The Eagles hosted the Washington Commanders for their annual Salute to Service game at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night. Here's a look at how it all unfolded in this Morning Roundup, presented by DraftKings:
Eagles stray from winning formula in 'eye-opening' first loss
This is a formula tried and true in the NFL and one the Eagles had followed historically well in their first eight games, all victories: Win the turnover battle, turn the opposing offense into one that had to play catch up with the passing game, and minimize penalties.
On Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field in the team's Salute To Service game, though, the script flipped on the Eagles, who fell to the Washington Commanders 32-21 for their first loss of the season to drop to 8-1. The team responded in the locker room the right way, and in the big picture how they bounce back from the defeat is the most important piece of all of this, but the 60 minutes of football played against the Commanders is worth examining before moving on in this short week.
"We started out hot and then they responded," wide receiver A.J. Brown said, "and then we started kicking ourselves in the foot. If you don't play great ball in this league, if you don't protect the ball, it's going to be hard to beat anybody. It's definitely eye-opening. You've got to be humble in this league and you have to go out and prove it every week."
All three phases of the team contributed to the loss – you win as a team and you lose as a team, right? – so let's look under the hood as the Eagles lost for the first time in four prime-time games in 2022.
Giving a Marine back his independence
United States Marine Sergeant Aaron Alonso longs for the day when he'll have a softball catch with his daughter, retrieving stray balls with ease. He imagines spending time outside in his wooded New Jersey yard supporting 9-year-old Riley's dream of playing collegiate softball.
That scene has been challenging to produce; Alonso lost both of his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device while patrolling in Afghanistan when Riley was just 5 months old.
But soon, the day he's pictured will come to fruition.
During the Eagles' Salute to Service game on Monday night against the Washington Commanders, Alonso will be honored through the gift of an iBot wheelchair that possesses functions that can drastically improve his mobility. The device will grant him the ability to travel over harsh terrain, elevate his body to eye level, and even climb stairs.
"Anytime that we even play catch in the yard and she has a bad throw, instead of me trying to push the wheelchair to go get the ball, it's kind of like she's playing fetch with herself," Alonso said. "I showed her videos of the iBot and she thought that it was really cool, she got extremely excited about it.
"That's probably the most exciting part for me – the extra freedom that it'll give me, and the ability to be a better father," Alonso said.
Jemal Singleton is the Eagles' nominee for the NFL Salute to Service Award
Monday night's game against the Washington Commanders is going to be extra special for Jemal Singleton.
No, not because it's in prime time. No, not because it's against a division rival.
It's the annual Salute to Service game and Singleton understands what this means to the men and women of our Armed Forces and their families.
"Unless you've lived that life a little bit, you don't always completely understand what the family goes through," Singleton said. "I think we have a pretty good picture of when our airmen and our soldiers and Marines are out and they're deployed, but you don't realize that there's a family that has sons or daughters or husbands or wives that are at home still holding down the fort.
"And it's not like a weekend thing, sometimes they're gone for months at a time and that's tough on a family to do that. I think that's a big piece of it, being able to help those families and just bring light to the fact that there's two missions going on, there's the one that the soldiers are fighting and then there's the one that the family is doing at home."
Nia Barley: Dreams do come true
On Sunday, October 30th, I was given a wonderful opportunity by the Philadelphia Eagles to be their guest at their matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This once-in-a-lifetime chance was born out of an article written about me in The Philadelphia Inquirer back in September, explaining how I play flag football in the Athena Athletic League while having retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. I never thought that article or having a serious vision issue would bring me so much happiness for a day.
When I first learned I was invited to attend the game along with my family, I thought, 'Cool, we get to go see the Eagles crush the Steelers,' but little did I know how the day was going to play out and how absolutely epic it would be! But before I tell you what my day was like, I want to tell you the one vital thing I learned from the experience – the Philadelphia Eagles organization isn't just about football; they are also about community. That goes for everyone from the community relations staff to the entertainment staff to the media staff to the on-field staff to the concession stand operators to the players and coaches. Everyone my family and I came in contact with made us feel welcome and part of something bigger than just football.
The Eagles hosted the Washington Commanders in a Monday night showdown at Lincoln Financial Field.