As the season opened for the birds in Washington, the visiting squad got off to a quick and optimistic start. On the first drive of the year, and on the third play of the drive, Carson Wentz escaped from the pocket, and rolling to his left, hit Nelson Agholor for a 58 yard touchdown. That being the only scoring of the first quarter, to start the second, Wentz hit newcomer LeGarrette Blount for a one yard score to put the Birds up 13-0 (Sturgis missed one of the extra points).
After that, the momentum totally shifted. Five minutes after the Blount TD, Ryan Kerrigan took a poor Carson Wentz pass to the house to make it a one score game. A Chris Thompson receiving touchdown put the Redskins up before a Caleb Sturgis field goal put the Eagles on top 16-14 at the half.
Jim Schwartz must have given one amazing locker room speech, because the defense played some extremely inspired football in the final thirty minutes of gameplay. The defense held the Redskins to only three points, and despite the Eagles not scoring an offensive touchdown either, Brandon Graham forced a late fumble on Kirk Cousins, with big man Fletcher Cox returning it to seal the win for the birds.
Over the course of the game, and on the drives that mattered the most, the Birds’ defense bent yet did not break. They held the Skins to a short field goal early on in the third quarter, and then early in the fourth, Kirk Cousins threw a brutal pass in the red zone down by two points that landed in the hands of Eagles’ CB Jalen Mills. Talk about a change of momentum.
The offense played alright, and the special teams did their thing, but the key here to the 1-0 start was the defense. There were a lot of moving parts coming into game one. Patrick Robinson, Timmy Jernigan, Ronald Darby and Derek Barnett were all new additions and gelled pretty well as a unit. If they can keep growing as a squad, they will be on their way to being one of the lockdown NFC defensive units.
Overall, it was a solid start to the season. The Eagles went into the Redskins’ house, and beat a team that they should beat. They face a much tougher opponent in week two as they head into Kansas City to face the Chiefs.