It was as if a bad dream was unfolding on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, where the Eagles trailed Washington, 17-0, five minutes into second quarter, and 20-7 at halftime.
Then the team woke up.
The Eagles erupted for 25 unanswered points in the second half completed the relatively easy 32-27 win everybody expected from the regular season opener (see Roob's observations).
More on the victory in the Week 1 report card.
Carson Wentz: 28/39, 313 YDS, 3 TD
Whether because it was rust or by design, Wentz didn’t push the ball downfield much the first few series. Once he finally let loose, the game was over. Wentz completed nine of his first 12 passes for 45 yards on the Eagles’ first three series — 3.8 yards per attempt — then went 19 of 27 for 265 yards (a 9.8 average) with three touchdowns.
Darren Sproles: 9 CAR, 47 YDS, 3 REC, 16 YDS
Sproles led the way in total yards, but Jordan Howard’s 7.3 yards per carry on six rushing attempts were more than two full yards better. Miles Sanders struggled somewhat in his NFL debut, running 11 times for just 25 yards, but had a slippery 21-yard touchdown erased by penalty. The rookie also held up in pass protection.
Wide receivers and tight ends
DeSean Jackson: 8 REC, 154 YDS, 2 TD
Jackson caught eight of 10 targets, including scores of 51 and 53 yards and six first downs. Alshon Jeffery added two touchdowns — one receiving, one rushing — and Zach Ertz pitched in 54 yards.
Eagles running backs averaged 4.5 yards per carry, Wentz converted all three quarterback sneak attempts for first downs, and the quarterback was hit just four times all game, including a sole coverage sack that lost zero yards. Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced Brandon Brooks at right guard late in the game and promptly committed two holding penalties.
Derek Barnett: 4 TKL, 3 QBH
Washington backs carried 13 times for just 28 yards — a 2.2 average — but the pass rush non-existent almost the entire first half. Once the front four turned up the heat in the first half, Washington didn’t score again until garbage time. Tim Jernigan had the Eagles’ lone sack and joined Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham in recording a tackle for a loss.
Nigel Bradham: 7 TKL
Guess it’s a good thing Bradham wasn’t suspended. His stop on 3rd-and-3 late in the second quarter got the Eagles the ball back with time to score — even if the offense wasn’t able to do anything with it. Zach Brown added two tackles.
Ronald Darby: 5 TKL, 2 PD
Strong performance both in coverage and run support by Darby in his first game back from a torn ACL, though he dropped an interception. Andrew Sendejo and Rasaul Douglas each gave up long touchdowns though — Sendejo tripped then missed the tackle on a 48-yard score, while Douglas got smoked on a 69-yard bomb.
Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 3/3 XP
Elliott was perfect, his six points proving the edge in a five-point win. Sproles aided the Eagles in the field position battle with a 17-yard punt return and 11.5 average, as did Cameron Johnston with 51.3 yards per punt. Good day for the coverage units as well, as Washington averaged 15.3 yards per kick return and called for a fair catch on two of three punts.
Eagles’ record: 1-0
Doug Pederson’s early play calling was overly conservative, particularly a pitch on 3rd-and-2. Once the Eagles started taking shots downfield, Washington had no answers. Defensively, the issues seemed to be less Jim Schwartz’s game plan and more the execution.
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