for a second straight week after forcing a Bradshaw fumble.