Eagles command Washington and Wentz, 24-8

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
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It was one of those games where you just witness the flow of victory in one direction. Nothing supernatural, nothing heartbreaking, just football life evolving and finding a way… and Carson Wentz was treated like a refugee raptor from Jurassic Park.

The Eagles had six sacks on Wentz in the first half alone. Among the nine for the game, Brandon Graham led Philadelphia with 2½, while Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat each had a sack and a half. Chalk up a few of those sacks to protection breakdowns combined with a smart game plan by defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Others happened when Wentz held onto the ball too long.

Meanwhile Jalen Hurts was driving Miss Daisy on offense.  Devonta Smith ended up catching eight passes for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 24-8 rout of former quarterback Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Teammates put a Batman cape on Smith, who surpassed his previous professional high for yards receiving before halftime of another superhero performance for the unbeaten Birds.

Hurts dialed up the bat phone plenty for Smith, who made acrobatic catches along the sideline and to the edge of the end zone for respective gains of 45 and 44 yards, and hauled in a TD pass on fourth down to end the first half with no time left on the clock. The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama has responded in a big way since being held without a catch in the season opener.

Hurts was 22 of 35 for 340 yards and three touchdown passes, one each to Smith, A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert. Coming off a three-TD game with two on the ground, Hurts continued to show he could get the job done with his throwing arm, along with his legs.

“He played his butt off again,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “What was great there is that they were taking away some of the things in the run game. To be able to go out there and say, ‘OK, you’re doing a good job on the run, let’s go pass the football,’ Jalen did a great job and we had great playmakers make plays.”

The quarterback Hurts replaced as the Eagles starter was completely ineffective and got sacked nine times. Wentz, the second pick in the 2016 draft to Philadelphia on his third team in three years, was 25 of 43 for 211 yards with two fumbles — one lost, which set up Goedert’s 22-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

All but 24 of Wentz’s passing yards came in the second half, long after the outcome had been determined.

“I’ve got to be better,” Wentz said. “They got after us and I did not play to my standards.”

Washington (1-2) had just 50 yards at halftime, and the defense wasn’t much better. The troubling trend of giving up big-yardage plays only got worse in the aftermath of a loss at Detroit.

Wentz was hit throughout the day — 17 times in total by the defense, and on the stat sheet. He finished 25 of 43 for 211 yards and no touchdowns. He entered Week 3 tied for the league lead with seven touchdown passes. Wentz, who had two fumbles on the afternoon, has 69 career fumbles in 88 career games.

Hurts threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert on a screen pass to put the Eagles up 10-0 early in the second quarter and a 9-yard pass to A.J. Brown to give Philadelphia a 17-0 lead. Brown, who caught his first receiving touchdown with the Eagles, finished with four catches for 75 yards.

Hurts went 18 of 27 for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the first half. DeVonta Smith had seven catches for 156 yards in the first half — including 45- and 44-yard catches to spark two Eagles scoring drives. Smith’s 156 receiving yards in the first half were the most by an Eagles player since Kevin Curtis in 2007 — and the second-most in franchise history. His 2-yard touchdown catch to end the half put Philadelphia up 24-0, essentially putting the game out of reach for Washington.

The only points the Eagles defense allowed was late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. Philadelphia also allowed just one catch of 20-plus yards after Wentz led the league with 10 20 yards-plus completions after two weeks. Wentz was also held without a touchdown pass as well.

The defense has allowed just 15 points over the last two games.

Matchup Eagles command Washington and Wentz, 24-8 Eagles command Washington and Wentz, 24-8
1st Downs 21 20
Passing 1st downs 16 11
Rushing 1st downs 3 5
1st downs from penalties 2 4
3rd down efficiency 5-15 6-17
4th down efficiency 2-3 0-2
Total Plays 68 74
Total Yards 400 240
Total Drives 13 12
Yards per Play 5.9 3.2
Passing 328 153
Comp-Att 22-35 25-43
Yards per pass 8.6 2.9
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-12 9-58
Rushing 72 87
Rushing Attempts 30 22
Yards per rush 2.4 4.0
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-4 1-3
Penalties 5-52 4-48
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 27:06 32:54

INJURIES

Eagles: Reddick and Goedert each left briefly but returned. … LG Landon Dickerson played after being listed as questionable with a foot injury.

Commanders: S Kamren Curl was injured in the fourth quarter. … CB William Jackson (back), DE James Smith-Williams (abdomen), DE Casey Toohill (concussion) and DT Daniel Wise (ankle) were all inactive. Jackson was not added to the injury report until Saturday, and the absence of a starter who played 97% of defensive snaps through two games pressed waiver wire addition Rachad Wildgoose into regular duty.

 

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