It’s great to break that miserable 5-game losing streak against the Redskins. With Hurricane Irma still in the forefront of most of our minds, I’ll take the win, despite some moments of doubt when things got shaky, and the lucky call we got on a Cousins’ fumble recovery for a TD that still looks to me like Cousins’ arm was going forward as Cox and Graham were in his face—probably should have been ruled an INC pass.
Nonetheless, a win is a win—and a divisional one at that, too.
Most of the coverage of this game you will be reading or hearing will go like this from NESN’s Network Matt Brown:
“Week one of the NFL season is in the books for the Philadelphia Eagles, and it was a time of celebration as the Eagles took down the Washington Redskins by a final score of 30-17.
“The Eagles defense came out firing as the Redskins took the first possession of the game. After just one conversion, the Eagles quickly got quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense off the field thanks to a huge pass break-up by linebacker Nigel Bradham.
“Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense kept the momentum going in their first possession of the game. After facing pressure throughout the first few plays, Wentz showed why he is one of the most elusive quarterbacks in the league, escaping pressure to find Nelson Agholor for a 58-yard touchdown.
“The defense did not take their foot off the pedal as they would soon get their first turnover when all-pro tackle Fletcher Cox recorded a strip sack on Cousins, giving the Eagles back possession. Unfortunately, the Eagles would cough up a turnover of their own as Wentz’s backwards pass attempt to Agholor would result in a fumble recovered by the Redskins.
“The turnovers wouldn’t stop there however, as Washington’s return-man Jamison muffed a punt which would be recovered by Trey Burton. This time, the Eagles would capitalize with a drive resulting in a one-yard touchdown reception by running back LeGarrette Blount.
“Later in the first half, the turnover game would continue, this time with a tipped Wentz pass sailing into the hands of linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for a Redskins pick-6.
“The Eagles also suffered a massive setback in late in the half as cornerback Ron Darby was carted off the field with a right ankle injury. (It was a non-contact injury as Darby collapsed after planting his foot on the turf in pass coverage.)
“There would be a couple lead changes just before the half, first with the Redskins taking the lead with a 29-yard catch and run by running back Chris Johnson.
“In the final seconds of the half, Caleb Sturgis would hit a perfect 50-yard field goal to put the Eagles back on top.
“The second half started with a trade-off of field goals, first with Sturgis extending the Eagles’ lead from 42 yards out before Dustin Hopkins would cut into the lead with a 33-yarder of his own.
“Just as the Redskins were knocking on the door of regaining the lead early in the fourth quarter, cornerback Jalen Mills came up with a huge interception at the goal line.
“After a Sturgis 37-yard field goal to extend the lead, the defense sealed the deal as Brandon Graham swatted a Cousins pass attempt, forcing a fumble that was taken to the house by Cox.’ [This was the call I thought we were not going to get, and the video replay shows why…]
“Next week, the Eagles will head to Kansas City to take on former Eagles coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs, who are coming off a victory over the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ”
Okay, that’s the Readers Digest version of the game…
Here’s my take on the big call of the game that went our way (shocking!):
On the play, referee Brad Allen ruled that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins lost the ball when hit by Eagles pass rusher Brandon Graham — and, presumably, before his hand started moving forward. Cox scooped the ball and ran for the score.
Replays, however, showed the ball appearing to move forward from Cousins’ hand. In that circumstance, according to NFL rules, the play should have been called an incomplete pass.
Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira, now a broadcaster on Fox Sports, said during the game that he would have overturned the call. It might not have changed the outcome, but the fumble ruling and subsequent Eagles touchdown eliminated any chances of a Redskins victory.
Like I said, I’ll take the win— but don’t count on that kind of zebra luck the rest of the way.
Besides, we lost our best cornerback probably for the season— Ronald Darby is not expected back this year. MRI tests may reveal a broken ankle and fractured fibula. We’ll have to wait for official confirmation of the severity of the injury.
And our offense looked a bit too helter-skelter at times. The offensive line leaked badly after LT Jason Peters had to leave the game with a groin strain. Washington was credited with nine quarterback hits and two sacks.
I dig Carson Wentz’ ability to escape a pass rush and extend plays… but is that really the card you want to rely upon the rest of the way?
Wentz finished 26-of-39 for 307 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
The problem to be solved: the ground game generated only 58 yards on 24 carries (2.4-yard average). With that element shut down, the Redskins were able to pin their ears back and attack No. 11.
We’ve got a lot to work on, but a lot to celebrate, too. Continued good wishes to our fans down South in Florida and the Carolinas…
Nelson Agholor 58 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Caleb Sturgis Kick)
3 plays, 56 yards, 1:07
LeGarrette Blount 1 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Caleb Sturgis PAT failed)
8 plays, 39 yards, 4:20
Ryan Kerrigan 24 Yd Interception Return (Dustin Hopkins Kick)
3 plays, 14 yards, 0:56
Chris Thompson 29 Yd pass from Kirk Cousins (Dustin Hopkins Kick)
8 plays, 69 yards, 2:39
Caleb Sturgis 50 Yd Field Goal
10 plays, 43 yards, 1:17
Caleb Sturgis 42 Yd Field Goal
9 plays, 51 yards, 4:22
Dustin Hopkins 33 Yd Field Goal
16 plays, 66 yards, 8:32
Caleb Sturgis 37 Yd Field Goal
6 plays, 33 yards, 3:47
Fletcher Cox 20 Yd Fumble Return (Carson Wentz Pass to Alshon Jeffery for Two-Point Conversion)
2 plays, -5 yards, 0:30
|Passing 1st downs||17||12|
|Rushing 1st downs||1||3|
|1st downs from penalties||1||1|
|3rd down efficiency||8-14||3-11|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-1|
|Yards per Play||5.5||4.3|
|Yards per pass||7.3||4.5|
|Yards per rush||2.4||3.8|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-1||0-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||1|