Eagles Escape with Overtime Victory Against the Commanders
Philadelphia, PA – In a nail-biting matchup, the Philadelphia Eagles narrowly defeated the Washington Commanders with a 34-31 win in overtime on Sunday. The victory improved the Eagles’ record to 4-0, making them one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the NFL alongside the San Francisco 49ers.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts had a standout performance, completing 25 out of 37 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. He also showcased his athleticism with 34 rushing yards, making smart decisions and avoiding turnovers throughout the game. Hurts’ second touchdown pass to A.J. Brown was particularly impressive, displaying his accuracy and poise under pressure.
Running back D’Andre Swift had a solid outing, carrying the ball 14 times for 56 yards and one touchdown. He also contributed in the passing game with four receptions for 23 yards. While Swift’s performance wasn’t extraordinary, he demonstrated his ability to make plays when it mattered most, especially in overtime.
Speaking of A.J. Brown, the wide receiver had a monster game, hauling in nine catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Brown’s impressive performance earned him the distinction of being the first Eagles player since Jeremy Maclin in 2014 to record consecutive games with over 130 receiving yards. DeVonta Smith also had a strong showing, with seven receptions for 78 yards and a crucial catch to set up a field goal.
On the other hand, tight end Dallas Goedert had a relatively quiet game, making two catches for 25 yards on four targets. The Eagles’ offense will look to involve Goedert more in future games to maximize his impact on the field.
The offensive line experienced some early struggles, particularly with tackle Jordan Mailata facing off against Washington’s Chase Young. However, they managed to give Hurts enough time to throw the ball, despite not dominating in the run game as they had in previous weeks. Of note, right guard Cam Jurgens suffered a foot injury and was replaced by Sua Opeta, putting his availability for future games in question.
The defensive line didn’t generate as much pressure on Washington quarterback Sam Howell as expected, but they still had notable contributions. Josh Sweat recorded five tackles, one sack, one quarterback hit, and one tackle for loss. Haason Reddick had a dominant stretch in the fourth quarter, including his first sack of the 2023 season. Although the Commanders found some success in the rushing game, averaging 3.8 yards per attempt, the Eagles’ defensive line contained the damage.
Linebacker Nicholas Morrow had a career day, recording 11 tackles, three sacks, three quarterback hits, and one forced fumble. Despite some moments of vulnerability in coverage, Morrow and his linebacker counterpart, Cunningham, performed admirably overall. Cunningham led the team with 13 tackles, while Morrow contributed with his exceptional pass-rushing skills.
In the secondary, Reed Blankenship made a crucial play, forcing Terry McLaurin to step out of bounds on a key third-down play in overtime. However, the absence of Justin Evans and Sydney Brown due to injury was noticeable, as Washington’s Sam Howell threw for 290 yards and a touchdown. McLaurin had eight catches for 86 yards, taking advantage of matchups against Terrell Edmunds and Josh Jobe.
Special teams played a vital role in the Eagles’ victory, particularly kicker Jake Elliott. Elliott went a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals, including a 54-yard game-winner in overtime. Punter Braden Mann had a rocky start but redeemed himself with a crucial 47-yard punt to pin the Commanders at their own 7-yard line. Punt returner Britain Covey impressed with three returns for 38 yards, including a 20-yarder.
Reflecting on the coaching, the Eagles’ play-calling and decision-making received some criticism. Questionable choices, such as a Kenny Gainwell run on 3rd-and-11 from the Washington 16-yard line, raised eyebrows. Nevertheless, the Eagles’ ability to find a way to win each week speaks to the resilience and cohesion instilled by head coach Nick Sirianni.
The Eagles will look to continue their winning streak as they prepare for their next opponent. With an undefeated record, they have become a force to be reckoned with as they strive for success in the 2023 NFL season.