The Washington Football Team’s 27-17 comeback win over the Eagles on Sunday appeared almost too good to be true.
The impressive comeback, motivating halftime speech and inspired win for their coach battling cancer fell into place so perfectly that they seemed more like plot points in a Hollywood movie rather than real life, NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay said on Sunday’s postgame episode of Washington Football Talk.
“Imagine this scenario,” Finlay said. “Home team getting their doors beat in. It’s been an awful offseason for this team. Part of the team is up for sale. There’s an investigation into sexual harassment. They don’t have a name. Head coach has cancer. They’re getting their doors blown off. It’s halftime. Head coach has to get an IV at halftime.”
When Washington fell into a 17-point deficit in the first half of their Week 1 matchup, the team appeared to have reached rock bottom following a painful offseason. Many wondered whether their off-field struggles will plague their on-field performance, and early in Sunday’s matchup, it looked like 2020 would be a long and challenging year for Washington.
However, everything turned around at halftime, as the team made a complete 180 coming out of the locker room to start the second half – all thanks to their quarterback and captain Dwayne Haskins.
“The second-year quarterback, who at that point was not exactly lights out and just got voted as team captain, told everybody who would listen how important leadership became to him because the head coach challenged him to do that, stepped up at halftime, delivers a speech that his teammates say, ‘That fired us up. That’s what we needed was Dwayne stepping up. He’s been a leader all year.’ Then that team proceeds to come back and win the game at home for their coach with cancer,” Finlay said.
Heading into his speech, Haskins had posted below-average numbers as his team trailed 17-7 at the break. He was 7-for-16 for 76 yards and a touchdown with his coach receiving an IV and his team appearing lost. But the young quarterback took matters into his own hands and jumpstarted his team, helping them gain the momentum they needed to come back and steal a win for Rivera in his debut with the team.
While Sunday may not have started as Washington would have hoped, like every great sports movie, it ended with the underdog on top.
“That’s Hollywood s*** man,” Finlay said. “That doesn’t happen. It’s a PG-13 Disney movie.”