Well, the Philadelphia Eagles are capable of losing a game after all.
The Birds are no longer undefeated after being defeated by the Washington Commanders on Monday night. Final score: 32 to 21.
Pretty disappointment outcome. The Eagles should’ve been able to take care of business in this one as 11.5-point home favorites. Especially when they started the game up 7 to 0 following a Taylor Heinicke fumble.
But Jonathan Gannon’s defense allowed Washington to take a lead by being unable to stop the Commanders’ long scoring drives. Too much bend AND break.
Despite not playing well at all, the Eagles still had a chance to get back in this game. But they ultimately made too many mistakes. Mistakes that were exacerbated by very poor officiating. It’s very hard to understand how the officials didn’t see Dallas Goedert getting facemasked on a play where he fumbled. It’s also hard to see how the refs could allow the game to be decided on Brandon Graham sliding into Heinicke and calling unnecessary roughness.
Ultimately, the Eagles cannot blame the refs for losing. They should have played well to a point where the officiating couldn’t have impacted the outcome like it did. The Birds deserved to lose. That being said, the refs clearly sucked ass. More than one thing can be true.
On the bright side, the Eagles are still in good shape atop the NFC playoff picture at 8-1. They still have a very good path to securing the No. 1 seed.
But losing this game was a missed opportunity for the Birds to maintain their two-game lead over the Minnesota Vikings by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker. The loss also takes the sting out of the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. And puts the New York Giants just one game behind Philly in the NFC East standings.
One will hope this loss serves as a wake-up call for the Birds. They need to be better moving forward.
The Eagles have a chance to rebound with a road game against Jeff Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts up next.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer, as they usually do. The Commanders started at their own 8-yard line after a special teams penalty. Marlon Tuipulotu got the start at nose tackle in place of Jordan Davis. The Commanders got to 3rd-and-5 and Taylor Heinicke’s wheel route target was underthrown into the back of a trailing Josiah Scott. Three-and-out! Or not because Reed Blankenship barely missed blocking Tress Way’s punt and instead ran into him for a roughing the kicker penalty that gave Washington a new set of downs. No matter, though, with Josh Sweat strip-sacking Heinicke and Tuipulotu recovering! Too easy. Good job by Mr. T to outmuscle Washington’s offensive linemen for the loose ball. Also like the “T” motion that he made with his arms while celebrating the recovery in the end zone in front of the fans.
- The Eagles took over at Washington’s 18-yard line. Jalen Hurts took a designed run for 12 yards, then Boston Scott ran for five, and then the Eagles lined up an interesting formation with three players in the backfield but it was just eye candy to distract from a QB sneak for the touchdown. Boom! EAGLES 7, COMMANDERS 0.
- The Commanders picked up a couple first downs on the ground. Then Heinicke hit a wide open crossing Terry McLaurin for 26 yards on a 3rd-and-2. Heinicke completed another pass to bring the Commanders to 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Two Antonio Gibson runs later, the Commanders found the end zone. Not a very good drive by the defense. 75 yards surrendered over 13 plays. Run defense still concerning. EAGLES 7, COMMANDERS 7.
- The Eagles dink-and-dunked their way into Commanders territory. Hurts hit DeVonta Smith short of the sticks but with blockers ahead of him for a conversion on 3rd-and-10. Hurts aired it out to DeVonta to draw a DPI flag. Kind of a weak call but the Birds are happy to take it. Down at the 6-yard line, Hurts executed took a step forward to fake a run but instead threw a jump pass (!) to Dallas Goedert for a TD. Fun wrinkle there. EAGLES 14, COMMANDERS 7.
- The Commanders once again drove into Philly territory, aided in part by a phantom illegal contact penalty on Darius Slay. The Commanders slowly but surely reached 3rd-and-1 at the Eagles’ 21-yard line and were stuffed. They lined up to go for it on fourth down … but the crowd noise at The Linc forced a delay of game penalty. The Eagles are fortunate the Commanders didn’t get the snap off there because that would’ve been a conversion and maybe a touchdown.Washington ended up settling for a 44-yard field goal. EAGLES 14, COMMANDERS 10.
- Hurts converted a 3rd-and-5 with a good throw to DeVonta for a 15-yard gain. Then Hurts aired it out deep to Brown … but got picked off. The ball actually hit Brown in the hands but he did not hold on and took a bounce into the hands of Darrick Forrest. Unfortunate. Downside of a 50/50 ball. A.J. will win more of those than not.
- The Eagles got the Commanders to a 3rd-and-5 … and Heinicke was able to hit a wide open Curtis Samuel in the middle of the field for 23 yards. Cool. A high snap went off Heinicke’s hands and he was able to throw it away … but it should’ve been intentional grounding despite the refs’ insistence otherwise. The Eagles got the Commanders to another 3rd-and-5 … and Heinicke hit a wide open McLaurin for an 18-yard gain. Just so easy looking for the opposing offense. Such soft defense. The Commanders got to 4th-and-1 from the 16-yard line and a motioning Samuel took a carry for the first down. Brian Robinson took a carry where he should’ve been stopped much sooner but was able to power through more poor Eagles tackling to get to the 3-yard line. Robinson then reached over the goal line on another run to give the Commanders their first lead. 86 yards in 16 plays and a touchdown. More bend-and-break stuff from Jonathan Gannon’s defense. EAGLES 14, COMMANDERS 17.
- Kenneth Gainwell dropped the first pass of the Eagles’ two-minute drill. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-5 and Brown fell down on his route for an incompletion and a quick three-and-out. Not good.
- The Commanders took over at their own 30-yard line with 1:06 on the clock and one timeout to work with. Kyzir White made a nice tackle on Antonio Gibson inbounds to keep the clock moving. That is, until Washington had to call their final timeout with Gibson getting hurt. White made another good tackle inbounds to keep the clock running. The Commanders moved to Philly’s 40-yard line and spiked the ball with 0:09 in the clock. The Commanders finished the first half with a Joey Slye field goal good from 58 yards out. EAGLES 14, COMMANDERS 20.
Commanders ran 50 offensive plays in the first half: most by any team in a game this season.
18 first downs in the first half: fourth-most by a team in a game this season.
Eagles allowed points on four straight drives.
Washington came in ranked 27th in offensive DVOA.
— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) November 15, 2022
The Commanders came into today converting 34.2% of their 3rd downs, good for 27th in the NFL.
They converted on 9 of 12 (75%) in the first half against the Eagles.
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) November 15, 2022
- The Eagles went three-and-out after a quick pass to Brown on third down was broken up.
- The Commanders started out at their own 20-yard line and moved to their own 42-yard line. From there, Heinicke aired it out deep to McLaurin with Darius Slay trailing for a 41-yard completion. Not good! The Commanders reached 3rd-and-goal from the 3-yard line. On third down, Javon Hargrave came up with interior pressure for a big sack. Also credit Brandon Graham for flushing Heinicke with pressure from collapsing the right side of the pocket. The Commanders had to settle for a field goal that made it a two possession game. EAGLES 14, COMMANDERS 23.
- The Eagles came out running with Miles Sanders on back-to-back plays for a first down. Hurts missed a chance to find an open Brown in the middle of the field to bring up a 3rd-and-7 … which he converted with a completion to an open Quez Watkins. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 from Washington’s 26-yard line and Sanders ran through an opening up the gut for the first. With another Sanders toss run, the Eagles got to 1st-and-10 at the 11-yard line as the third quarter expired.
- Hurts threw to DeVonta short of the end zone and the receiver survived a defender’s tackle attempt to make it a one score game! Touchdown for the birthday boy, who is certainly not too slight to play in the NFL. EAGLES 21, COMMANDERS 23.
- The Eagles needed their defense to get a big stop. The refs called Chauncey Gardner-Johnson for unnecessary roughness when he contacted the ball carrier. AWFUL call. Justice came for CJGJ, however, when he recorded his SIXTH pick of the season. The Eagles can be grateful that Heinicke way underthrew McLaurin. Ball don’t lie.
- The Eagles took over at their own 7-yard line. They drove to their 31-yard line before Dallas Goedert fumbled on a screen. The Commanders recovered it and ran it into the end zone to cause confusion at The Linc. Upon replay, Goedert clearly fumbled … but he was also clearly facemasked in the process of being tackled, which likely contributed to the loss of control. The play was reviewed and the Commanders were ruled down but the refs, by rule, can’t call the penalty after the fact. Terrible job by the officials to miss that call as it happened.
- The Commanders took over at the Eagles’ 34-yard line. They got knocked back to 3rd-and-13. On third down, Heinicke threw the ball away. There was a penalty for an illegal man downfield on Washington but Nick Sirianni declined it to bring up a 55-yard field goal attempt. Joey Slye made it. Critical stop by the Eagles’ defense. Wonder if you might have wanted to accept the penalty to potentially knock Washington out of scoring range or do something desperate that could lead to another takeaway? EAGLES 21, COMMANDERS 26.
- Hurts aired it out to Quez Watkins, who made a diving effort for a 51-yard gain! But Watkins fumbled after getting up off the ground and not being contacted, leading to a Washington recovery. Lol. Just not the Eagles’ night.
- The Commanders got to 3rd-and-4 and Heinicke found a wide open Samuel for a first down. But the completion was called back on offensive pass interference, setting up 3rd-and-14 due to an illegal pick by Jahan Dotson. The Commanders picked up 12 yards on third down and punted.
- The Eagles took over at their own 20-yard line with 3:21 on the clock and three timeouts to work with. Sanders ran for two yards and then Hurts was pressured into an incompletion. Facing 3rd-and-8, Hurts stepped up in the pocket and tried to take off running … into Washington’s defensive line for a 5-yard sack. What the hell is that. On the punt, Arryn Siposs had to sidestep a free rusher to get the kick off. He did … but the delay caused an illegal man downfield penalty, which made the Eagles redo the punt. And Siposs kicking it in the middle of the field allowed the clock to hit the 2:00 minute warning, wasting an extra chance for the Eagles to stop the clock.
Man, what a dreadful sequence with the game (sorta) on the line.
1st down: run, no tempo (running clock!)
2nd down: busted play call (look like the line thought screen)
3rd down: Hurts total panic in the pocket
4th down: fake punt? or not?
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 15, 2022
- The Eagles took their second timeout to bring up 3rd-and-7 with 1:45 on the clock and the ball at midfield. On third down, Heinicke took a knee for a loss after trying to find an open target … and flopped when being contacted by a sliding Brandon Graham for an unnecessary roughness penalty and a first down. Love the refs deciding to end the game on that bullshit!
- The Commanders still had to the punt and the Eagles got a chance to take over with 0:05 on the clock at their own 10-yard line. DeVonta lateraled while being tackled and former Eagles draft pick Casey Toohill — naturally — put the exclamation on the game by recovering the ball for a Washington touchdown. Fitting end to a bad night for Philly. EAGLES 21, COMMANDERS 32.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES LOSE, 32 to 21
- Jason Kelce limped off the field and got re-taped on a table after the Eagles’ first TD. He didn’t miss any time.
- A.J. Brown appeared to tweak something after making his first catch. He didn’t miss too much time before returning.
- Josh Sweat went down early in the second quarter. He was pointing to his knee before he slowly walked off the field. Sweat re-entered the game later in the second quarter.
- DeVonta Smith got looked at in the medical tent during the second quarter.
- Dallas Goedert was down for a bit after getting facemasked and then evaluated in the medical tent. Really cool how that play that injured him wasn’t a penalty.
For the second time this year, the Philadelphia Eagles are being featured in the Monday Night Football spotlight.
The Birds last played on ESPN all the way back in Week 2, when they took down the Minnesota Vikings to advance to 2-0.
Now the Eagles are looking to remain undefeated by sweeping their season series with the Washington Commanders.
The reasonable expectation is that that’s exactly what will happen in this game. The Eagles are entering this matchup as 11.5-point favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
By all indications, the Eagles are the better team. They’re also the more rested side having last played on November 3 whereas the Commanders suited up on November 6.
No good excuses to lose this one. Gotta go out and take care of business on a national stage.
Bleeding Green Nation will be covering this game with live updates in the form of highlights, commentary, analysis, etc. Make sure to follow along and refresh the page often.
(NOTE: This is NOT a game thread; it’s a live blog that will turn into a game recap. Use BGN’s designated game threads for each quarter to discuss in-game happenings. The first quarter thread is HERE.)