LANDOVER, Md. – The Washington Commanders always seem to play hard against the Eagles, and it happened again on Sunday afternoon.
But the Eagles still rallied from an early deficit to win 38-31 and improve to 7-1 on the season. A huge NFC East matchup against the Cowboys looms before the bye.
Let’s get to this week’s report:
Jalen Hurts: 29/38, 319 yards, 4 TDs, 135.7 rating
Although Hurts was clearly hampered by that left knee injury — he had just 6 yards on the ground — Hurts was very good through the air. It was just the second game of his career with four passing touchdowns. And it was just the fourth game in Eagles history for a QB to complete 75% of his passes for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Jalen Hurts: 10/29/23 (at Commanders)
Nick Foles: 11/3/13 (at Raiders)
Donovan McNabb: 9/23/07 (vs. Lions)
McNabb: 9/18/05 (vs. 49ers)
D’Andre Swift: 16 rushes, 57 yards, 1 TD
Late in that game, Swift showed some power, even scoring a touchdown when he probably should have fallen. Although Kenny Gainwell had one big catch, his fumble in the second quarter inside the 5-yard line was absolutely brutal. In general, the Eagles haven’t been that good lately on the field.
AJ Brown: 8 catches on 8 targets, 130 yards, 2 TDs
What Brown has done in the last month and a half is incredible. On Sunday, he became the first player in NFL history to have 125+ receiving yards six straight weeks. And he did it in spectacular fashion against the commanders. His one-handed touchdown grab late in the second quarter is about as good a catch as you’ll ever see. And it wasn’t just Brown on Sunday. DeVonta Smith got into the mix with 7/99/1 and Julio Jones also caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
A tight end
Dallas Goedert: 4 catches on 7 targets, 36 yards
It was a relatively quiet day for Goedert, but his 16-yard catch on 3rd-and-2 in the fourth quarter was the really big play of the game. A few plays later, Hurts hit a wide open Smith for a 38-yard touchdown to tie the game at 24-24. Grant Calcaterra left the game with a concussion.
Hurts was only sacked a few times Sunday and had enough time to throw for 319 yards and 4 touchdowns. The pass defense looked really solid, but the Eagles know they have some work to do in the game. They had just 59 yards on the ground in this one. Side note: Tyler Steen got his first NFL action on offense when Sua Opeta had to miss most of the final drive of the second quarter. Opeta returned for this game, but it’s worth noting that Cam Jurgens is eligible to return from IR next week.
Line of defense
Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 1 FF, 2 QB hits, 3 tackles
Sam Howell had been sacked 40 times entering this game, and the Eagles got him just once on Sunday. Although Reddick’s sack on 4th and 5 was a clutch moment. And Redick really should have had another one, but Howell was chosen to throw the ball to nobody and take an intentional groundout. Jalen Carter cooked early against the backup left guard, but left the game with a back injury. The Eagles had a few injuries at DT, but were able to get through the game.
Nakobe Dean: 12 tackles, 2 TFL
The Eagles continue to use a rotation at quarterback, which is a little surprising. We saw Dean with Zach Cunningham, we saw Nicholas Morrow with Cunningham, and we even saw Dean and Morrow together. Sean Desai seems to like this rotation, but it’s fair to wonder if it’s because he doesn’t see a pair really breaking up.
Reed Blankenship: 1 INT, 1 PBU, 8 tackles
On Sunday, the Eagles allowed Howell to complete 75 percent of his passes for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Eagles finally made the most of their miscue in the fourth quarter when Blankenship picked it off. But aside from that moment, it was a rough game for Blankenship, James Bradbury and most of the Eagles’ assistants. At least they corrected some in the second half, but it still wasn’t good.
Britannia Covey: 1 punt return, 25 yards
Covey had another good rebound and didn’t give up any big rebounds in the hitting game. Jake Elliott made his only field goal attempt of the game and hit all five of his PATs. Braden Mann had two punts for 117 yards with a long of 59. He punted one that led to a touchdown, which wasn’t ideal.
Desai had his hands full with this Eric Bieniemy offense, and it’s probably fair to say that Bieniemy got the best of him. On offense, the Eagles continue to insist on playing Gainwell in the red zone, which had a disastrous first half. But the Eagles also responded after getting punched in the mouth, and you have to give them credit for finding ways to pick up wins even when they’re not pretty.
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