Commanders hand Eagles first loss of season

  • Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
  • Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles had their undefeated streak snapped in a wild “Monday Night Football” game against the Commanders, in which a critical missed call by the referees helped Washington to a 32-21 win.

On a third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter, with the Eagles trailing by two, Jalen Hurts completed a pass to tight end Dallas Goedert for a would-be first down. Linebacker Jamin Davis clearly grabbed and pulled Goedert’s facemask as he attempted to tackle him, and a simultaneous hit by defensive tackle John Ridgeway knocked the ball loose.

Washington recovered, and tacked on a 55-yard Joey Slye field goal to up the lead to six. The Eagles had two more opportunities to answer but their best opportunity was ruined by another turnover, this one on a Quez Watkins fumble following a 51-yard completion.

Philadelphia became the first team in franchise history to reach the 8-0 mark with a win over the Houston Texans on Thursday but was unable to extend the streak, thanks in part to a subpar effort from the rush defense — particularly early in the game.

Operating without rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who is on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain, Philadelphia yielded 100 rush yards on 29 carries in the first half alone, with Washington gobbling up 23:49 in time of possession in the process. Philadelphia’s 6:11 on possession was its shortest since Week 6 of 2001 against the New York Giants and the lowest by any team in the first half of a game in the last five seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The Eagles trailed 20-14 after two quarters, marking the first time they trailed at the half all season.

For Washington, it capped another unusual week, one that saw it sued by the attorney general in Washington, D.C., and criticized for a statement it made a night earlier that referenced the shooting of running back Brian Robinson Jr. when trying to counter an announcement by the AG’s office.

“Our guys understand,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said Thursday. “There’s certain elements that we can control. That’s what happens on the football field more so than anything else. So let’s just try to stay focused on that more so than anything else.”

The focus was there Monday night.

Washington controlled the ball for more than 38 minutes because of its rushing attack. Both running backs, Robinson and Antonio Gibson, rushed for touchdowns. And the Commanders also received a big game from receiver Terry McLaurin, who had 128 yards receiving.

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