Instant Observations: Eagles-Washington
LANDOVER, MD — Here’s what we saw during the the Eagles’ 23-20 divisional loss against Washington:
*The Eagles defense, which was on the field for over 41 minutes Sunday, yielded a scoring drive late. Pierre Garcon absorbed contact and came up with a big third-down catch over the middle to put Washington at the Eagles’ 16. Kirk Cousins went to Garcon again to move Washington to the four-yard line, and found him once again in the end zone moments later to give the home team a 23-20 lead with 26 ticks left. The Eagles offense was unable to get down the field in the waning moments.
*The long ball that had been missing from Sam Bradford’s game surfaced Sunday. He connected with Nelson Agholor for a 45-yarder late in the first half and came out firing to begin the third quarter, finding Riley Cooper for a 62-yard score — the second-longest touchdown toss of the QB’s career. He dialed up the deep ball to open the third quarter as well, hitting Miles Austin in the end zone for a 39-yard strike. Bradford ended 15-of 29 for 269 yards with three touchdowns to help rally the Eagles from a 13-0 halftime deficit.
*Brandon Graham came up with a huge strip of Jordan Reed late in the third quarter that set up the Austin score. Graham ripped the ball right out of the tight end’s arm. Jordan Hicks was there to pick up the second fumble recovery of his young career.
*The injuries continue to pile up for the Eagles. Byron Maxwell (quad) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) both exited early in the first quarter. Eric Rowe and Jordan Hicks filled in at their respective positions. Jason Peters limped off at the end of the opening quarter and did not return. Matt Tobin, who got the start at right guard for the injured Andrew Gardner, flipped out to left tackle. Dennis Kelly came in to fill Tobin’s spot. Brandon Bair (groin) is out for the rest of the game, leaving Vinny Curry and Beau Allen as the lone reserves on the d-line.
*The Eagles had to overcome not only injuries, but a series of miscues. Following his 45-yard catch,Chip Kelly dialed up a reverse to Agholor on the next play. The receiver couldn’t bring in a Ryan Mathews toss, and Washington recovered.
Fellow rookie Eric Rowe was whistled for a late hit in the fourth quarter to aid a Washington drive. The defense stiffened, however, and forced the punt. Rowe was also flagged for pass interference in the end zone midway through the second quarter while defending receiver Ryan Grant. Two plays later, Cousins lunged in for the TD despite originally fumbling the snap.
*And then there was the kicking game. Caleb Sturgis missed a short field goal and an extra point in his Eagles debut.
*DeMarco Murray played after sitting last week out because of a hamstring injury. He provided one of the few offensive highlights of the first half with a 30-yard run. It was slow-going from there, though, as he finished with eight carries for 36 yards. Ryan Mathews had four carries for 20 yards.