Things started so well for quarterback Jalen Hurts and the offense. A Josh Sweat strip-sack and recovery at the Washington 18-yard line by defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu set up Hurts and he and the offense took advantage in three plays – a Hurts 12-yard run, a Boston Scott 5-yard gain to the 1-yard line, and then a Hurts quarterback sneak for his sixth rushing touchdown of the year gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead.
On the offense’s second possession, the Eagles went 9 plays and 78 yards and scored on a Hurts pass to tight end Dallas Goedert – a fake quarterback draw out of the shotgun and instead Hurts pulled up and popped a pass over the middle to Goedert for the score and a 14-7 advantage.
However, the Eagles then generated very little offense on their next three possessions – all the way until late in the third quarter (more on that later) – before manufacturing a 12-play, 80-yard drive for a Hurts-to-DeVonta Smith touchdown pass narrowed the Washington lead (more on THAT later, too) to 23-21.
And that was it for the offense. Philadelphia turned the ball over three times and all three really hurt – a great, amazing throw from Hurts to Brown in the second quarter hit Brown’s hands, but then was jarred away in coverage and somehow intercepted at the Washington 14-yard line by defensive back Darrick Forrest and led to a Washington touchdown, a fumble by Goedert in the fourth quarter in Eagles territory led to a Washington field goal, and then, on the next possession, a 50-yard Hurts-to-Quez Watkins completion on which Watkins made a great catch at the Washington 23-yard line, got up and then had the ball punched away at the Commanders’ 20-yard line and recovered by Forrest at the 15.
The score was 26-21 at the time and the giveaway was a huge turnaround in the game. Watkins stood up and accepted the blame after the game.
“Honestly, I was just trying to make a play for the team. I know I didn’t get touched (after hitting the ground on the reception) and I knew I had left two (defenders) behind, so I just got up and tried to get some extra yards,” Watkins said. “I didn’t have good ball security. We’re taught to have good ball security and it cost us. That’s our details. I was hoping I was touched before I fumbled but I knew I wasn’t touched before I got up. I take the blame for that one.”
It was that kind of night for the offense – frustrating.