Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Recap: Eagles 24, Commanders 8

WR DeVonta Smith
WR DeVonta Smith

The Eagles improved to 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2016 as the defense sacked Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz nine times. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith led the offense with a career-high 169 receiving yards. Here's the complete game recap:

FIRST QUARTER

• The Eagles ended the Commanders' four-play, 13-yard opening drive with a combined 7-yard sack from Fletcher Cox and Josh Sweat. The defensive tackles' take-down of former Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz was a pleasurable start to the game for the extensive Eagles' fan presence that traveled to FedEx field on Sunday.

• The Eagles were unable to produce on their first drive on offense, but that didn't inhibit the team's momentum. The Philadelphia defense recorded back-to-back Wentz sacks (Cox and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, respectively) on the Commanders' second possession of the game to force a three-and-out.

• Wide receiver DeVonta Smith opened the Eagles' next drive with his first punt return of the season for 13 yards. Hurts was sacked at the Philadelphia 41-yard line for a loss of 3 yards on first down by linebacker Jamin Davis; he threw two consecutive incomplete passes to end the drive.

• Cornerback Darius Slay was on the sidelines for Washington's following possession – Zech McPhearson replaced him for the series. Slay spent the series jogging up and down the sideline without his helmet.

Brandon Graham and Haason Reddick combined for the Eagles' fourth sack against Wentz. The Eagles recorded more sacks than there have been Washington possessions with 3:55 remaining in the first quarter. The sack marks the first time the Eagles have recorded 4+ sacks in the first quarter of a game since at least 1994.

• Hurts connected with A.J. Brown for 13 yards, DeVonta Smith for 45 yards on a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch down the right sideline, then Dallas Goedert for 2 yards, but the offense was unable to produce before the end of the quarter. The game stayed scoreless, 0-0.

SECOND QUARTER

• Hurts attempted an end zone pass to Smith to open the second quarter, but it was prevented by cornerback Benjamin St. Juste – his third deflection of the game. Kicker Jake Elliott made a 32-yard field goal for the Eagles' first points of the game.

• Another Commanders' possession, another Eagles sack. Graham knocked down Wentz a second time causing a fumble – Javon Hargrave stayed alert and recovered the ball at the Washington 24. The sack set up the Eagles' first touchdown of the game, Hurts passed short middle to tight end Dallas Goedert on a screen that went into the end zone for 23 yards. The score marked Goedert's first of the season.

Through five possessions, the Eagles' defense allowed Carson Wentz to complete only two total passes for 21 yards on five attempts.

• The Eagles went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Washington 8-yard line with 7:11 remaining in the first half. Hurts handed the ball to Zach Pascal with no success.

The Commanders took over at their own 9-yard line following the turnover on downs. The defense kept up the pressure as Head Coach Nick Sirianni's prediction came to fruition – Reddick strip-sacked Wentz on third down to end the drive.

"(Reddick is) close to having a big game," said Sirianni on Friday.

"That is my experience with defensive ends at times, is that maybe they're quiet for a couple weeks as far as the amount of hits they get on the quarterback or pressures or the amount of sacks. Then boom, like that, it can change like that. I just keep thinking he's close to having a breakout game, so that means he is getting some of the pressure that we want on the quarterback."

• And a big game he had. Reddick's play set up a scoring possession for the Eagles; Hurts capitalized on the opportunity, completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown. The score marks Brown's very first as an Eagle and the 25th of his career. The Eagles increased their lead to 17-0 with 2:49 remaining in the first half.

• A DeVonta Smith touchdown put the Eagles ahead big! The team improved to 24-0 to close the half after an explosive 11-play, 88-yard final drive, highlighted by a 44-yard reception from Smith.

Smith surpassed his career-high in receiving yards in just two quarters – he had seven receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown in just the first half. Smith recorded more than TRIPLE the amount of offense than the entire Commanders offense; they recorded only 50 yards in that same span.

THIRD QUARTER

• The Eagles' offense continues to power forward at the start of the second half. Rookie tight end Grant Calcaterra replaced Dallas Goedert, who is questionable to return due to a shin injury. Calcaterra immediately stepped up in a big way. His first NFL reception in his first game went for a 40-yard reception.

• The Commanders made their most impactful play with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter; Terry McLaurin caught a deep 45-yard catch from Carson Wentz. Deafening "defense"' chants from the passionate Eagles contingent in the stands, paired with nearly impenetrable coverage from the Eagles' dominant secondary, prevented any Washington score before the end of the third quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

• The Eagles regained possession at the Philadelphia 1-yard line following a turnover on downs as Avonte Maddox stuffed Logan Thomas on a shovel pass from the 1-yard line. The Commanders tackled Boston Scott in the end zone on the first play of the Eagles' next drive, preventing a shutout to make the score was 24-2 with 14:10 remaining in the game.

• Sack No. 7 for the Eagles was another for Graham. Immediately following it, Wentz is knocked down yet again for an eighth sack – another for Sweat. The Eagles have had the most sacks in a single game of any NFL team so far this season.

• With 4:28 remaining, T.J. Edwards made it nine sacks – the most Wentz has taken during a single game in his career. Washington's offense got on the board for the first time in the game following the two-minute warning. Antonio Gibson carried it in for 1 yard, Washington trailed 24-8 with 1:55 remaining, and that's the way it remained.

The NFC East portion of the 2022 schedule kicked off Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Check out the best photos from the showdown.

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