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Instant Replay: Eagles 37, Redskins 34
By SP_COP on September 21, 2014 | From
Instant Replay: Eagles 37, Redskins 34 For the first time since 2004, their last Super Bowl season, the Eagles are unbeaten after their first three games.

Bodes well for a team that’s been thinking about the Super Bowl since the end of last season.

The Eagles survived the return of DeSean Jackson (see story), the losses of center Jason Kelce and Jason Peters, another double-digit first-half deficit and a major brawl to win their NFC East opener against rival Washington, 37-34, and improve to 3-0 (see 10 observations).

With Washington at its 41-yard line after a punt and just 2:27 to play, the Eagles stopped the ‘Skins on four straight plays. Alfred Morris gained no yards on his first carry and Kirk Cousins tossed three straight incompletions, with Brandon Boykin batting away a third-down pass to Andre Roberts.

This game featured a number of big, game-changing plays that swung momentum back and forth, but the Eagles figured out how to prevail for another week and kept Jackson from exacting revenge against his former team.

Jackson, who played despite suffering a shoulder sprain last Sunday, caught an 81-yard touchdown catch in the third that forced a 27-27 tie and brought life back to a dormant Redskins second-half offense.

But after ’Skins kicker Kai Forbath had his 33-yard attempt in the fourth rejected by the right goal post, the Eagles went ahead on Nick Foles’ 27-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin — the guy who replaced Jackson in Chip Kelly’s offense — with 7:34 left.

Malcolm Jenkins picked off Cousins on Washington’s next play and the Eagles converted the turnover into a 51-yard Cody Parkey field goal. The ’Skins countered with a late Roy Helu touchdown run, cutting their deficit to 37-34, and got the ball back at the Philadelphia 41-yard line with about 2:30 to play.

But they couldn’t finish the comeback like the Eagles have done in all three games this season.

The Eagles literally scratched and clawed their way to 3-0, rebounding from another double-digit deficit and beating the ‘Skins after brawling with them.

On the opening play of their go-ahead drive, a fracas ensued after ’Skins defensive tackle Chris Baker blindsided Foles with a crushing hit after an incomplete pass that first looked like an interception. It took several minutes before both teams got back to their respective sidelines.

Baker and Peters, who threw punches, were each ejected for personal fouls (see story). The Eagles had started the game with two backups on the offensive line and lost Kelce in the third quarter with an abdomen injury (see story). After the ejections, the Eagles marched downfield with backups at every offensive line position except right guard.

The 2004 Eagles started 7-0 before losing to the Steelers on the road by 24 points. This year’s team has another tough test coming up, a road game against the 49ers on Sunday, followed by home games against the Rams and Giants before the bye.

Both teams traded scoring punches throughout the first half, with seven possessions between the rivals, six of which resulted in points.

The Redskins scored touchdowns on their first two drives, an 11-play march and 12-play possession that ended with Darrell Young and Pierre Garcon each catching touchdown passes.

In between, Chris Polk returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, but the Eagles didn’t mount their first drive until 2:01 remained in the first quarter. Darren Sproles’ fumble in the second aided another ’Skins scoring drive as Washington went up 17-7 with 5:34 to play.

But the Eagles rallied for two late first-half touchdowns to go ahead at halftime for the first time this season, an 11-yarder by Jordan Matthews on a play action set up by Maclin’s 50-yard screen pass (which would have been an 80-yard touchdown if not for Kelce’s illegal bock), and another 11-yarder by Matthews capping an eight-play, 64-yard drive that started with 1:15 to play before the break....
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