It was a roller coaster of a game if you ever saw one for the Philadelphia Eagles in a 30-17 win over the Washington Redskins Sunday at FedEx Field. Let’s look back at some of the key players/units leading to a huge win to start the 2017 season.
The Eagles front four kept the pressure on from start to finish on Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, finishing with four sacks – two from Brandon Graham, one by Timmy Jernigan, and one from Fletcher Cox. The biggest of them all sealed the game for the Eagles, when Brandon Graham stripped Cousins, and Cox returning it for a touchdown.
The Eagles coaching staff obviously put their ever-growing faith in Agholor on display in this one. Agholor set a new single-game career high with 86 yards receiving on six catches. One of them included the Eagles opening touchdown, a 58-yard connection from Carson Wentz on a third and long. It looks like the confidence is back for the 2014 first-round pick.
Most people would say, “It’s about time.”
Ertz finally stepped up in a big way in providing sparks for the offense in key moments. He was the Eagles leading receiver with eight catches for 93 yards. His developing chemistry with Carson Wentz was talked about all camp, and finally it comes to fruition. If this continues, big things will happen for the Eagles offense. This is one of the biggest encouraging signs after Week 1.
He was far from perfect in this game, but the Eagles quarterback still made some brilliant plays in key moments, finishing 26-of-39 for 307 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and the fumble on the backward pass attempt.
The first was on the big bomb to Agholor, as Wentz kept his poise, got outside the pocket, had guys at his feet and threw a dart to Agholor in stride. Another throw that stands out came on a third-and-10 throw to Ertz in the third quarter. Wentz again under duress with two guys coming on his blind side, throws on the run and directs traffic to find Ertz for the first down. Wentz had a few other big third and long throws throughout the game.
The Eagles secondary was going to be thin to start the game, as only four corners dressed. When Ronald Darby went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter, it put more of a strain on the unit.
But Mills really stepped up and made some huge plays. The first was a nice break up one-on-one against Pryor in the end zone in the third. Mills then recorded his first career interception at a big moment, coming early in the fourth with the Redskins driving for the go-ahead score, courtesy of a house blitz forcing an early Kirk Cousins throw. This is another really notable positive takeaway that will greatly benefit the Eagles if it continues.
Matt Catrillo is a Philadelphia Eagles Contributor for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @MCatrillo. For more coverage on the Eagles and the NFL from Matt, tune in to the Football Friday Podcast.