- The Philadelphia Eagles‘ run as the NFL’s final remaining undefeated team came to an end Monday night
- As a Washington Commanders team that entered the night as double-digit underdogs came away with a shocking 32-21 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
- How did the Commanders (5-5) do it? A combination of strong Washington play, Philadelphia mistakes and questionable officiating kept the Eagles (8-1) from any further pursuit of the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ undefeated mark.
Monday night’s loss to the Washington Commanders by a score of 32-21 was the result of four turnovers by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are currently 8-1 and have a one-game lead in the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Commanders are still in contention with a 5-5 record.
The Washington offense dominated the game with its running approach, retaining possession for 40:24 of the game and converting 12 third-down opportunities.
Jalen Hurts completed 17 of 26 passes for 175 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception for a passer rating of 94.2. Hurts scored a touchdown on the ground in the first quarter. On 12 carries, running back Miles Sanders gained 54 yards. Quez Watkins had 80 yards receiving, but he lost a crucial fumble on a 50-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
Below is a detailed recap of the game.
• The defense was on the edge of a three-and-out, but safety Reed Blankenship was penalized for roughing punter Tress Way on fourth down. It was of no use to the Commanders. On the very next play, defensive end Josh Sweat sacked quarterback Taylor Heinicke, and defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu recovered the ball at the Washington 18-yard line.
• The Eagles swiftly capitalized on the turnover by scoring on three consecutive running plays. Jalen Hurts gained 12 yards on a planned quarterback keeper and, two plays later, scored from 1 yard out for the game’s first points with 12:21 remaining in the first quarter.
• For those keeping score at home, the Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFL with seven strip sacks this season. After the touchdown, the Eagles have scored 67 points off turnovers, which has them in second place in the NFL.
• The Commanders responded with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by Antonio Gibson’s 1-yard touchdown run. Heinicke completed a 26-yard ball to wide receiver Terry McLaurin on a crossing route to complete Washington’s third third-down conversion. With five minutes remaining in the first quarter, the score is tied 7-7.
• Two touchdowns on two drives for the Eagles. Hurts was threading short passes to A.J. Brown, Jack Stoll, and Zach Pascal to advance the chains. However, DeVonta Smith made the two most significant plays of the drive. Smith completed a wide receiver screen on third-and-10 to advance the ball to the Washington 33-yard line. Benjamin St-Juste was penalized for pass interference by Smtih, which moved the ball to the 6-yard line. Hurts completed the drive by faking a quarterback draw and throwing to tight end Dallas Goedert over the middle with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter, bringing the score to 14-7.
• The Commanders narrowed the Eagles’ lead with a 44-yard field goal by Joey Slye, but only after a strange turn of events. On third-and-1 from the Eagles’ 22-yard line, defensive end Brandon Graham and linebacker T.J. Edwards stuffed running back Brian Robinson Jr. On 4th-and-1, the Commanders appeared to go for it, even snapping the ball to wide receiver Curtis Samuel who was crossing the formation, but a delay of game penalty was thrown on Washington.
• A condition to monitor, defensive end On the Commanders’ field-goal attempt, Josh Sweat left the game.
Hurts has thrown three interceptions this season. Darrick Forrest intercepted a deep throw intended for Brown, who was double-covered, at the Washington 14-yard line. Replay revealed that the ball was placed neatly in Brown’s arms, but Forrest removed it.
• Sweat returned to the field for the Eagles, but the Commanders scored on the ensuing drive to take a 17-14 lead. Washington advanced 86 yards in 16 plays, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Robinson. When Samuel took a handoff on a jet sweep for a 1-yard gain, Washington converted three third downs and one fourth down. The Commanders are eight for eleven on third down and one for one on fourth. The Eagles will receive the ball with 1:39 remaining in the first half. The time of possession battle favors Washington, 22:43 to 5:50.
On offense, the Eagles soon go three-and-out. On first down, Kenneth Gainwell dropped the ball, on second down, he caught the ball along the left sideline for 5 yards, and on third down, Hurts’ pass to Brown was incomplete because the wide receiver slipped.
• The Eagles will fall behind for the first time this season in the second half. Slye’s 58-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter gave the Commanders a 20-14 advantage at halftime. Dyami Brown’s 15-yard reception from Heinicke placed the Commanders in scoring position. The Eagles will start the second half with possession of the ball.
· The offense started the second half with a three-and-out. On 3rd-and-4, cornerback Kendall Fuller intercepted a pass intended for A.J. Brown.
• The Commanders earned two first downs by converting two 3rd-and-1 situations before Heinicke connected with McLaurin for a 41-yard gain down the right sideline despite good coverage from Darius Slay. Javon Hargrave’s sack of Heinicke on 3rd-and-goal from the 3-yard line allows the Eagles to keep the Commanders to another Slye field goal. 23-14 with 5:13 remaining in the quarter.
DeVonta Smith’s 11-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the fourth quarter trimmed the Commanders’ lead to 23-21 with 14:54 remaining. With three Miles Sanders runs, the Eagles gained their first first down since the second quarter. Hurts completed a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Quez Watkins over the middle, followed by a 15-yard reception by Goedert to put the Eagles in scoring position.
• C.J. Gardner-Johnson returned the ball to the Eagles after intercepting a deep throw intended for McLaurin for his sixth interception of the season. Gardner-Johnson was penalized for excessive roughness earlier in the drive for a late hit out of bounds, but he more than made up for it later in the drive. With 12:24 remaining in the game, the Eagles take over at their 7-yard line. On their previous five drives, the Commanders scored.
• The Commanders recovered the ball after a fumble by Dallas Goedert. Facemask should have been called on linebacker Jamin Davis. John Ridgeway punched out the football as Goedert was falling to the ground. Davis recovered the fumble at the Eagles’ 34-yard line after a failed penalty.
• With 7:33 remaining, Slye added a 55-yard field goal following the fumble to extend the Commanders’ advantage to 26-21.
Why The Eagles appeared to be in scoring position as Quez Watkins made yet another impressive play. He gained 51 yards on a deep pass, then went to the ground, got up, and St. Juste stripped him of the ball. Forrest retrieved the ball and returned it for 12 yards. After only committing three turnovers in their first eight games, the Eagles have committed three tonight, including two in the fourth quarter.
• The Eagles had a chance with 3:26 remaining, but Hurts was sacked on third down by Montez Sweat. The Eagles punted away the ball. With all three timeouts available, 1:54 remains in the game. Washington will assume control at the 47th minute.
• Heinicke was unable to find an open receiver on third down, so he took a knee. In pursuit, Brandon Graham ran him over and was cited for unnecessary roughness, extending the drive and allowing the team to win the game.
• Casey Toohill closed the game with a fumble recovery for a touchdown after the Eagles attempted a desperate play to keep the ball alive in the final seconds.