For the second straight season, the Washington Football Team opened its season with a clash against the Philadelphia Eagles. And for the second straight year, the home team fell behind 17-0 early in the first half.
In 2019, Washington looked like world-beaters against the Eagles through the first 20 minutes, as they jumped out to a 17-point lead in the second quarter. But the Football Team's 17-point lead in that game quickly vanished. Philly scored 32 unanswered points and ultimately won the contest.
On Sunday, the Eagles were the ones who jumped out to a 17-0 lead. In both games, the Birds were favored, too, so, when Philly jumped out to a three-possession advantage on Sunday, many chalked the matchup to be over.
Just before halftime, Washington's offense finally showed some life following a Carson Wentz interception. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins would find tight end Logan Thomas for a six-yard score with under a minute remaining in the half to narrow the gap to 10.
During halftime, Haskins delivered an allegedly epic speech to his teammates. Whatever the second-year QB said ended up working out because Washington dominated in the second half. The team held Philadelphia scoreless over the final 30 minutes, as Washington rode its defense to an incredible, come-from-behind 27-17 victory.
After the game, Haskins told reporters that the motive behind his speech was what happened during last year's Week 1 matchup between the two teams, and how Sunday's game was far from over.
"Pretty much, the moral of the speech was: we're home," Haskins said. "We're the home team. They're the visitors. There's no reason why we should be 'little bro' to them in a sense."
Washington was no longer "little bro" on Sunday.
The Football Team's dominant defensive front crushed Wentz all afternoon long, as Washington finished with eight total sacks. Wentz was under duress all afternoon and never looked comfortable from the second quarter onward.
Offensively, Washington didn't necessarily impress. Yet, they did everything they needed to do win. Timely throws by Haskins, an incredible effort by running back Peyton Barber, and calculated, well-executed gambles by head coach Ron Rivera led Washington to victory.
"For me, it was find a way to win. They found a way to win and beat us last year at their place," Haskins said. "This is our house. We were killing ourselves, there was nothing that they did to stop us. We just have to keep finding ways to win every game."