The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0 after defeating the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field. Final score: 24 to 2.
Carson Wentz revenge game? Not even close.
The Eagles’ former starting quarterback mightily struggled on Sunday afternoon. He looked much like the same player that once frustrated Philly fans. He held on to the ball for forever, taking NINE sacks and fumbling twice. He sprayed the ball around the field with inaccuracy.
To his credit, Wentz did play a bit better in the second half and wasn’t exactly helped out by some poorly timed drops.
But that’s enough about him.
The REAL story of this game is … the Eagles look pretty freaking good!
Well, at least that was the case in the first half.
The offense slowed in the final two quarters, which isn’t the first time that’s happened this season. But the Birds looked pretty good while putting up 24 points in the 30 minutes. Jalen Hurts followed up his sensational Week 2 performance with another encouraging outing in this game. Hurts did a really good job of giving his top receivers chances to make plays in the air and after the catch. He finished with the following stat line: 22/35 (62.9%), 340 yards (9.7 yards per attempt!), 3 TD, 0 INT, and a 123.5 passer rating.
The defense did a great job of making Wentz’s life hell by sacking him nine times and hitting him 17 times. They only allowed six points (two more came from a safety by the offense) and those came in garbage time. All told, it was another good outing by Jonathan Gannon’s defense.
As we often say, more than one thing can be true. The Eagles are good football team. They also still have room to improve.
For now, they can enjoy being 3-0 before getting back to work to prepare for a matchup against their former head coach. Doug Pederson returns to Lincoln Financial Field with the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show!
- The Commanders were cowards and opted to introduce their defensive starters instead of their offensive starters. Wanted to avoid Carson Wentz getting booed by all the Eagles fans in attendance.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer to put Wentz on the field first. Wentz entered the field to boos. The first play of the game was a Curtis Samuel carry for 15 yards. But then the defense immediately tightened up. Jordan Davis tipped Wentz’s first passing attempt for an incompletion. On 3rd-and-5, Fletcher Cox and Josh Sweat combined to sack Wentz to force a punt.
Fletcher Cox had 3.5 sacks in 16 games last year.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 25, 2022
He is up to 2 sacks already this year. #Eagles
- The Eagles took over at their own 12-yard line. Quez Watkins drew a pass interference penalty while running a deep route from the slot. Two straight Miles Sanders runs picked up another first. On 3rd-and-5, Hurts got blitzed, rolled right, and couldn’t connect with a tightly covered Watkins. Punt.
- Arryn Siposs’ punt from Washington’s 49-yard line went into the end zone for a net 29 yards. You’d like to see a better punt there. The defense stepped up, though, with back-to-back sacks on Wentz from Cox and then Javon Hargrave to set up 3rd-and-23. On third down, Charles Leno got called for a false start. On 3rd-and-26, Washington went with the coward’s draw to bring up a punt.
Fletcher Cox had 3.5 sacks in 16 games last year.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 25, 2022
He is up to 3 sacks already this year. #Eagles
- DeVonta Smith (!) was back to return the Commanders’ second punt. Unexpected development, though he was a very good returner in a small sample size at Alabama. He gained 12 yards for the Eagles to take over at their own 44-yard line. Hurts took off running and slid to take a sack to avoid contact on first down. Then Hurts threw behind a tightly covered Smith in the middle of the field. On 3rd-and-13, Hurts had a pass short of the sticks to A.J. Brown knocked down.
- Washington drove 31 yards but then got stopped with Wentz getting sacked for a FOURTH time. Brandon Graham and Haason Reddick each got credited with half a sack. Wentz just holding on to the ball for forever, allowing the Eagles’ rush to get home.
Carson Wentz has been flirting with fumbling multiple times already. Surprised the Eagles haven’t knocked the ball out yet.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 25, 2022
- On 3rd-and-6, Hurts threw a nice ball to A.J. Brown for a first down. Much-needed. Then Hurts aired it out deep to DeVonta Smith, who made a FANTASTIC catch down the right sideline. Replay showed that Smith did not get both feet in with control ... but still an incredible effort to make it close. And the Eagles going hurry-up to get a play off so that Washington couldn’t successfully challenge worked! Ron Rivera threw his red flag after Hurts snapped the ball and threw to Dallas Goedert for a 2-yard gain.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-8 and Hurts targeted Smith in the end zone but he was tightly covered and throw hit a Washington defender for an incompletion. Eagles had to settle for a 32-yard Jake Elliott field goal. EAGLES 3, COMMANDERS 0.
- SACK NUMBER FIVE! Brandon Graham strip-sacked Wentz to allow Hargrave to recover at the Commanders’ 24-yard line. You knew it was going to happen.
Carson Wentz is now up to 68 career fumbles in 88 games. #Eagles— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 25, 2022
- The Eagles took over with great field position and a tight end screen to Dallas Goedert went for 24 yards and the game’s first touchdown. Easy money. EAGLES 10, COMMANDERS 0.
Nice blocks by Kelce and Seumalo leading the way on the Goedert TD. Also well done by Dickerson turning and tossing Jonathan Allen at the LOS.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 25, 2022
- Washington drove to 3rd-and-10 from their own 40-yard line. On third down, Wentz aired it out deep to Jahan Dotson ... and the pass was considerably out of bounds.
- Britain Covey muffed a punt that he tried to field away from his body. He was able to recover it but the Eagles had to start at their own 6-yard line. Hurts gave Brown a chance to make a play on a 50-50 ball and the wide receiver Moss’d the Commanders defender. The Eagles drove into the red zone and got to 4th-and-2 after Hurts took off running on third down. The Eagles decided to go for it on fourth down and Washington burned a timeout. The Eagles came back with a tight formation where Zach Pascal ended up taking a handoff ... only to be stopped short. Don’t mind the decision to be aggressive there when you can try to make it a three possession game but not sure that’s the best play the Eagles have in that scenario.
- The Commanders picked up a first down on the ground but then had to punt after Wentz’s 69th career fumble. Strip-sack by Reddick.
- Hurts threw to Watkins deep and overthrew him ... due to a defensive pass interference penalty. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-5 at the Commanders’ 42-yard line and the offensive line gave Hurts good protection to find a crossing DeVonta Smith for a 31-yard catch-and-run. Hurts threw a little behind Brown for a Commanders pass breakup to bring up 3rd-and-8. The Eagles took their first timeout. Hurts connected with Brown short of the goal line and the receiver powered his way through contact for his first Eagles touchdown. Boom. Three possession game. EAGLES 17, COMMANDERS 0.
- The Commanders went three-and-out in 59 seconds.
- The Eagles took over at their own 12-yard line 1:57 on the clock and two timeouts to work with. Brown picked up 15 yards with some nice YAC. He’s pretty good at that. Hurts to Smith along the right sideline put the Birds in Commanders territory. Hurts took a deep shot to Smith, who made a great leaping contested catch to the put the Eagles at the 1-yard line. Smith was shaken up after the play, which required the Eagles to burn their final timeout as an injury timeout. Hurts running on 3rd-and-goal and getting stopped forced the Eagles to go for it on fourth down with no way to stop the clock ... and he responded by throw a pass to DeVonta Smith for a contested touchdown catch. WOW. Great play. EAGLES 24, COMMANDERS 0.
During the first half, the @Eagles defense allowed 0 points and 50 total yards (66 rushing, -16 passing) on 28 plays (1.8 yards per play) along with 6 sacks, 3 three-and-out drives, 2 FFs and 1 takeaway. #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) September 25, 2022
- As if a 24-point lead wasn’t sweet enough, the Eagles got the ball after halftime. Hurts started the second half with a completion to a wide open Grant Calcaterra crossing the field for a 40-yard catch-and-run. Calcaterra’s first NFL catch in his first NFL game. Hurts took a sack to bring up a 3rd-and-19 and the QB aired it out to Smith ... but it was a little underthrown and well-defended to bring up an Eagles punt. Siposs punted it from Washington’s 49-yard line for another touchback. Sub-optimal
- The Commanders went three-and-out.
- The Eagles drove 24 yards before having to punt.
- The Commanders went three-and-out once again. James Bradberry logged a pass breakup on third down.
- Hurts took a deep shot to an open Brown but the ball was off target. Would’ve been a touchdown. Eagles punted instead.
- For the first time all day, the Commanders hit on a big passing play. Darius Slay thought he was passing Terry McLaurin off to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson but the safety was late to react to allow a 45-yard gain. An Avonte Maddox pass breakup brought up 3rd-and-7 ... and then a Charles Leno false start pushed it back five yards. On 3rd-and-12, Jahan Dotson dropped a sure first down conversion. The Commanders settled for a field goal ... or not because Jordan Davis was penalized for unnecessary roughness for banging into Washington’s long snapper. Bad penalty by the rookie. The Commanders got to 1st-and-goal from the 4-yard line. Wentz overthrew Curtis Samuel on first down. Then Antonio Gibson got caught dancing in the backfield for a 10-yard loss.
- On 3rd-and-goal from the 14-yard line, Wentz took off running left but didn’t make it to the goal line. On 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Commanders ran a shovel pass ... and it was stopped! Big stop by Avonte Maddox to tackle the much bigger Logan Thomas.
- The Eagles tried handing off to Boston Scott backed up at their own 1-yard line and the running back was tackled for a safety. Not sure why you don’t just sneak it there to try to create some space. EAGLES 24, COMMANDERS 2.
- Following the free kick, the Commanders drove 37 yards to reach 3rd-and-10 from the Eagles’ 24-yard line. Wentz threw short of the sticks to Curtis Samuel, who eluded two Eagles defenders for a first down. Brandon Graham sacked Wentz AGAIN to bring up 3rd-and-22. On third down, Wentz’s pass went through the hands of McLaurin. Should’ve been caught but would’ve still brought up fourth down. On 4th-and-22, the Commanders went for it and Wentz got sacked for an eighth time ... this time by Sweat. Game.
- Looking to kill some time, the Eagles ran six plays for 11 yards and took 3:50 off the clock before punting.
- The Commanders took over at at their own 13-yard line with 5:05 to play. Jordan Davis missed a chance at a sack but still impacted Wentz to allow T.J. Edwards to clean up for the takedown. Sack number NINE. Defensive holding on Kyzir White gave the Commanders a fresh set of downs on 3rd-and-13. White looking too handsy in coverage with a pass interference penalty earlier. The Commanders got to 3rd-and-5 after a dropped pass over the middle. On third down, Wentz hit McLaurin for a first down into the red zone. The Commanders ultimately punched the ball in with a Gibson run from the 1-yard line. Wentz’s two-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Marcus Epps. EAGLES 24, COMMANDERS 8.
- The Commanders’ onside kick attempt was recovered by Goedert. The Eagles took over at the Commanders’ 45-yard line with 1:55 left in the game and Washington having three timeouts to work with. The Eagles got to 4th-and-4 and Hurts connected with Brown for a first down to seal the deal. Victory formation to close it out.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 24 to 8
- Britain Covey returned Washington’s first punt before DeVonta Smith took over on the second punt. Covey seemingly was not injured as he was standing on the sideline. Covey came back in and handled punt returns for the rest of the game.
- Darius Slay got looked at in the blue tent midway through the first quarter. Zech McPhearson came in to replace him. Slay returned in the second quarter. Slay left the game in the fourth quarter.
- Milton Williams got banged up in the second quarter. He slowly walked off the field and eventually to the locker room. Williams returned in the third quarter.
- Dallas Goedert got banged up in the second quarter. He was ruled questionable to return with a shin injury. Goedert returned with about six minutes left in the third quarter.
- Zach Pascal limped off the field late in the second quarter.
- DeVonta Smith was shaken up after his big contested catch near the end of the second quarter. He returned shortly after.
- Landon Dickerson was replaced by Sua Opeta early in the third quarter. Dickerson entered the game questionable to play with a foot injury. Dickerson returned shortly after coming out. Then Dickerson was replaced by Opeta early in the fourth quarter.
- Haason Reddick limped off the field early in the fourth quarter.
The Philadelphia Eagles are at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland to take on the Washington Commanders. It’s a Week 3 matchup between two NFC East rivals.
More than that, it’s also a matchup between Carson Wentz and the team that selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. For the first time since the Eagles traded Wentz in early 2021, he’s going up against his former franchise. Naturally, all eyes will be on how he performs.
The Commanders have experienced the highs and lows of Wentz thus far. While he’s already thrown for seven touchdown passes, he’s also committed costly turnovers. It’s up to the Eagles to take advantage of Wentz’s mistakes.
It’s also up to the Birds to exploit a Commanders defense that’s been weakened by injury. With Jalen Hurts surging and the Eagles boasting an effective rushing attack, Philly should not be struggling to move the ball.
If they win this game, the Eagles will advance to 3-0 while dropping the Commanders to 1-2. That would be a pretty nice result. A loss to Wentz would not.
Bleeding Green Nation will be covering this game with live updates in the form of highlights, commentary, analysis, etc. Make sure to follow along and refresh the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; it’s a live blog that will turn into a game recap. Use BGN’s designated game threads for each quarter to discuss in-game happenings. The first quarter thread is HERE.)