Commanders shock the NFL with incredible win over Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
PHILADELPHIA — Who is this team and what have they done with the Commanders?
Washington played its absolute best of the season on Monday night and in the process took down the league’s last undefeated team in the Eagles. The Commanders offense dominated possession throughout the contest, controlling the clock for an unthinkable 40 minutes.
The game got tense late but the Commanders defense made critical plays at critical moments to seal the win.
- Terry McLaurin – It’s great that Commanders fans already know how great McLaurin is playing this season, but on a Monday night game with national coverage, the stud wideout showed off. He grabbed eight passes for 128 yards and was the best player on the field. The McLaurin-Heinicke connection is very, very real.
- Darrick Forrest – The second-year safety kept up his strong play with perhaps his best game. Forrest grabbed a first-half interception on a deep Jalen Hurts pass and piled on six tackles. He also had a critical fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter after a deep pass to Quez Watkins.
- Commitment – No this is not a weird advertisement for engagement rings, but rather a salute to the Commanders commitment to the run game against the Eagles. At halftime Washington had 100 rush yards and 24 carries between Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson. When a team truly commits to the run like that, yards-per-carry doesn’t matter, and time of possession tilted heavily in their favor. The Commanders finished the game with 152 yards rushing.
- Joey Slye – Washington’s kicker hit a 58-yard field goal before halftime on his way to a perfect night of four for four on field goals and two extra points. Rivera has long talked about Slye’s big leg being a weapon for his team, and it finally showed up.
- Riverboatin’ – Rivera came to Philly with a much more aggressive mindset than this team had shown much of the season. Twice the Commanders went for it on 4th and short situations, even though one play was nullified by a penalty. In the moments just before halftime Rivera eschewed his normal conservative playbook and instead pushed the gas to get an extra three points. For three seasons Rivera has largely played things safe in Washington but on Monday he got aggressive.
- Montez Sweat – When Washington desperately needed a play to finish off the Eagles, Sweat delivered with a sack of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.
- Benjamin St. Juste – Forced the fumble on the Watkins big gain. Washington doesn’t win without that play.
- Pass Interference – The NFL’s hardest call to regulate reared its ugly head early in this contest. It looked like Commanders CB Benjamin St. Juste was locked in good coverage against Eagles WR DeVonta Smith working down the sideline, but a late flag meant pass interference and a sizable gain for Philadelphia. The Eagles would score a few plays later. The penalty was a judgment call, and there’s some evidence to support throwing the flag, but it’s just unfortunate that a non-obvious split-second decision can make such an impact. Later in the game an offensive pass interference call crushed the Commanders. It’s just such a hard rule to litigate.
- Facemasks – Washington got one of the biggest breaks of the year when the refs missed a facemask on Eagles TE Dallas Goedert. He clearly got yanked down by the helmet, and in the process, he fumbled. Washington got to keep the ball and now owes the football gods one.