Source: NBC 10 News
The Eagles finally snapped the streak.
Who cares if it wasn’t pretty?
The Eagles did just enough Sunday afternoon to take down Washington, 30-17, their first win against their division foe since Sept. 21, 2014.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead before Washington recovered. But eventually, the Eagles were able to walk out of FedEx Field with a big opening day win.
With the win, the Eagles start their season with a win for the sixth time in their last seven seasons and snapped a five-game losing streak to Washington.
The Eagles took a lead at the end of the first half and were able to hold it. The two teams exchanged field goals to start the first half and the Eagles added another with two minutes left in the contest.
Carson Wentz didn’t have his best game but made some spectacular plays with his feet to extend plays. He was 26 for 39 for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His passer rating was 96.8.
The game was extremely close right until the end. The Eagles extended their five-point lead to 13 with less than two minutes left when Brandon Graham forced a fumble and Fletcher Cox picked it up and returned it to the house. The Eagles tacked on a two-point conversion.
Washington was driving early in the fourth quarter, down two, with a chance to take a lead late. But Jim Schwartz dialed up the blitz and brought Jordan Hicks up the gut. Kirk Cousins threw the ball to the goal line but Jalen Mills was waiting to pick it off.
The Eagles were 8 for 14 on third downs, while Washington was just 3 for 11.
The Eagles took a 16-14 lead into the halftime, but it didn’t quite seem that way. The Eagles did go on a late-first half drive and capped it with a 50-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal to take that two-point lead.
But the Eagles went up 13-0 early in the second quarter before allowing Washington to score the next 14 points. Sturgis missed his second extra point to give Washington that chance.
The Eagles came out firing. On their first offensive drive of the game, Wentz somehow avoided a rush to buy time and hit Nelson Agholor deep for a 58-yard touchdown catch to put the Eagles up early.
Then a little later, the Eagles scored on a 39-yard drive to go up 13-0. They got the ball on a short field after Jamison Crowder muffed a punt return and the Eagles recovered. LeGarrette Blount caught his second-career touchdown pass.
But then things got ugly. Ronald Darby left the game with a nasty ankle injury and on the next possession, Ryan Kerrigan picked off a tipped pass and took it 24 yards for a pick-6.
On the next drive, Washington went 69 yards on eight plays, capped by a 29-yard touchdown catch from Chris Thompson. The Eagles missed several tackles on that play.
The Eagles did respond, though, to pick up three points to regain the lead on the next drive.
Agholor had a 58-yard touchdown pass and already had a career game before the first half ended. Agholor had a career high in catches (six) and receiving yards (86).
Zach Ertz also had a big afternoon. It was just his second 90-yard game before December in his career.
We’ll give this to Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles’ prized free agent acquisition didn’t have much of an impact in his debut with the team. Blount, aside from his receiving touchdown, didn’t really do much on the ground either.
The Eagles lost Darby but Jalen Mills more than held his own. He had his first-career interception and provided really solid coverage on Terrelle Pryor. He was very competitive.
The Eagles’ front four also had a great game and capped it off when Graham forced a fumble and Cox picked it up and rumbled into the end zone for his second career touchdown.
Nigel Bradham struggled Sunday. He missed a tackle on the Thompson touchdown and was later hit with a defensive holding on a big third down.
Early in the second quarter, the Eagles lost cornerback Ronald Darby to a right ankle injury (see story). The starting CB needed to be carted off the field after it looked like his right foot got caught in the turf. It was an ugly injury.
Jason Peters came out of the game late in the second quarter with a groin injury. He returned for one play at the start of the second half but then shut it down.
DT Destiny Vaeao (wrist) left in the second half and was listed as questionable to return.
The Eagles came into the game incredibly healthy. All 53 players on the roster practiced in full all week, including Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks, who had both been banged up at the end of the preseason.
Next week holds a tough test for the Eagles. They’ll have to travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs, who are coming off a big upset win over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in Foxboro. Oh yeah, and Andy Reid has three extra days to prepare for the Birds. Whenever Big Red has extra time, he normally makes the most of it.
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