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Stumbling, fumbling Redskins fall to Eagles in 2017 opener
February 24 2018, 06:01 | Sammy Rose
After week of heat, Eagles players cool Doug Pederson off with Gatorade bath
It was the good streak that ended. If they beat the Redskins, I could easily see them losing to a Kansas City team that upset the Patriots on Thursday night.
Despite all the issues, the Redskins had the ball just inside the two-minute warning trailing 22-17 with the chance to engineer a comeback. One was returned for the Eagles' clinching score. And though Wentz and the offense were fine, a large part of it was their ability on the defensive side of the ball. Wentz simply outplayed Cousins, who went 23-for-40 with one touchdown and committed that pivotal fumble in the fourth quarter. He was sacked four times. The ground game has to get going moving forward. He tied with running back Rob Kelley for the team rushing lead with 30 yards. They can play fast.
Best pass defense: The Eagles took a deep shot on their first play from scrimmage, too, but Josh Norman ran stride for stride with Torrey Smith and almost made a leaping interception. The Eagles converted eight of 14 third downs, 57 percent. The Birds went 1-7 a year ago away from home and lost their first four NFC East games in 2016, so Sunday's win holds significance. It's important for the coach to position quarterback Kirk Cousins and the offense in prime position for success by helping them find a rhythm early with a mix of the run and the pass. "He's ideal for the way they run their offense".
The Redskins drove and took the lead on their next possession.
An Eagles' drive later, Wentz was sacked for the second time of the afternoon which forced a punt at their own 32-yard line with just over four minutes remaining.
No injuries reported for Washington. A chance for a big play led to frustration for the offense. He turned and easily ran into the end zone. Have thoughts on how the Eagles and Washington are performing? They added three more on a second field goal in the third.
The defense got Washington on the board midway through the second quarter. If the media and fans weren't allowed to watch practice during training camp, they may have forgotten that he is even on the team since he didn't play a single game-snap this summer. Cousins' top weapons in the passing game include Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder, who both could be primed for impressive statistical seasons. That was good enough to earn him 93 yards through the air.
Torrey Smith had a grand total of one catch.
As for how the Eagles plan to rattle Cousins, Graham says it comes down to the defensive line generating the requisite pressure too force him into some mistakes, which have been few and far between against this team of late. Cousins has passed for 1,579 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions in five games against Philadelphia.
Right tackle Lane Johnson is back after missing last year's games for a suspension and the Eagles, with a healthy offensive line, should be able to cut down on the nine sacks Wentz endured in two games against the Redskins in 2016. No matter, though: The Redskins were called for holding anyway. Then Cousins threw to Reed for one first down and he scrambled up the middle for another.
Can the Redskins defense hold up?
Upgraded wide receivers: This will be the Eagles' first game with their revamped wide receiver corps.