Welcome home, DeSean.
One of the most explosive big-play threats in NFL history, DeSean Jackson posted two touchdowns of 50-plus yards as the Eagles overcame a 17-0 first-half deficit to beat Washington 32-27 on Sunday in the season opener at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles outscored Washington 25-7 in the second half.
Jackson got the Eagles on the board with a 51-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Carson Wentz in the second quarter. Jackson's second score, a 53-yard bomb, put the Eagles ahead 21-20 in the third quarter.
It was Jackson's first game as an Eagle since the end of the 2013 season. Jackson spent three years in Washington, then two in Tampa Bay, before returning in a trade this offseason. Jackson finished with eight catches for 154 yards and the two touchdowns. Jackson now has 31 career touchdowns of 50-plus yards, which ranks second in NFL history behind only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
Wentz was outstanding in his return to action, his first game since December 9 of last season due to a back injury. Wentz was 28-of-39 for 313 yards with three touchdowns against no interceptions for a 121.0 QB rating.
Darren Sproles was the featured option among the running backs with 47 yards on the ground, another 16 receiving, and 46 punt return yards.
The defense was susceptible to big plays as well in the first half, allowing tight end Vernon Davis to score on a 48-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, and rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin scoring on a 69-yard score. However, the defense turned it around and kept Washington off the scoreboard in the second half until a Trey Quinn touchdown with just six seconds left in the game. The 1-0 Eagles travel next Sunday night to face the Atlanta Falcons who lost 28-12 to Minnesota on Sunday.
Check out the complete recap from the season-opening win!
First Quarter Recap
1. After the Eagles won the toss, they deferred. The Eagles opened in nickel with Nigel Bradham and Zach Brown at linebacker, and Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas, and Avonte Maddox at cornerback. On the second play of the game, Nathan Gerry came on the field as the third linebacker in the base package.
2. On third-and-2 on the opening drive., Washington's Case Keenum hit tight end Vernon Davis in the flat. Davis hurdled Darby along the sideline, and safeties Andrew Sendejo and Rodney McLeod didn't push him out of bounds. Davis escaped and raced down the right side for a 48-yard touchdown. Washington led 7-0 with 10:54 left in the first quarter. Seven plays, 80 yards on the scoring drive.
3. Corey Clement was the kickoff returner for the Eagles. First offensive snap, Eagles line up in an empty formation with Carson Wentz taking the ball out of the shotgun. Zach Ertz was flexed wide to the right, while Darren Sproles was in the slot.
4. Wentz's second pass was to DeSean Jackson along the right sideline for 11 yards and a first down. Rookie Miles Sanders got the first carry of the season, a 2-yard gain on the opening drive for the offense. Tempers flared between Jackson and his former team. After a 6-yard run by Sproles, Jackson was called for unnecessary roughness after he pulled down the helmet of cornerback Quinton Dunbar which turned a third-and-2 into a third-and-17.
5. Second Washington drive, first play, Keenum connects with Kelvin Harmon for a 21-yard gain. On third-and-8, Keenum hit Paul Richardson over the middle for a 17-yard gain to the Eagles' 40-yard line to keep the drive going. Washington appeared to have hurt itself after a Morgan Moses holding penalty, but on third-and-7, Trey Quinn beat Maddox, who slipped, for the first down and a gain of 14 yards to the Eagles' 23-yard line. Maddox was looked at by trainers after the play due to cramps. Sidney Jones came in as the nickel cornerback. On third-and-6 from the Eagles' 19, Brandon Graham sniffed out the screen to Davis and stopped it for a short gain. Dustin Hopkins hit a 41-yard attempt to extend Washington's lead to 10-0 with 2:48 remaining in the first quarter.
6. Washington led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Washington gained six first downs and had 147 total yards of offense to just 28 for the Eagles.
Second Quarter Recap
7. On third-and-3, Wentz hit Jackson on a quick out to the right side for a gain of 9 and a first down at the Washington 48-yard line. Jordan Howard got involved in the offense and netted 12 yards on two carries as well as a 5-yard reception. On fourth-and-2 from the Washington 29-yard line, however, Wentz's pass was knocked down by defensive end Daron Payne. Even though the Eagles came up empty on the scoreboard, the offense was on the field for 6:59 to give the defense a breather.
8. Two plays later, Keenum aired out the ball to rookie Terry McLaurin on a deep post for a 69-yard touchdown, beating Rasul Douglas on the play. Eagles trail 17-0 with 9:57 left in first half.
9. How do the Eagles respond? On third-and-1, Wentz pitches the ball to Sproles to the right side, who loses 2 yards as linebacker Jon Bostic made the stop.
10. Washington opened its next drive with a holding penalty by wide receiver Trey Quinn. That helped force a three-and-out as Keenum was finally pressured on third-and-7 and his attempt for Chris Thompson fell incomplete.
11. Darren Sproles was the primary punt returner for the Eagles. His 12-yard return to the Eagles' 38-yard line was their best starting field position of the game with 5:47 to go in the half. Wentz connected with Alshon Jeffery for the first time for 11 yards and a first down. On third-and-10, Wentz aired the ball out for none other than Jackson, who got behind the defense to score a 51-yard touchdown to get the Eagles on the board. Eagles cut the deficit to 17-7 with 4:19 remaining in the half.
12. With Washington facing a third-and-3 with 3:27 left, Thompson took a direct snap, but was stopped just short of the first down by Nigel Bradham.
13. Washington's final drive before halftime. On third-and-4, Keenum's pass down the right sideline was hauled in for a 22-yard gain along the right sideline by McLaurin despite tight coverage from Darby. It appeared as if the Eagles would escape unharmed after Tim Jernigan sacked Keenum for a loss of 10. But an 11-yard catch by Thompson, followed by an offsides penalty on Derek Barnett, got Washington close enough for Dustin Hopkins to kick a 48-yarder as time expired to take a 20-7 lead into halftime.
Third Quarter Recap
14. Opening drive of the second half, Eagles face fourth-and-1 from their own 34-yard line. Wentz keeps for his second sneak of the game and gets the first down. After a 5-yard pass from Wentz to Jeffery, Washington cornerback Quinton Dunbar was injured on the play with cramps. Dunbar has been matched up on Jackson throughout the game and Washington is already without starter Fabian Moreau. The ground game came to life for the Eagles as Sproles and Sanders combined for 44 yards in the next three plays. Sanders' 19-yard gain up the middle got the Eagles to the 3-yard line. On third-and-goal, Wentz somehow found a tightly covered Jeffery in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 20-14 with 7:50 remaining in the third quarter.
15. How does the defense respond? First, the Eagles open in their nickel defense with Sidney Jones on the outside instead of Douglas. The Eagles primarily were in dime for an extensive amount of time, especially in the second quarter. A false start penalty by tackle Morgan Moses and a tackle for loss by Fletcher Cox on Guice forced a three-and-out.
16. Eagles regain the ball at their own 47 following a 16-yard punt return by Sproles with 5:22 left in the quarter. On third-and-10, Jackson burned his former team once again, this time a 53-yard bomb over safety Montae Nicholson, for his second score of the game to make it 21-20 Eagles with 5:07 left in the third quarter.
17. And the Eagles almost gave the lead right back. McLaurin beat Jones on a post route, but Keenum overthrew the receiver. Three-and-out for Washington.
18. Eagles regain possession with 4:37 left in the quarter at their own 29-yard line. On third-and-9, Jackson shook Dunbar and was wide open along the right sideline for a 19-yard gain and a first down. On the Eagles' next third-down opportunity, Wentz hit Jackson for a gain of 9 yards. The last play of the quarter was a 26-yard catch-and-run by Ertz down the right side to the 2-yard line.
Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' Week 1 matchup against Washington.
Fourth Quarter Recap
19. First-and-goal from the 2-yard line after Ertz's catch, Wentz tossed a short pass to Jeffery on a wide receiver screen for a touchdown. It was deemed a rushing score because the throw was behind the line of scrimmage. Up 27-20, the Eagles went for the two-point conversion. Wentz pitched the ball to Sproles to the left, who cut and faked out linebacker Ryan Anderson, before going back to the right inside the end zone for the score to make it 29-20 with 14:55 remaining in the game.
20. Without top tackle Trent Williams, Washington's Donald Penn commits not one, but two penalties as the offense can't get anything going.
21. Halapoulivaati Vaitai is in at right guard for Brandon Brooks, who started less than eight months after rupturing his Achilles. On third-and-15, Ertz converts with a 16-yard gain to move the chains and keep the offense on the field.
22. Later in the drive, Wentz made his most impressive play of the game on a third-and-7 where he double-pumped in the pocket, rolled to his left, and threw sidearm across his body to a crossing Jeffery for a 16-yard gain to extend the drive. Later, on a third-and-1 with just over four minutes remaining, Wentz snuck successfully for the third time in the game. The Eagles tacked on a 22-yard Jake Elliott field goal, but what was most impressive was that 8:55 of the game clocked were used. Eagles extend their lead to 32-20 with 3:10 left.
23. Quinn scored on a 4-yard throw from Keenum with just 6 seconds left. After Washington cut the lead to five points, Hopkins attempted an onsides kick but it was recovered by Nathan Gerry to seal the win.