Eagles defenders didn’t seem too distraught about surrendering the longest play in franchise history Monday night. Maybe, it’s because they went on to beat Washington comfortably, 28-13 (see Roob's observations).
Or maybe it’s because there was never any concern a Mark Sanchez-led passing attack would be able to keep Washington’s offense moving.
Signed a little more than two weeks ago, Sanchez took the field in the second quarter to mock cheers from the Lincoln Financial Field crowd after an injury to backup quarterback Colt McCoy. The laughter subsided on Sanchez’s very first play, however, when 33-year-old running back Adrian Peterson took the handoff, exploded through a gaping hole, broke a tackle and outran the entire Eagles defense.
The touchdown gave Washington the lead, and you couldn’t blame fans for getting a little nervous.
Not the Eagles, though, who it turns out, never viewed Sanchez as a threat.
“We didn’t adjust much,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “We used the same game plan. We knew they weren’t going to come in and start throwing the ball all around with Sanchez.”
Washington racked up 146 yards and scored 10 points on the offense’s first three possessions. But on the next seven possessions after Peterson’s score, the offense managed just 89 yards and three points.
Sanchez played for the Eagles for two seasons from 2014-15, appearing in 13 games with 10 mostly forgettable starts. With a handful of holdovers from those Chip Kelly-era teams — Jenkins and defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, to name a few — the defense had a good idea what to expect.
Predictably, it was underwhelming.
“It was fun against Sanchez in there,” Nigel Bradham said. “A lot of the guys knew him on our squad so they were talking a lot of trash to him, just messing with him, calling him all kinds of names I never even knew this guy had.”
The journeyman signal caller completed 13 of 21 passes for 100 yards with an interception and was sacked twice. It was vintage Sanchez, only older — the former fifth-overall draft pick is 32 now — and having just got off the couch the other day.
The Eagles still had to overcome Peterson, who briefly showed signs he could take over the game. Yet, the defense chalked up the record-breaking run as little more than a fluke, holding the future Hall of Famer to eight yards on his other eight carries.
“We didn’t care,” Rasul Douglas said. “We just threw it away. Throw the whole play away, it didn’t count and let’s just keep going.”
Without Peterson running wild or experiencing any success really, Washington didn’t have a one-dimensional offense. With Sanchez at the helm, behind a patchwork offensive line, there were no dimensions.
The Eagles didn’t merely take care of business, either. After Peterson’s run, they shut Washington down and erased all hope.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.
More on the Eagles