The Philadelphia Eagles have yet another primetime game this year. This time the second matchup with the Washington Commanders. This time Carson Wentz is on the sideline while the former St. Louis Battlehawk, Taylor Heinicke, is back at the helm. It’s a cold day in South Philly. It was a cold end of perfection for the midnight green.
Offensive Heavy First Half…For Washington
The Washington Commanders start with a 41-yard return that is turned over by a penalty. They take the ball from the 8-yard line. A quick three-and-out ended with Avonte Maddox’s replacement, Josiah Scott, defending the pass. So we thought. Special teams with a costly penalty roughing the kicker gave Washington a first down. In one play, Josh Sweat gets the ball back with a strip-sack and gives Philly great field position. the penalty actually gave the Eagles better field position than a punt. In three quick plays, the Eagles’ offense gets the ball in the endzone, and the Birds are up 7-0.
The Eagles’ defense struggles with the run, and Heinicke and the Commanders carve their way up the field. Jahan Dotson makes his presence felt with a 14-yard pass. Washington scores with a 1-yard touchdown rush from Antonio Gibson, knotting the score up at 7.
The Eagles’ offense gets their first full offense series. The team comes out in a no-huddle to keep the Commanders off balance. AJ Brown, with a quick scare, limped off the field. You see birthday boy Devante Smith picking up a key first down. Another major pickup with a penalty from Commanders St-Juste putting the Eagles in the red zones. It is punctuated with a touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert.
27 Seconds of Offense in the Second
The second half sees the Eagles’ defensive front continue to allow the Commanders’ run game to continue. The Eagles finally bring some pressure holding the Washington offense to a field goal. The Hurts to Smith connection picks up with a big first-down catch. Unfortunately, the run is broken up by a questionable throw and interception to AJ Brown in double coverage. (Jalen Hurts’s only 4th turnover of the season)
The end of the third quarter has the Commanders completing over 80% of their third downs. The Commanders win the time of possession battle, which is uncharacteristic of the Birds. (WSH 22:43 | PHI 7:17) The Eagles only muster up 27 seconds of offense in the entire second quarter. The Washington offense continues and adds three more to the scoreboard with a last-second field goal. The Eagles trail going into the half for the first time this season. The half has a cold end for the Birds, with the Commanders up 20-14.
A Second Half Full of Turnovers
Jalen Hurts, and the offense starts off the second half. Unfortunately, it was a three-and-out, giving Washington more momentum. Big play opportunities and manageable third downs continue to kill the Eagles’ defense. Death by a thousand cuts. Finally, a huge sack from the duo of Brandon Graham and Javon Hargrave in the red zone. Holding the Commanders to a field goal. 23-14 Washington continues to lead in South Philly. It seemed that Jonathan Gannon found his pressure, maybe!?!.
The Eagles start to get momentum on offense by establishing the run game, and some big pass play sprinkled in at key moments. Mile Sanders starts to get plenty of opportunities at the end of the third into the red zone. The drive is punctuated by an 11-yard BDay TD to Devante Smith at the top of the fourth. The Eagles cut the Commanders’ lead to 2 points.
CJ Gardner Johnson called for a questionable penalty and keeps the Commanders’ drive alive. He makes up for it with a huge interception to keep the score differential to two points. The crowd erupts from their seats and becomes fully reinvested in the game. Philly continues to establish the run game and turn the tables on the Commanders.
A Cold End of Perfection
The refs miss a huge facemask penalty and allow the Commanders to steal a fumble. Dallas Goedert shook up on the play. The defense comes out with their hair on fire. They hold the Commanders to three again, making it a five-point game, 26-21. The Eagles seem to shift the momentum back to the home team. Hurts hurls a bomb to Quez Watkins who coughs the ball up, and Washington gets the ball back. The gassed defense gets the stop, and the Commanders punts the ball away. The Washington defense keeps the Eagles off balance and forces a punt with less than two minutes to get the ball back and try to score a touchdown.
The Eagles seem like they have the ball back, but Heinicke gives himself off. He takes a knee after scrambling, and Brandon Graham gets called for a late hit. This gives the Commanders a fresh set of downs putting the nail in the coffin for the Birds’ perfect season. With 5 seconds left in the game, Jalen Hurts throws a short pass and hopes for some magic. The laterals did not help keep the Eagles alive and ultimately gave the former Eagle, Casey Toohill, a defensive touchdown to end the game 32-21. What a cold end to a hopeful 9-0 possibility.
Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.