By Joseph Santoliquito

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Something happened while everyone was looking for the merciful death of the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles, they somehow have found themselves revived—with some help from others and a testament to the Eagles’ unbreakable fortitude.

The Eagles 28-13 victory over the visiting Washington Redskins Monday night on national TV from Lincoln Financial Field gave the Eagles their first consecutive victories this season and placed them at 6-6, one game behind the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys, with a date against Dallas next Sunday, and in strong contention for an NFC Wild Card berth in highly unpredictable season.

The Eagles beat a decimated Washington team that lost its back-up QB, Colt McCoy, who multiple reports stated broke his right fibula and is lost for the season, and now have Mark Sanchez at the helm. The Redskins also lost guards Tony Bergstrom and Jonathan Cooper, who were already backing up starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao.

Carson Wentz completed 27 of 39 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, with one biting interception that could have sealed the game much sooner.

But, still, there were many things to like—considering the offensively inept opponent. The Eagles scored a first-quarter touchdown for the first time since Week 6, Oct. 11 when they scored twice in the opening quarter against the New York Giants. Wentz looked sharp, moving in the pocket and creating time and space for himself.

With 11:41 left, Jake Elliott’s 46-yard field goal clinched it, made possible by a Nate Gerry diving, fourth-quarter interception.

The Eagles’ running game generated 130 yards, including Darren Sproles’ nifty, 14-yard TD run in the second quarter.

The real test—and possibly the season, finally—comes next week when the Eagles travel to Dallas against a team that does have an offense, a formidable running back and a defense that won’t be disinterested and exhausted.

The Good

The Eagles’ opening drive. The Eagles traveled 75 yards over 12 plays and absorbed 7:29 of the clock in going up 7-0.

Running back Darren Sproles going 14 yards for a TD with 1:46 left in the first half, which gave the Eagles a 14-10 lead.

Center Jason Kelce getting out in front and paving the way for Sproles’ second-quarter TD run.

Quarterback Carson Wentz on the Eagles’ first drive. He was 5-for-5, for 48 yards, including a 6-yard TD toss to Golden Tate. The drive also involved Wentz scrambling for time and finding Tate down field for a 19-yard completion to the Washington 38.

Running back Josh Adams rushing five times for 28 yards on the opening series.

The Eagles’ best first quarter this season: They pounded out 6 first downs, averaging 5.7 yards per play, and accruing 86 yards of total offense.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins’ 6-yard sack on second-and-14 at the Eagles’ 20. The play forced the Redskins to settle for a 44-yard Dustin Hopkins’ field goal.

Receiver Nelson Agholor’s 39-yard reception to the Washington 8-yard line. Defensive end Brandon Graham tackling Adrian Peterson for a two-yard loss at the Washington 22 with 7:11 left in the half. It was one of Graham’s better games this season. He had three solo tackles, including a seven-yard sack in the second quarter.

Receiver Golden Tate’s 32-yard reception on third-and-9 at the Washington 37 to the Eagles’ 5-yard line. The next play, Carson Wentz under threw Alshon Jeffery in the end zone and Josh Norman came out with an interception that he returned 40 yards.

Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc taking down Jamison Crowder for a 5-yard loss at the Washington 43 with 6:33 left in the third quarter. Two plays later, the Redskins were forced to punt.

The Eagles’ two-point conversion after the Jordan Matthews’ 4-yard TD reception with 14:10 to play. The points gave the Eagles a 22-13, two-score lead.

Linebacker Nathan Gerry’s diving, fourth-quarter interception at the Washington 42, setting up Jake Elliott’s 47-yard field goal and a 25-13 Eagles’ lead.

Kick Jake Elliott’s two fourth-quarter field goals guaranteed the victory.

The Bad

Kelce flinching and being flagged for a false start with 12:36 left in the first quarter and the Eagles at their 43.

Tight end Zach Ertz’ false start penalty at 5:12, putting the Eagles in a third-and-goal at the 8 in the second quarter.

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox getting caught inside on Adrian Peterson’s 90-yard TD run in the second quarter.

The Ugly

Wentz forcing a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery that was intercepted by Josh Norman and returned 40 yards.

The Eagles’ defense—especially the secondary—on Adrian Peterson’s 90-yard TD run with 9:23 left in the first half. No one in the secondary took a good angle as Peterson ripped up the middle untouched for the go-ahead TD. The 33-year-old became the oldest player with a 90-yard TD run in NFL history.

Coach Doug Pederson’s call on fourth-and-goal at the Washington 1-yard line with 4:03 left in the half. Josh Adams lost two yards, pulled down by Redskins’ linebacker Zach Brown.

Redskins’ second-team quarterback Mark Sanchez hitting Jordan Reed on a third-and-seven at the Eagles’ 45 with 1:00 left in the half. It led Hopkins’ 47-yard field goal with :19 left in the half and a 14-13 Eagles’ lead.

 

Joseph Santoliquito

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