Defense, Receivers Forget To Show Up For Monday Night Football

Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles were on prime time once again to wrap up their season series with the NFC East Rival Washington Commanders. Having already beat the Commanders in DC, the Commanders were looking to avenge their poor performance in week three.

The Eagles defense, with a turnover just a few minutes into the game, setup the offense with an 18-yard field for what seemed like it could become a blowout early. That same defense, however, could do absolutely nothing to stop the Commanders on the following drive.

The offense, for it’s part, did not let up – that is until AJ Brown had a 46-yard reception in his hands and just let go of it into the defender’s hands for an interception. It was a play that was only as bad as his falling down for no reason on the next offensive drive to force a punt.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Gannon was on the sideline still trying to figure out how to get that square block into the circle hole. He dropped elite coverage pass-rusher Robert Quinn into coverage, had his DBs play over 5-yards off receivers at all times, and didn’t bring any pressure or stop the pass rush. Apparently after 10 days of scheming, his plan was to show the world just how incredibly stupid he is.

The Eagles offense had the ball for just 6 minutes and 11 seconds in the first half between AJ Brown doing all he could to sabotage the offense and the aforementioned moron calling the defense.

After the half, AJ Brown decided to kill the offense once again with a drop on third down and the defense managed a “stop” by having the Commanders inexplicably try to throw at the three-yard line, where there wasn’t enough room for the Eagles defensive backs to play over five yards off each receiver.

Jalen Hurts stopped giving Brown the time of day and the offense started humming again. On the defensive side, the Commanders taking an ill-advised deep shot that allowed Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to make a read and a pick gave the Birds a much-needed stop.

Then the referees missed a facemask that injured lead to a fumble and recovery by Washington and gifted the Commanders three points. The Eagles followed that up with a 51-yard reception where Quez Watkins immediately fumbled the ball away after the catch.

If you tuned in to see the epitome of ineptitude, you got to see exactly that as the Eagles, with some assistance for the referees, did everything they could to screw up even further every drive.

Offensive MVP: DeVonta Smith

This comes down to who didn’t screw up. Hurts rushing into a four-man front for a sack on the final drive removed him from consideration and that really just leaves DeVonta Smith and the running backs who the offense forgot existed. Smith had six catches for 53 yards and a touchdown in this one, doing everything he could to try and get this team going.

Defensive MVP: Marlon Tuipulotu

Tuipulotu was all over the field to start the game, even coming away with the fumble recovery on the first drive of the game. He entered the half with five tackles and was the only player who seemed to do anything for the entire first half. Once the Commanders shifted their focus to him, the defense went silent for most of the game and failed to even put up a roadblock on any play let alone make a decent tackle.

Game Notes

  • Washington’s offense is reliant on yards after the catch and being able to get their receivers wide open, to naturally the Eagles defense played a zone to let them do that as much as possible.
  • AJ Brown was about as big a negative as you could have in this game. He caused the interception on the drop, ended the next drive by falling over for no reason, then ended the very next drive with a drop on third down. Meanwhile he contributed one catch for seven yards. The Eagles offense only had success after that when Hurts stopped even looking in his direction in favor of anyone else.
  • Reed Blankenship appeared to get pinned a bit by Johnson on the Commanders first punt, which resulted in a roughing to extend the Washington drive. That simply cannot happen, even if it was bailed out by a turnover on the very next play. It’s hard to imagine a worse special teams performance and it makes me wonder why Blankenship, who has been inactive much of the season, is the guy they have on the outside to rush the kicker. Still, Blankenship shows the potential to take on a safety role later in his career; heck there’s an argument to be made he’s already the third best safety on the roster.
  • The refs decided to call the first ever “late hit inbounds” penalty by assessing a personal foul on the Eagles for hitting a player still in bounds. On the very next drive, the Commanders injured Dallas Goedert and forced a turnover by ripping him around by his facemask, determined to be a very clean play by the same pieces of trash wearing the stripes.
  • The refs were so bad, they deserved to be injured. In all seriousness, they should have stood there after the game and let the Eagles played just beat them with the way they called these “safety” plays to protect only Washington in places they didn’t need protection.

Injury Notes

  • AJ Brown seemed to suffer an injury to his right leg early on in the game but returned to the chagrin of Eagles fans everywhere.
  • Josh Sweat left the game in the first quarter. He did return in the second quarter.
  • DeVonta Smith did visit the blue tent, but did not miss any snaps in doing so.
  • Dallas Goedert was injured on a facemask that was missed by the seeing-eye dogs of the referees in charge of this game. He was able to return on the following drive.

Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles – November 14, 2022