Eagles Postgame Report: Birds Push Past Commanders Late For Seventh Win

Eagles Postgame Report: Birds Push Past Commanders Late For Seventh Win Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles headed into another game with the Commanders this week. Despite their recent loss to the lowly Giants, the Commanders always play the Eagles touch and this game was no different.

It started with Sean Desai’s defense. After a week of praise, the unit that added Kevin Byard was an absolute embarrassment. They covered essentially nobody and allowed so many open receivers that Howell went 24/26 passing in the first half with both James Bradberry and Darius Slay putting on the most embarrassing display of missed tackles Eagles fans have seen in years.

The defensive line got a handful of pressures but never made it home. It resulted in the Commanders putting up 17 points for the halftime lead. That was the first time in three or four weeks that all of those points were on the defense and not due to some offensive turnovers.

Speaking of turnovers, D’Andre Swift only got three touches in the very beginning of the game and then the staff went heavy to Kenneth Gainwell with six touches and his being in almost every play. It got the Eagles exactly where you’d expect as Swift had -4 rushing yards with his touches AND fumbled the ball away at the three-yard line.

After Gainwell ruined that other drive, Jalen Hurts and co authored a strong drive with no timeouts (excluding Sua Opeta’s injury) in a bit over a minute. It culminated in an incredible catch from AJ Brown for a touchdown which kept the game close despite no run game and little to no defense being played.

The Eagles came out from the half with a very successful 74-yard drive but threw all that away when a bad snap fumbled the ball away on the tush push.

The two teams traded a couple blows, but it was an interception by Reed Blankenship off a deflection that gave the Eagles an upper hand and the first touchdown for Julio Jones in an Eagles uniform gave them their first lead of the match.

Two drops for incompletions by the Commanders lead to a turnover on downs and presented Philadelphia with a golden opportunity. They failed to take advantage, however, using only a minute of clock on the worst three-and-out of the game.

The Commanders sure seem like they were shafted by a call that appeared to be called a catch then was seemingly changed to an incompletion call on the field. The ensuing challenge saw the Commander lose a timeout and face a fourth and five that they were unable to convert.

Already in the red zone, a few handoffs to D’Andre Swift lead to a 14-point lead with under two minutes left and the Commanders out of timeouts. Washington answered back with another touchdown, but any chance at a comeback would require a successful recovery on an onside kick. They couldn’t complete this as DeVonta Smith pulled the kick down to seal the victory.

Offensive MVP: AJ Brown

Brown was again dominant in this match with two impressive touchdown grabs, one that should absolutely be on the Sports Center Top 10. In fact, it may wind up being one of the 10 best catches of this entire season across the NFL – it was that good. He wound up with 129 yards and two touchdowns this week. With this game, he set an NFL record with his sixth straight game of 125+ yards receiving.

Defensive MVP: Reed Blankenship

The defense was pretty much not good as a whole. You can’t allow over 35 completions without recording a single sack. With that said, Blankenship himself really didn’t have a great game and had busted coverage of his own. He did what was needed, however, with the only turnover the defense was able to manage setting up the offense to take control of the game and provide the team with a better opportunity to end the game with the ball in their hands or go up by two scores. He recorded seven tackles in the contest.

Game Notes

  • Turnovers continue to kill this team. It was a one-score victory, but could have easily been a three or four score one without much stress if the team hadn’t put the ball on the ground inside their own 5-yard line twice. It needs to be cleaned up.
  • It’s an absolute mystery what the staff is thinking. Kenneth Gainwell is not a good running back and should be the fourth best running back they have yet gets used like he’s the top back. 
  • Rashaad Penny continues to sit on the bench as an inactive every game while we have to watch Gainwell take touches and lose yards behind the best offensive line in the game.
  • Sydney Brown still hasn’t shown much in the passing game, but he’s been excellent knifing into the backfield on run plays, doing it twice for pretty much the only impressive defensive plays in the first quarter.
  • Julio Jones is still working himself into the offense, but it has got to be frustrating when his only look in the first half came on a play where a defender rode him for the entire play (before the ball was even thrown) but he received no call for the obvious penalty.
  • Britain Covey had a 25-yard punt return in the third quarter which could easily have been more but Nolan Smith, for some unknown reason, basically tackled his own punt returner on the play in an open field with no Commanders anywhere around the pair of them.
  • Julio’s first touchdown with the Birds was pretty incredible to see. He’s been with the team for less than two full weeks and everyone on that offense was out of their minds excited for him. Amazing to see that sort of bond in such a short time.
  • DeVonta Smith has had several tough games in a row, but was really effective in this one catching the ball. He’s probably a bit upset he didn’t break 100 yards, but 99 yards, along with a touchdown, is nothing to sneeze at.

Injury Notes

  • Milton Williams departed to the locker room in the first quarter of this match. He returned following halftime
  • AJ Brown appeared shaken up in the second quarter, but returned a few plays later.
  • Sua Opeta limped off before the half and was replaced by the rookie, Tyler Steen. He did return after the half
  • Jalen Carter left in the third quarter with a back issue.
  • Darius Slay went down and left the field just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders – October 29, 2023

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4


3 7 7 21
Commanders 7


0 14


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