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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Game Recap: Commanders 32, Eagles 21

The Eagles had plenty of opportunities, but on Monday night, they were doomed by four turnovers in a 32-21 loss to the Washington Commanders. The Eagles are 8-1 and their lead in the NFC East is narrowed to just one game. Meanwhile, the Commanders remain in the thick of the hunt with a 5-5 record.

As the Commanders forced four turnovers, the Washington offense controlled the game with the rushing attack, maintaining possession for 40:24 and converting 12 third-down situations.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 17 of 26 pass attempts for 175 yards with two touchdowns, an interception, and a 94.2 passer rating. Hurts also had a rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Running back Miles Sanders gained 54 yards on 12 carries. Wide receiver Quez Watkins had 80 yards receiving, but on a 50-yard reception lost a critical fumble in the fourth quarter.

Read a complete game recap below.

FIRST QUARTER

• The defense was on the verge of a three-and-out, but safety Reed Blankenship drilled punter Tress Way on fourth down and was called for roughing the punter. It didn’t help the Commanders. On the very next play, defensive end Josh Sweat stripped the ball from quarterback Taylor Heinicke and it was recovered by defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu at Washington’s 18-yard line.

• The Eagles capitalized quickly on the turnover with three straight rushing plays to get into the end zone. Quarterback Jalen Hurts gained 12 yards on a designed QB keeper then, two plays later, snuck the ball in from 1 yard out for the game’s opening points to make it 7-0 with 12:21 left in the first quarter.

• For those counting at home, the Eagles have a league-leading seven strip-sacks this season. After the touchdown, the Eagles have scored 67 points off turnovers, second in the NFL.

• The Commanders responded with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring run by Antonio Gibson. Washington converted three third-down situations, the last of them was a 26-yard pass from Heinicke to wide receiver Terry McLaurin on a crossing route. It’s 7-7 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

• Two drives, two touchdowns for the Eagles. Hurts was threading short darts to move the chains with passes to A.J. Brown, Jack Stoll, and Zach Pascal. But it was DeVonta Smith who made the two key plays of the drive. Smith converted a 3rd-and-10 with a wide receiver screen to get the ball to the Washington 33-yard line. Then, Smtih drew a pass interference penalty on Benjamin St-Juste to move the ball to the 6-yard line. Hurts finished the drive by faking a QB draw and throwing to tight end Dallas Goedert over the middle to make it 14-7 with 1:30 left in the first quarter.

SECOND QUARTER

• The Commanders cut into the Eagles’ lead with a 44-yard Joey Slye field goal, but not after a bizarre turn of events. On 3rd-and-1 from the Eagles’ 22, running back Brian Robinson Jr. was stuffed by defensive end Brandon Graham and linebacker T.J. Edwards. On 4th-and-1, the Commanders appeared to go for it, even snapping the ball to wide receiver Curtis Samuel, who was crossing the formation, but Washington was called for a delay of game penalty.

• An injury to watch, defensive end Josh Sweat exited the game on the Commanders’ field goal drive.

• Hurts throws his third interception of the season. Going deep for Brown, who was in double coverage, safety Darrick Forrest picked off the pass at the Washington 14-yard line. Replay showed that the ball was perfectly placed in Brown’s arms, but Forrest took it out.

• Sweat was back on the field for the Eagles, but the Commanders capitalized with a touchdown drive to take a 17-14 lead. Washington went 86 yards in 16 plays, capped off by a Robinson 1-yard touchdown run. Washington converted three third downs and a fourth down when Samuel took a handoff on a jet sweep for a 1-yard gain. The Commanders are 8-of-11 on third down and 1-for-1 on fourth down. Eagles will get the ball back with 1:39 left in the first half. Washington leads the time of possession battle 22:43 to 5:38.

• Eagles quickly go three and out on offense. Kenneth Gainwell dropped the ball on first down, came up with a catch along the left sideline for 5 yards on second down, and on third down, Hurts’ pass to Brown was incomplete as the wide receiver slipped.

• For the first time this season, the Eagles will trail in the second half. The Commanders tacked on a 58-yard Slye field goal as second quarter expired to take a 20-14 lead into intermission. Heinicke’s 15-yard pass to wide receiver Dyami Brown put the Commanders in scoring position. The Eagles will get the ball to start the second half.

THIRD QUARTER

• The offense went three-and-out to open the second half. Cornerback Kendall Fuller broke up a pass to A.J. Brown on 3rd-and-4.

• The Commanders grinded out a pair of first down – converting two 3rd-and-1 situations – before Heinicke went over the top to McLaurin down the right sideline for a 41-yard gain, despite good coverage from Darius Slay. The Eagles are able to hold the Commanders to another Slye field goal as Javon Hargrave sacked Heinicke on 3rd-and-goal from the 3-yard line. It’s 23-14 with 5:13 left in the quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

• On the first play of the fourth quarter, DeVonta Smith scored on an 11-yard touchdown reception to cut the Commanders’ lead to 23-21 with 14:54 remaining. The Eagles started the drive out on the ground with three Miles Sanders runs to get their first first down since the second quarter. Hurts connected with wide receiver Quez Watkins for a 16-yard gain over the middle, followed by a 15-yard catch by Goedert to put the Eagles in scoring position.

• C.J. Gardner-Johnson got the ball back for the Eagles with his sixth interception of the season on a deep pass intended for McLaurin. Earlier in the drive, Gardner-Johnson was called for unnecessary roughness with a late hit out of bounds, but he more than made up for it. The Eagles take over at their own 7-yard line with 12:24 left in the game. The Commanders had scored on their previous five drives.

• The Commanders got the ball back thanks to a Dallas Goedert fumble. Linebacker Jamin Davis should have been called for a facemask penalty. As Goedert was going to the ground, defensive tackle John Ridgeway punched the ball out. The penalty was missed and Davis recovered the fumble at the Eagles’ 34-yard line.

• Slye added a 55-yard field goal after the turnover to extend the Commanders’ lead to 26-21 with 7:33 remaining.

• It looked like the Eagles were going to be in scoring position with another big play, this time by Quez Watkins. He gained 51 yards on a deep post, fell to the ground, got up and had the ball stripped from him by St-Juste. Forrest recovered and returned it for a gain of 12 yards. After committing just three turnovers in the first eight games, the Eagles have three tonight and two in the fourth quarter.

• The Eagles got a chance with 3:26 remaining, but went three-and-out as Montez Sweat sacked Hurts on third down. The Eagles punted the ball away. With all three timeouts in hand, there is 1:54 remaining in the game. Washington will take over at its own 47.

• On third down, Heinicke couldn’t find an open receiver, so he took a knee. Brandon Graham in pursuit ran him over and was called for unnecessary roughness to extend the drive and end the game.

• The game ended with a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Washington defensive end Casey Toohill, after the Eagles tried to keep the ball alive on a last-second desperation play.

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