Postgame Report: Eagles Overcome First-Quarter Woes, Defeat Washington

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles entered the half tied at 10 following a disastrous first quarter that threatened to end the Birds’ season right there.

Just as the Eagles offense had put together a string of scoring drives and the defense had all the momentum, a phantom PI call on Avonte Maddox gifted Washington a spot in this game to pull within one score.

That didn’t seem to bother the Eagles too much, however. The defense locked Washington down and Hurts lead a scoring drive followed by a drive to run out the clock.

Both Hurts and the defense were far more impressive after the half. Whether that was rust or something else, it’s good that it got fixed quick.

Offensive MVP: RB Miles Sanders

There were many big plays by Hurts, Goedert, smith, Lane Johnson and Ward, but the only player who was consistently getting positive yardage all game and didn’t do something that made me cringe was Miles Sanders. It was actually a surprise how much he played given that Jordan Howard and Boston Scott were both healthy and could be rotated in more. He is still seeking his first touchdown because anytime they get close it seems all running plays go to Hurts, but he gained 131 yards on the ground and added 15 yards in the passing game to keep the chains moving all night.

Defensive MVP: Fletcher Cox

Cox had four hits on the quarterback in this one with one and a half sacks. He had a sack just before the half to prevent Washington from getting into field goal range. He had three tackles, but the pressure he brought was impressive all night. If he can keep up this level of play, the Eagles are in much better shape for any kind of run at the playoffs.

Game Notes

  • While I was happy with most of Sirianni’s calls tonight, I would have liked to have seen him show some faith in the offense in that field goal where offsides was called to make it fourth and one. Particularly against this team and with all the momentum going the Eagles way, it would have been nice to try and give the Eagles offense some confidence for a potential run.
  • The defensive line was a major disappointment in the first half, but they really started to get some pressure in the second half even without blitzes. There should be some credit given for the seemingly better rotations on the line helping with that. Williams, Ridgeway and Tarron Jackson were all really effective and both Hargrave and Cox were able to last longer into the game rather than burning out.
  • The only points Washington scored in the second half were gifted to them by an absolutely awful pass interference call that gifted Washington a new set of downs. Without it, Washington’s offense never gets anything going after the first quarter.
  • If you just look at Hurts’ stats, it looks like he had a pretty poor game (or a very mediocre one, at best). It is important to remember that Dallas Goedert dropped two passes that hit him in the hands and if those are caught, he probably has at least 50 more yards, no interceptions and a completion percentage near 80%. That’s not nearly as bad.
  • Tight end Jack Stoll was injured in this one. That may not seem like a big deal to many fans, but the undrafted free agent out of Nebraska has been playing a bunch of snaps and has not only proved to be a capable pass catcher, but a very effective blocker. If he misses significant time, it could really impact the Eagles run game. With former QB David Tyree being the only other tight end and seeing few if any offensive snaps, the Eagles may be giving old friend Richard Rodgers a call again very soon.
  • Glad to see Greg Ward get that touchdown. It was actually a poor read by Hurts to throw it to the covered Ward with Goedert wide-open in front of him, but Ward made a great catch (though not as great as that come-backer Smith snagged) to put the game away.


Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles – December 21, 2021

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Washington 10 0 0 7
Philadelphia 0 10 10 7
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