Commanders struggle offensively, Eagles win 24-8 in NFC East matchup (9-25-22)



By: Lamonte Thomas

All Photo Credit: Washington Commanders

The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders met on a day meant for football, as Carson Wentz greeted his former teammates at midfield for the coin toss, with brotherly love. On Washington’s first drive, the new playmaker for the Commanders Curtis Samuel took off for 15 yards on an end around. The drive would soon stall as Wentz was sacked by Josh Sweat and Fletcher Cox after a batted-down pass. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles started their drive at their own 12 and it would end near midfield after a pass interference call on Washington’s Wildgoose moved Philly 23 yards.The defensive battle ensued; as DT Fletcher Cox & Javon Hargrave reported back-to-back sacks for Philadelphia, and Washington’s Jamon Davis forced Hurts to slide for a sack of his own. The Eagles, however, would not let up on Wentz; Brandon Graham and Hassan Reddick brought him down for another loss, giving the Eagles 4 sacks to Wentz’s 3 passing attempts.


The first quarter saw no score, though QB Jalen Hurts would connect on a 45-yard bomb to Devonta Smith to put Philly on the Washington 16 just before the first would end. The Commanders would hold them to a field goal, as the 64-yard drive put Philadelphia ahead 3-0 in the second quarter.
Brandon Graham was awakened, as he would strip his former teammate Carson Wentz, which was then recovered by Javon Hargrove. The turnover would lead to a touchdown pass from Hurts to Goedert, and the Eagles soared to a 10-0 lead.


While Washington’s offense continued to struggle, the Eagles got aggressive offensively. After a muffed punt by Philly’s Britain Covey and starting the drive on their own 6, the Eagles would drive 86 yards mostly thanks to a 38-yard pass from Hurts to AJ Brown. Washington’s defense would not break as Shaka Toney stuffed a jet sweep on 4th and 1 by Zach Pascal at the Washington 8. Wentz was forced to fumble again by Hassan Reddick on third down, though he did recover it. It would make for the sixth sack of the day by the Eagles. With three minutes left to play in the half, Philadelphia outgained Washington 227 yards to a mere 47; though the time of possession has been evenly split. Their six-play, 64-yard drive would payoff this time as AJ Brown reeled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts, putting the Eagles up 17-0. Before the half, the Eagles weren’t done as Devonta Smith caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Hurts, opening a 24-0 lead on the Commanders. Smith had 157 yards receiving, three times as much as Washington’s total offense.


Both teams came out of the half-fired up on defense. D-end Efe Obada pounced on Jalen Hurts for a sack, causing them to punt on their first possession of the half.
Washington got going at the end of the 3rd, with a few 3rd down conversions and a 45-yard pass to Terry Mclaurin from Carson Wentz. Their drive was extended on a Philadelphia unnecessary roughness penalty, yet they were unable to capitalize as they turned over on downs at the goal line after a shovel passes from Wentz to Logan Thomas came up short.

The fourth quarter began as a 24-0 shutout by the Eagles, but that quickly changed as Daron Payne wrecked Boston Scott in the endzone for a Philadelphia safety. Washington started their next drive on their 39-yard line, down 24-2. They drove to the 14-yard line with a few quick Wentz passes, but they were driven back by Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham sacks, bringing Philly’s quarterback sack jackpot to eight. The turnover on downs all but completed the rout by the Eagles.
Antonio Gibson managed to scurry in the end zone late, bringing the final score to 24-8 after a failed Commander 2 pt conversion. Wentz has sacked a total of nine times on the day, a long one indeed for the offense.
Washington (1-2) will head to Dallas to face the Cowboys (1-1) next week for another divisional matchup, as Philadelphia (3-0) will host Jacksonville (2-1).