PHILADELPHIA -- The weather conditions mimicked the scene in "Invincible" when Vince Papale showed up in a muddy vacant lot in the driving rain -- leading his friends to victory in less than ideal football conditions. While the remnants of Hurricane Ian gave the fans a small dose of old-time football at Lincoln Financial Field on a chilly Sunday afternoon, the Philadelphia Eagles were just happy to get out of that game and warm up.
Leading the run game to the tune of 210 yards in that driving rain and wind, right tackle Lane Johnson was shivering as his body was trying to warm up in the aftermath of the rain-soaked affair. The body wasn't feeling great, but the mindset was as sharp as its ever been.
"I've been shaking for about 15 minutes," Johnson said as he shivered with a tank top on in a room temperature locker room. "It's one of those games as a lineman where you run the ball ... well, it's a lot of fun."
The Eagles carried the football 50 times in the rain-soaked conditions, with heavy winds joining the party. Miles Sanders was the warmest player on this cold, October day as he rushed 27 times for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns against a Jacksonville defense that allowed the fewest rush yards and rush touchdowns in the league heading into Sunday's showdown.
"We practice in this type of stuff. We do everything we can to be prepared for this type of stuff," an excited Sanders said as he was warming up in the press conference room. "Obviously, we're still going to pass the ball like we did today, but with the offensive line that we have, we're going to lean on them. Over 200 yards rushing -- that's a day."
The Eagles made it no secret they had to run the football in order to erase a 14-0 deficit, starting the game as cold as the pouring rain that was drenching upon them. Philadelphia went back to what got the Eagles in the playoffs last year, going 24 plays for 163 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 20-14 lead heading into halftime. Of those 24 plays, 16 were runs that went for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
"The conditions are not favorable for anything. [The weather] was a train wreck," Eagles center Jason Kelce said. "Especially for snapping the ball, I was very anxious every time I grabbed the ball today. I think we only had one major snap issue. Outside of that, with things considered, I am pretty happy with it.
"We have run the ball well. I am really happy with how we did. We ran for a lot of yards, but we also ran the ball a lot. ... All in all, it was a grinder of a game."
The Eagles knew the conditions weren't ideal, but they didn't hide the fact the Jacksonville Jaguars looked more miserable on the other sideline. There's a lot of rain that hits Florida, but not in 50 degree weather.
"It's tough. It was definitely tough. Rain is actually a big deal, but you know, when it's windy like that, too," Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew said. "But you can't control the weather though. We've just got to go out there and handle what we're dealt.
"They're playing in the same conditions too, so it doesn't matter at the end of the day. Like I said, we just hurt ourselves too much today."
Did the weather lead to the five giveaways by the Jaguars? Javon Hargrave could sense the terrible conditions had an effect.
"Oh I know they was [freezing]," Hargrave said. "The crazy part was that it was colder in here when we came in [the locker room] for halftime. Just because we were soaking wet, but it wasn't that bad."
When a team is the last unbeaten squad in the NFL like the Eagles, the weather isn't exactly a hindrance. The Eagles faced a unique challenge on the second day of October, showing teams they can beat them no matter the circumstance.
Double-digit deficit? Check. Terrible weather? Check.
"It could have gotten to you mentally," Fletcher Cox said. "The message to the guys on the O-line and D-line was the time was now. Let's not wait. That got guys fired up and I don't think the rain really was a factor.
"It sucked standing on the sideline with the rain, cold, and wind blowing, but it was fun."