LANDOVER, MD – They started pouring into FedEx Field hours before the 1 PM kickoff dressed in their Sunday best: Midnight Green jerseys and T-shirts and hats, bringing full-throttled energy and passion and love for the Philadelphia Eagles.
And then they put on a show.
As well as it went for the Eagles on the field – and it was a very, very good day as Philadelphia beat up on Washington 24-8 to move to 3-0 for the season – the fans in the stands were every bit as impressive. Eagles fans clearly outnumbered Washington fans among the 64,426 listed in attendance. They were loud, they were proud, and they hung around to the end to serenade quarterback Jalen Hurts with chants of "MVP! MVP! MVP!" as he ran off the field.
"I noticed it in the pre-game. I'm out there going, 'Man, I don't see much burgundy colors here. Where are the Washington fans?' It was a home game," linebacker Haason Reddick said. "No doubt. When we were on the field, it was loud, man. Definitely way more of our fans than their fans. It wasn't even close."
Eagles fans always travel well, but this time it was just ... different. Maybe it was the 1 PM start on a warm September Sunday. Maybe it was because former Eagle Carson Wentz started for Washington, his first game against the team that drafted him in 2016. Maybe it was just because everyone is excited about this Eagles team that was coming off a Monday night win over Minnesota.
Whatever, it was special. And it was very, very much appreciated.
The defense came out with a bounce, sacking Wentz six times in the first half and limiting him to 24 passing yards in those two quarters. Defensive end Brandon Graham said the Eagles fed off the emotion of the crowd, no doubt about it.
"Crazy out there, right?" Graham said, laughing. "These people, they made our day. We could feel the love as soon as we drove into the stadium. They didn't let up. For real, it felt like a home game."
As for Hurts, who is usually the final player to come off the field once he's finished his post-game interviews, he bounced into the tunnel to the roaring approval of the huge throng of Eagles fans who wanted one last glimpse before heading north on I-95 back to Philadelphia.
"I want to give a special shoutout to the Eagles fans and everybody who came out to FedEx Field. It definitely felt like a home game," Hurts said. "Just how loud it was, how much green and black there was in the stadium, it was very impressive and a sight to see."