It's been an all-too-common theme for the Eagles this season. Small mistakes add up and suddenly the team finds itself on the losing side of the game, just as it did again this Sunday against the Redskins.
On the Washington 14-yard line with 21 seconds to play, quarterback Carson Wentz and the offense had an opportunity to complete a comeback. They let that chance slip away.
Trailing their NFC East rival, 27-22, the ball game was theirs for the taking, but tackle Matt Tobin, who was filling in for the injured Allen Barbre (hamstring), was beat by Ryan Kerrigan around the edge. Wentz went down, losing the football in the process. A Redskins' recovery meant the game was over, extending Philadelphia's losing streak to four and dropping the team to 0-4 in the division.
"In games like this, you just think of those couple plays," Wentz said. "Those couple plays, had they gone differently, the outcome could be different and we've had a lot of games like that this season. It's frustrating, but at the same time we have to keep learning from it and keep growing as a team."
On the afternoon, Wentz finished 32-of-46 for 314 yards, a touchdown, an interception and an 86.7 passer rating. The quarterback was sacked four times and had to endure a great deal of pressure, but he stood strong behind an offensive line that was missing a number of its usual starters. In addition to Barbre exiting the game, right guard Brandon Brooks was inactive due to an illness for the second time in three games.
Following the loss, head coach Doug Pederson said he believed the outing was Wentz's "best game of the year," but that wasn't something the quarterback took much pride in given the final score.
"We lost. That's what really matters," Wentz said. "We lost. We didn't finish at the end, kind of like when we played them last time. We had a chance to finish the game and win it on offense, and we didn't do that. That's really all that matters."
As disappointing as these losses have been for Wentz, the quarterback knows this team isn't going to throw in the towel. It's going to battle to the very end each and every time it takes the field.
"I saw the same fight I've seen in guys all year. I've seen the same fight," Wentz said. "Obviously, execution isn't always there, but the effort and the resiliency of this football team, I've never questioned. I thought they played their tails off and guys care. You can tell that guys care. No one likes losing. I don't think there's a single person in that locker room that would say they didn't care."
Dealing with outcomes such as Sunday's has not been an easy task for the rookie. He is driven to win.
Wentz and the rest of the Eagles' offense are going to look at the film, see what went wrong and move on to the next task at hand. With so few games remaining in the season, that's really all they can do.
"I'm just a confident, optimistic person and I think the team is as well," Wentz said. "I think whatever the outcome in the past, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. We're just always going forward."
The Eagles hosted the Washington Redskins in their first NFC East showdown at home this season. Washington came away with the win in a close 27-22 finish.