The Eagles got off to a delayed start in a game that was unnecessarily delayed. A fluky turnover contributed to Philly falling behind 10 to 0. As did the offense leaving some big plays on the field.
But Philly’s offensive line eventually took over and the Eagles’ defense ultimately settled in. WFT’s potential was clearly limited with their fourth string quarterback starting (good job avoiding “The Garrett Gilbert game”) and a bunch of other players missing due to COVID or injury. Still, credit the Eagles for taking advantage and getting the job done.
This was a big win for the Birds because it very much keeps them alive for a wild card spot in the NFC playoff picture with three weeks to go. It also directly damages WFT’s postseason chances.
As a result of this rescheduled game, the Eagles have a very quick turnaround to playing the New York Giants this Sunday. The Birds should be able to beat the G-Men ... but their Week 12 loss to New York should remind them that they can’t merely show up and expect to win.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer. Garrett Gilbert’s first pass was a 19-yard completion to Antonio Gibson with T.J. Edwards whiffing on a chance to tackle the running back. Washington failed to convert on their next set of downs and punted.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 and Dallas Goedert dropped a perfect pass from Jalen Hurts that then deflected off his foot and right into the hands of Landon Collins somehow. Insane. Should have been a pick-six but the play was whistled dead.
- Washington took over at the 26-yard line and went six plays for a touchdown. Capped off by a 1-yard run from Gibson. Not how the Eagles wanted to start this thing out. EAGLES 0, FOOTBALL TEAM 7.
Kenneth Gainwell, not Jalen Reagor, was back on the Eagles’ first kick return. The rookie returned it for a nice 31-yard gain. On 3rd-and-6, Hurts had a 19-yard completion to Goedert. Nice result but it looked like he missed a wide open Jalen Reagor streaking down the field. Hurts hit DeVonta Smith along the sideline on a play that was originally ruled incomplete ... but Nick Sirianni challenged it with The Linc’s video boards showing that
- Smith did indeed get two feet in. Crazy catch by the first-round pick. Hurts held on to the ball for too long and got strip-sacked by Montez Sweat and Washington recovered ... only to fumble on the return ... but able to hop back on the ball. Costly red zone turnover. Naturally, it was Montez Sweat who forced the fumble on Hurts.
Jalen Hurts had options on that completion to Dallas Goedert. Jalen Reagor was trying to get his attention. pic.twitter.com/s5PGn7TXZ9— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) December 22, 2021
- Gilbert hit Terry McLaurin on a deep shot down the field. Darius Slay allowed the 47-yard reception. Washington had first-and-goal from the 7-yard line but ultimately had to settle for a field goal. At least the defense held them to a kick. EAGLES 0, FOOTBALL TEAM 10.
- Some interesting stuff from Sirianni. The were Eagles in 21 personnel with both Sanders and Jordan Howard in the backfield and Quez Watkins running in motion. Hurts hits Sanders for a 16-yard gain on 3rd-and-2. A holding penalty on Sua Opeta knocked the Eagles back.
- Hurts ran for an 8-yard gain to bring up 4th-and-1. The Eagles went for it and Jordan Howard logged his first touch on a toss for a conversion ... but it was called back due to a Jordan Mailata holding penalty. Eagles punted from 4th-and-4 at Washington’s 41-yard line. Arryn Siposs’s punt then went into the end zone for a net of just 21 yards. Great.
PHI decided to punt to WSH from the WSH 41 on 4th & 4 with 13:18 remaining in the 2nd while losing 0 to 10.— Surrender Index 90 (@surrender_idx90) December 22, 2021
With a Surrender Index of 24.09, this punt ranks at the 99.1st percentile of cowardly punts of the 2021 season, and the 97th percentile of all punts since 1999.
- T.J. Edwards broke up a Gilbert throw to McLaurin to bring up a three-and-out.
- Hurts aired it out deep to Goedert, who made a great contested catch over Jeremy Reaves for a 45-yard gain. Flashbacks to Goedert often dominating Reaves in Eagles training camp practices a few years back. Sanders broke off a 20-yard run to set up 1st-and-goal from the 8-yard line. On second down, Jalen Reagor couldn’t get this in the end zone because he tripped:
Make one play that ESP couldn't make. Just one. pic.twitter.com/pAqSU884n7— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 22, 2021
On 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Hurts seemingly had Gainwell underneath for a touchdown but the quarterback forced it to a double-covered Smith in the back right corner of the end zone instead. Fortunate it wasn’t picked. The Eagles settled for a 20-yard Jake Elliott field goal for their first points. More conservatism from Sirianni. Also: why no Jordan Howard in goal-to-go? EAGLES 3, FOOTBALL TEAM 10.
- Genard Avery (!) did a great job of timing the snap (looked offside to me but wasn’t called!) and getting a jump to blow up a 3rd-and-1 run to force a punt.
- Hurts aired it out deep to Smith but the ball died and was off target. Hurts made some nice throws to Goedert — including a 21-yard strike where he avoided pressure — to get the Eagles into field goal range. TRICKERATION: The Eagles brought in Darius Slay on offense and lined him up in the slot before sending him in motion ... and then ran a handoff to Sanders for a 10-yard gain. Successful decoy! The Eagles got down to the 1-yard line and Hurts snuck it in for the score. The Eagles lined up to go for two to take the lead ... but then called a timeout and sent the extra point unit in. Strange. Elliott made the PAT to tie the game. EAGLES 10, FOOTBALL TEAM 10.
- Former Eagles legend DeAndre Carter took the kickoff to the 40-yard line but a holding penalty brought it back to the 30. The Football Team drove to Philly’s 48-yard line and could’ve maybe had a shot at a field goal or a Hail Mary attempt ... but Fletcher Cox ended that possibility by picking up a big sack to end the first half. Crucial play by the team’s highest-paid player.
That half-ending sack by Fletcher Cox was the Eagles' first quarterback hit of the game against Garrett Gilbert and a mediocre-at-best offensive line missing its best player.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) December 22, 2021
- Sanders lost control of the ball and it was recovered by Washington but the refs ruled him down. Second time in the game. Sanders broke off a 37-yard run to basically put the Eagles in the red zone. Sanders could’ve had more if he ran behind Jason Kelce (legend) sprinting down the field:
Miles Sanders and Jason Kelce pic.twitter.com/GrW2joT2ue— PFF PHI Eagles (@PFF_Eagles) December 22, 2021
A Hurts completion to Goedert put the Eagles at the 1-yard line. Hurts threw wide of an open Greg Ward in the end zone for another missed touchdown. Sirianni smartened up and decided to sneak it in with Hurts for the score instead. New Eagles single-season record for QB rushing touchdowns with 10 and counting for Hurts. EAGLES 17, FOOTBALL TEAM 10.
- Rodney McLeod picked off a Gilbert screen pass ... except it clearly hit the ground and was incomplete. Nice effort, though. The Eagles ended up forcing a three-and-out anyway.
- The Eagles drove into Washington territory. Howard tripped in the backfield to bring up 3rd-and-6. Washington brought the blitz on third down and Hurts was able to find Goedert for what would’ve been a first down (and perhaps much more, a touchdown even) but Goedert dropped the ball ... again. C’mon, Dallas. Gotta look the ball in before you take off running.
- Gilbert aired it out deep to McLaurin again but his underthrown pass was defensed by Slay. Another punt.
- The Eagles pounded the rock to get into field goal range. Offensive line dominance. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-13 after Jonathan Allen sacked Hurts and the third down throw was short of the sticks to Smith. Elliott came in for the 37-yard field goal make. There was an offside penalty on Washington but the Eagles declined it. I would’ve gone for it on 4th-and-1 with the Eagles OL crushing like it was. EAGLES 20, FOOTBALL TEAM 10.
- Avonte Maddox got called for a BS pass interference to prevent WFT from going on another three-and-out. DeAndre Carter broke off a big run into the red zone that got called back due to an illegal blindside block. Gilbert made a nice opposite hash throw that set up a 3rd-and-1. On third down, Gilbert somehow got a ball past Slay to ... John Bates (who?!) ... to bring the ball to the 1-yard line. WFT then punched it in for the TD. Game not over. EAGLES 20, FOOTBALL TEAM 17.
- The Eagles went eight plays in 80 yards to go back up 10 points. Reagor had a big 34-yard gain on a screen on 3rd-and-6. Hurts threw a good back shoulder ball to Ward, who also made a good catch, in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown. Big drive by the offense to help put the game back in Philly’s control. EAGLES 27, FOOTBALL TEAM 17.
- WFT got to 4th-and-9 from Philly’s 39-yard line and Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox combined to come up with a big strip-sack that was recovered by WFT for a turnover on downs.
- The Eagles ran seven plays to run clock and burn WFT’s remaining timeouts. The Eagles turned the ball over with 19 seconds remaining before Washington took over and ran the ball to end the game. Victory!
- Javon Hargrave got banged up on Washington’s second drive.
- DeVonta Smith was slow to get up after Hurts targeted him while double covered in the end zone but he didn’t miss time.
- Miles Sanders seemingly got hurt with Howard finishing out the game.
- Jack Stoll got banged up after taking a big hit on a catch in the fourth quarter.