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Five Hidden Gems From Sunday's Win At Washington

Posted Sep 11, 2017

Everyone is buzzing about quarterback Carson Wentz's Houdini act in the pocket before finding wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown as well as the tremendous performance by the defensive line, led by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham, in Sunday's win over Washington.

But what about the key conversions or hidden yardage that led to some of those big plays. Those moments often get lost in the shuffle. Here are five under-the-radar plays that were pivotal to the victory.

1. Zach Ertz's 12-Yard Reception In The Second Quarter

The Situation: It's third-and-10 with 1:04 remaining in the first half. Wentz hit tight end Zach Ertz over the middle for 12 yards and a first down.

Why This Was Important: This was the first possession after Washington took the lead on Chris Thompson's 29-yard touchdown reception. The momentum was clearly in the Redskins' favor. Washington was on the doorstep of forcing a three-and-out and still had a timeout remaining to possibly tack on more points before halftime. Wentz took the snap out of the shotgun and connected with Ertz on an in route just past the sticks for a first down.

Ertz was targeted eight times in the game and had eight receptions for 93 yards. And for Ertz's critics, it wasn't December.

2. Caleb Sturgis' 50-Yard Field Goal

The Situation: With four seconds left in the first half, the Eagles trotted out Sturgis for a 50-yard attempt. With the ball on the left hashmark, Sturgis drilled the ball right down the middle with room to spare.

Why This Was Important: Sturgis made amends for a missed extra point and more importantly gave the Eagles the lead back at halftime. Plus, the Eagles were set to get the ball to start the second half. The Eagles had to feel good about getting the lead back after Washington erased the 13-0 advantage.

Sturgis suffered a hip injury which limited him late in the game, but he still hit all three of his field goal attempts which helped provide some insurance in the fourth quarter.

3. Torrey Smith's First Catch As An Eagle

The Situation: It was third-and-10 on the Eagles' first drive of the second half. Wentz, out of the shotgun, hit Smith, who lined up on the left side of the formation to the outside of Nelson Agholor. Wentz hit Smith at the Redskins' 49 before the wideout used his speed to gain another 15 yards.

Why This Was Important: The Eagles looked to start the second half strong after regaining the lead just before the intermission. Smith extended the drive, which led to another Sturgis field goal, with the second-longest gain of the day by the offense. The Eagles lacked explosive plays in 2016. Smith was brought in generate more and the veteran delivered here.

4. Donnie Jones, Jaylen Watkins Pin The Redskins

The Situation: Holding a 19-17 lead with 6:51 remaining, Jones punted the ball from the Eagles' 49-yard line. Returner Jamison Crowder decided to not field the ball which bounced at the 5-yard line and up into the air. Watkins raced down the right sideline and was there waiting to catch the ball at the 1-yard line putting the Redskins in poor field position.

Why This Was Important: With 12:30 remaining, the Redskins were at the Eagles' 14-yard line poised to take the lead back until cornerback Jalen Mills' interception at the goal line. Almost six minutes later, the Redskins were back to square one (-yard line). The defense forced a three-and-out and gave the Eagles' offense great field position at the Philadelphia 47-yard line.

5. Alshon Jeffery's 24-Yard Reception

The Situation: On second-and-10 from the Eagles' 47-yard line with 5:06 left in the game, Jeffery put the Eagles in field goal position with a 24-yard reception, his longest of the day.

Why This Was Important: Wentz's first pass on the drive was a screen to Jeffery that went for no gain. The Redskins were licking their chops with the Eagles facing a second-and-long hoping the get the ball back to their offense still down by just two points. The Eagles milked the clock to the two-minute warning and Sturgis' third field goal made it so the Redskins would need a touchdown to win.

We all know what happened next.

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