PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Maligned the last two weeks, Doug Pederson received an odd endorsement in a postgame Gatorade bath by his players—and it came after a 30-17 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday that snapped the Eagles’ five-game losing streak to Washington.
There were some rough patches, some great plays that needed to be made, and mistakes the Eagles were able to get away against a bad team, escaping FedExField 1-0, and beating Washington for the first time since September 21, 2014.
The Eagles did it using a great pass rush and on Carson Wentz’s mobility, which led to 26 completions on 39 attempts for 307 yards and two touchdowns. His one interception was the result of a tipped pass, which turned into a Ryan Kerrigan pick-six.
The defense accounted for three turnovers (with one on special teams), one that wound up being a touchdown and the Eagles can now gladly move on after exorcised the ghosts of Redskins past.
“I’m very proud of the way the guys hung in there and battled, and it wasn’t a perfect game.” Pederson said. “My hats off to the guys on defense. They hung in there and battled and kept our offense in good situations when we took the field. [The offense played] just okay. We made some plays, a lot of them were broken plays. We have to obviously look at the film and make corrections. It wasn’t perfect. Too many breakdowns in some crucial situations, some drive killers, whether it [was] a penalty or a sack. Those are the things we have to take a look at, but all-in-all, we had some opportunities down the field. Those are things moving forward we’ll address.”
There was some dubious calls by Pederson, which led to a first-quarter fumble that was a lateral from Wentz to Nelson Agholor.
On second-and-nine at the Eagles’ 34, on the Eagles’ second possession, Wentz opted to throw back to Agholor, who proceed to botch a high pass. Washington’s Mason Foster recovered the fumble at the 50.
Pederson revisited the same play two more times—to hardly any gain—and far greater risk.
“That play [in the first quarter] wasn’t supposed to be a lateral, it just happened to be a lateral,” Pederson said. “The situation is what the defense presents, so it’s something we have to do a better with and get fixed.”
A portent of what was to come—and what could come more frequently later this season was when Wentz wriggled free from Washington linebacker Preston Smith to toss a 58-yard touchdown pass to Agholor on a third-and-12 at the Eagles’ 42.
Wentz was hit a few times and bounced off Washington defenders like a pinball, looking up the field and finding Agholor, who finished with 6 catches for 86 yards.
The Eagles finished with 356 yards of total offense, holding Washington and Kirk Cousins to 264 yards.
When asked about the players dumping him with the Gatorade bucket, maybe as a form of validation, Pederson said, “For me, it’s everything that I’ve been telling you guys, just ask the players how they feel about me. I give this win to the players in the locker room. They battled. They hung in there through adversity and we pulled the game out.”