The Eagles started off the 2017 season with a nice, shiny win. The Eagles start out the season with a 30-17 win over the Washington Redskins. It was a hard fought game and it came down to the waning moments.
Carson Wentz looked pretty good, mostly with his ability to escape in the pocket. He extended a lot of plays because of his feet and his accuracy proved to be good enough. He did miss a couple of throws but he made enough of them for the Eagles to win. He was 26/39 for 307 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick. That pick was unfortunately a pick-six to Ryan Kerrigan as it was tipped at the line by defensive lineman Stacy McGee. The Redskins also caused a fumble on a backwards pass from Wentz to Agholor. The running game was basically non-existent as LeGarrette Blount or Wendell Smallwood just really couldn’t get anything going. Blount had 14 carries for 46 yards with a receiving touchdown and Smallwood only got 4 yards on 4 carries. The line played ok and Wentz made it look like they played good. They played most of the game without the captain, Jason Peters, as he was out for most of the game because of a groin issue. Nothing to worry about for the Eagles though as Peters said he will be ready for next Sunday at the Kansas City Chiefs. Nelson Agholor had a great game and backed up all the talk about him over the offseason. Agholor had 6 receptions on 8 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. Agholor got constantly open and looked extremely confident. Tight end Zach Ertz ended up being the franchise quarterback’s security blanket as he had 8 catches on 8 targets for 93 yards. The new acquisitions Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith were both blanketed by the Redskins corner. Overall it was a nice game by the offense as the they had 356 total yards with 298 of them coming via the air. They were able to hold the ball for a solid 34 minutes and 16 seconds. Eagles biggest strength on offense was probably their ability to complete their third downs. They had a third down percentage of 57.1 percent which would’ve been higher if not for a couple few questionable call for screens by Head Coach, Doug Pederson.
Sources: #Eagles CB Ronald Darby has suffered a dislocated right ankle. X-Rays were negative. MRI to check for ligament & tendon damage.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2017
The Eagles defense was absolutely incredible. They looked every bit that they were talked up to be. The Eagles tenacious defense only allowed 10 points and 264 yards. The pass rush was constant as Kirk Cousins had very little time to throw. This Redskins offensive line was nothing to laugh about either. Washington has an all-pro left tackle in Trent Williams and the other four lineman are always quality NFL players. This line was ranked eleventh in June by Pro Football Focus and the Eagles made them look silly. The secondary also played well. Jalen Mills really stepped up after a huge injury to Ronald Darby. Ronald Darby got a non-contact injury during a run in the second quarter by Kirk Cousins. It looked like a very gruesome injury but according NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Darby has a dislocated ankle. Darby still has to get an MRI to see if there is any ligament or tendon damage but this is inspiring news. Barring that they find any damage, Darby can be back around midseason. Back to the game. The Eagles defense caused three turnovers, two fumbles and a clutch interception by Jalen Mills. The first fumble was caused by the Eagles disruptive line and picked up by the ball magnet, linebacker Jordan Hicks. Jordan Hicks, also known as “Simba”, was great as usual as he racked up seven tackles and had the fumble recovery. The best player on the defense was probably Brandon Graham, this man is absolutely unstoppable. He is a machine off the edge and got a very deserved strip sack to seal the deal for the Eagles. That sack was great because it ended up being a fat man touchdown by Fletcher Cox. Man, who doesn’t love fat man touchdowns. Overall this defense looked poised to take this team to the playoffs and be a top five defense in the league.
Let’s not forget to mention the unit ran by the man who does it the best in the league, special teams. Dave Fipp might just be a genius as his special teams are just consistently great. The return game didn’t do much but boy, that coverage team is something else. On the first kickoff, rookie running back Corey Clement did a little Terrell Davis impression, making his first professional play with a great tackle on special teams. Maybe that will get him some playing time and bolt him into a starting role later into the season. The punt team was also great as the G.O.A.T Donnie Jones had a pretty good day. He had four punt for 170 yards, with one landing in the twenty. Jones also apparently had a punt that was too hard to catch for Jamison Crowder. Kicker Caleb Sturgis was kicking it. He had a clutch 50 yarder to end the half to go with a 42 and a 37 yarder. He did miss an extra point, but hey everyone misses. Sturgis did unfortunately, get a little injury at the end. It was reported to be a hip injury and he is considered day-to-day.
Now the wrap. Eagles had an overall team win and this team looks like they can cause some havoc. Wentz is the future, as he showcased today with his Ben Roethlisberger esque movements in the pocket. This defensive line is easily top three in the league and could jolt this defense to number one. There will need to be some young corners to step up if they want to accomplish that. Now on to Kansas City. The Eagles go to Kansas City next week to face good ole’ Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs. #FlyEaglesFly