Eagles Spread Ball Around, Run Balanced Offense To Overpower Redskins
The Eagles put on one of their best offensive showings of the season on Monday night, taking down the Washington Redskins 28-13.
The Birds came out of the gates on fire, with a rare first-quarter touchdown on their opening drive. It was one of their best drives of the season, a 12-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Golden Tate’s first touchdown as an Eagle. This march down the field also took 7:29 off of the clock.
Carson Wentz looked strong coming out of the gate, showing explosiveness that looked much like his 2017 form. On the first drive, Wentz made a great play, throwing Golden Tate open on a broken play to pick up a first down. Later in the drive, Wentz would find Tate again in the endzone.
It was a strong night overall for Wentz, who threw for over 300 yards and two scores. He did have a couple of ugly blemishes, including a interception at the goalline to Josh Norman that killed a drive, a slight overthrow of Zach Ertz, and a bad underthrow of Nelson Agholor on a play that could have gone for a touchdown.
However, Wentz’s strong plays far outnumbered and outweighed the negative tonight. There was a certain explosiveness in his game that just hadn’t been there all year. Perhaps the more balanced approach for the second straight week continued to help him settle in. But Wentz showed real progress tonight, hopefully something that will carry over to Dallas next week.
Doug Pederson committed to the run this week, giving Josh Adams 20 carries for the second straight week. Adams put up 85 yards, while Corey Clement and Darren Sproles added another 49 yards on nine carries between them.
The offense also spread the ball around to six different receivers. Golden Tate finally had his breakout game. Nelson Agholor resurfaced after being MIA for several weeks. The offense took some major steps forward all around this week.
- Darren Sproles finally made his first appearance since Week 1, and its clear that he still has some quality football left in him. Sproles scored on a touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Eagles the lead, and offered some stability in the punt return game.
- Jason Kelce did a great job blocking downfield on the Sproles touchdown run.
- Alshon Jeffery only had three catches, but all three of his grabs moved the chains for first downs.
- I’ve loved the use of Corey Clement in the screen game the last two weeks. Clement looks like he’s finally healthy, and the burst we saw last year seems to have returned.
- Richard Rodgers didn’t record a catch, but I noticed him throwing some really nice blocks that helped spring a few of Josh Adams’ runs.
- Really nice night for the secondary. I thought Rasul Douglas played his best game of the season, Douglas picked up two quality tackles early in the game, and made another big stop on a pass to Chris Thompson in the second half that could have gone for a big game.
- I kind of like Cre’Von LeBlanc. He played a decent game against the Giants, and seemed to hold up well in the nickel tonight.
- Before Mark Sanchez entered the game, I had completely forgotten he was even on the Redskins’ roster. When the veteran entered, Eagles’ fans throughout the stadium cheered loudly, knowing that the veteran turnover machine that had only been on the roster for a few weeks had little chance of winning this game for the Redskins.
- Sure enough, Sanchez just wasn’t up to the task. To be fair, I thought he played decently enough given how unfamiliar he must still be with the Washington offense, but at the end of the day, he predictably turned the ball over in a big spot. The Eagles caught a real break facing him for the majority of the game.
- Jake Elliot drilled both of his field goal attempts.
Back-to-back wins for the first time all season. A shame it took this long for it to happen.
But in spite of that, the Eagles are now getting healthy, getting themselves right, and now have a chance to take back the division lead from the Dallas Cowboys next week.
Over the last two weeks, Doug Pederson has rediscovered the running game, and ever since then, the arrow has been pointing up for this offense. With Golden Tate finally getting involved, and Darren Sproles and a healthy Corey Clement adding more layers to this attack, the Birds may finally have something to build off of at the right time, as this season goes to the final stretch.