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How Commanders pulled upset to finish Eagles’ undefeated season

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PHILADELPHIA — After which there have been none.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ run because the NFL’s last remaining undefeated crew got here to an finish Monday evening, as a Washington Commanders crew that entered the evening as double-digit underdogs got here away with a surprising 32-21 victory at Lincoln Monetary Discipline.

How did the Commanders (5-5) do it? A mix of robust Washington play, Philadelphia errors and questionable officiating saved the Eagles (8-1) from any additional pursuit of the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ undefeated mark.

A have a look at the highlights and lowlights from a stunning evening in Philly:

Controlling the clock

Washington held possession for 40:24: Washington has waffled at occasions on its offensive id, however that wasn’t the case Monday evening because the Commanders ran the ball 49 occasions — their most in a recreation since 2002 — for 152 yards. It wasn’t explosive, but it surely was extremely efficient. It helps that operating again Brian Robinson Jr., who missed the primary 4 video games after being shot twice within the decrease physique in an armed theft try in August, has gained a rhythm to make a pleasant pairing with Antonio Gibson.

“We will run the ball; we’ve to make sure we stick with it,” Washington coach Ron Rivera stated. “The most important factor we’ve to do is perceive the place we’re, who we’re and what we might be.”– John Keim

Why Eagles could not cease it: The absence of rookie defensive deal with Jordan Davis looms massive. The Texans rumbled for 168 yards in Week 9 towards Philly with Davis out. It was apparent Washington would try to observe swimsuit, and but Philly had no solutions. With Davis sidelined till at the very least Week 13 towards the Tennessee Titans, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon wants to determine methods to plug the leak to forestall his unit from going right into a tailspin.

“[We’re going to continue to be tested against the run] till we cease it,” defensive finish Brandon Graham stated. “I am prepared. Deliver it on. That is the angle you have to have.” — Tim McManus

Turnovers

How the Eagles struggled: Philly entered with a plus-15 turnover differential — by far the very best within the league. This marks the primary recreation this season through which the Eagles misplaced the turnover battle. One wasn’t their fault — the refs missed a blatant facemask on tight finish Dallas Goedert that contributed to his misplaced fumble — however the different three had been, together with an interception from quarterback Jalen Hurts that he threw into double protection on a deep move to A.J. Brown. The Eagles knew there could be some regression to the imply when it got here to the takeaway/giveaway recreation, however that does not excuse this stage of sloppy play towards an inferior opponent.

“It is essential to regulate the issues that you may — controlling your ball safety, figuring out the place the operation of the play and the place it is speculated to go, simply execution,” Hurts stated. “These are all issues that we will management and we’ve to do a greater job of that.” — McManus

Who made the distinction for Washington: Washington pressured 4 takeaways.

  • An interception by security Darrick Forrest, who additionally recovered a fumble

  • A fumble restoration by linebacker Jamin Davis that led to a discipline aim

  • A final-second scoop and rating by defensive finish Casey Toohill to finish the sport

Forrest’s interception led to a landing drive and 17-14 lead. He stated coaches informed him all week that Hurts “throws numerous 50-50 balls. I knew I must make a play on the ball; my coach informed me when he provides you your shot, make that play. That is what I did.” — Keim

What’s it that Heinicke did so effectively? Apart from turning the ball over twice, he was wonderful at managing the sport and making clutch throws on a number of third downs. It helped that of Washington’s 21 third downs, 12 had been for 4 yards or much less so the offense might preserve Philadelphia off-balance. Heinicke properly discovered receiver Terry McLaurin typically — eight occasions for 128 yards. Heinicke additionally sprinted again 19 yards to get better a shotgun snap that sailed over his head and was in a position to throw it incomplete. That enabled Washington to proceed a landing drive. Later, he took a knee as he scrambled on third-and-7 with 1:45 remaining and was subsequently drilled by Brandon Graham for a 15-yard penalty. “It is the most important win of my profession,” Heinicke stated.

“He performs with no concern,” McLaurin stated. “Every little thing’s not fairly however he continues to provide us probabilities to make performs. He’ll prolong performs together with his legs and get the powerful yards. You’re feeling assured with a man again there like that. Lots of people measure his top, his arm, all these issues. However you may’t measure what’s inside his chest.” — Keim

What the Eagles had hassle stopping: In addition to the run, it was McLaurin. Cornerback Darius Slay took accountability for McLaurin’s largest acquire of the evening — a 41-yarder — however in any other case felt it was a fairly even matchup. Slay adopted McLaurin when he lined up exterior however didn’t cowl Washington’s prime receiver when he moved into the slot, which is the place he did numerous his injury. The Eagles had been working with out beginning slot nook Avonte Maddox, who was positioned on injured reserve Monday with a hamstring harm. Slay joked that he’ll should persuade the coaches to show him extra slot expertise so he can transfer inside extra sooner or later. — McManus

Questionable calls towards Eagles

On a third-and-1 early within the fourth quarter, with the Eagles trailing by two, Hurts accomplished a move to Goedert for a would-be first down. Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis grabbed and pulled Goedert’s facemask as he tried to deal with him, and a simultaneous hit by defensive deal with John Ridgeway knocked the ball free. Washington recovered, and tacked on a 55-yard Joey Slye discipline aim to up the result in six. It was a blown name, plain and easy, and it proved expensive. “We did not see a face masks on the sphere,” referee Alex Kemp stated afterward.

The penalty that helped seal the sport was a private foul on defensive finish Brandon Graham for hitting Heinicke, who had given himself up by taking a knee within the official’s view and subsequently was dominated to be a defenseless participant. The contact was additionally to the pinnacle and neck space, Kemp stated. “I simply need to make up for it by what I do subsequent week,” Graham stated. “I am undoubtedly going to take that one and be sure that subsequent time I do not let the crew down in a scenario like that.” — McManus

The place does this depart each groups and what’s subsequent?

Commanders: Washington is now 5-5 and has gained 4 of its final 5 video games heading into Sunday’s recreation at Houston (1-7-1). The Commanders now should construct on this win by beating a nasty crew on the highway. Their final two losses had been by 4 factors to Tennessee and by three to Minnesota. They wanted an enormous win over a very good crew.

“For us to get a win like that, we’ve numerous confidence,” Heinicke stated. As Gibson stated, “It reveals what we’re able to, it is simply one other win we have got to maintain constructing.” However Washington stays a .500 crew and two video games behind Dallas for third place within the NFC East. Rivera stated, “Now we have to observe it up. We won’t simply say we arrived; we’ve not arrived.” — Keim

Eagles: The Eagles are actually tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the very best file in soccer at 8-1, holding the head-to-head tiebreaker having overwhelmed Minnesota earlier this 12 months. Coming into Week 10, Philadelphia had the best closing schedule in soccer. The discuss within the locker room afterward was about being hungry to reply to this primary little bit of adversity, with Hurts saying “I’ve acquired a very good feeling how we’ll reply.” Not that the loss was welcomed, however receiver A.J. Brown famous afterward that “now all this 17-0 s— is over with.” It is an opportunity for them to reset earlier than going through the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. — McManus

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