3 things we saw as Eagles stayed the best team in the NFL vs. Redskins
The Eagles are pulling away in the NFC East, improving to 6-1 after besting the Redskins again Monday night.
The Eagles are the best team in the NFL. No one can really argue otherwise.
At home in Philly in front of a raucous Monday Night crowd, the Birds bested the Redskins for the second time this year, 34-24. The win puts the Birds not only leaps and bounds in front of the 3-3 Cowboys in the NFC East, but atop the league heirarchy with a 6-1 record, a game ahead of the Patriots (with potential cupcakes the Niners heading to the Linc next week).
Carson Wentz stole the show, putting up more monster numbers with four touchdown passes on 17-for-25 throwing and 268 yards in the air, whilst also leading the team in rushing with 64 yards on the ground.
Here is a breakdown what we saw as Philly shook off its rust and showd its true contending colors Monday:
With 11 days off since their last game — that 28-23 win in Carolina last Thursday — the Eagles had time to get healthy and prepare. Well, they didn't look so much well-rested as they looked rusty and uncharacteristically sloppy in the opening minutes.
After allowing 31 and 20 yard receptions on Washington's opening drive, a Jordan Hicks-less defense (he left with an ankle injury) held them to a field goal inside the red zone.
With the ball it wasn't any less ugly in the first. Four penalties on the first three plays negated two big gains and backed the Eagles to first and 33 at the two yardline. A Wentz bomb downfield was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar — it was more or less an arm punt.
Kirk Cousins and Jordan Reed hooked up twice late in the game on touchdown drives, each time cutting into a sizable Philly lead.
The Eagles got on the board after an impressive extra effort by Nelson Agholor on a short slant pass (on a third and 20) to put the Birds just inside Jake Elliott's impressive field goal range. The rookie kicker drilled a 50-yarder to tie things at 3-all in the second.
Later in the third, "Let's go Peters" chants echoed through the Linc after legendary and future hall of fame left tackle Jason Peters felt his knee bend the wrong way and was carted off the field. Every single Eagles' player walked onto the playing surface to rally around their fallen leader and a few plays later Corey Clemens made a leaping touchdown grap after some impressive Wentz scrambling.
The Eagles finally forced a turnover in the fourth quarter when Corey Graham picked off Cousins to set up Elliott's second field goal, a 42-yarder. He would later miss — for the first time in a month — on a fourth quarter attempt.
Carson Wentz struggled for about 27 minutes, taking some bad sacks and making some bad throws. But at the 3:19 mark in the second quarter the Wentz train left the station as a 64-yard bomb fell softly into the outstretched hands of a fly-route sprinting Mack Hollins for a touchdown, equalizing the score at 10-all. The squad took the lead after forcing a three-and out as Wentz led the team on a six-play, 80-yard drive eventually finding Zach Ertz for paydirt and a 17-10 advantage.
The Birds held strong on third downs — remaining the top team in the NFL by going 6-for-12. Several highlight reel plays were made by several Eagles stars, most memorable of these a Wentz scramble up the gut on third and long on a play that appeared to have him sacked. He somehow sprung out of the scrum for a first down scamper. The aformentioned third down conversion led to a fourth touchdown pass to Agholor and a 31-17 lead.
A potent pass rush was highlighed by two sacks from Derek Barnett, one from Fletcher Cox, and a rare QB takedown by safety Malcolm Jenkins.