D-Line Leads Washington to Week 1 Win

The Washington Football Team came into the season opener vs. the Philadelphia Eagles as the home underdogs, and dominated on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles were crushed with injuries on the offensive line, and Washington took advantage of that. Philly was without Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffery, and Lane Johnson, having already lost Andre Dillard and Brandon Brooks for the year too. A familiar injury bug has hit the Eagles big time before even playing a game.

Let’s start on a quick high note for the WFT. Ryan Kerrigan became the new franchise leader in all-time sacks with an early 4th quarter sack on Carson Wentz. He passed franchise legend Dexter Manley, which is no small feat. Congratulations to Kerrigan on an amazing milestone!

To start the game, the Washington defense struggled mightily, specifically the secondary. They couldn’t stop Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert and were allowing big plays downfield. The offense for Washington looked like it had regressed from last season, with five of their first-half drives consisting of four plays or less. The one time they did drive down the field, Dustin Hopkins missed a 48-yard FG. Unnecessary defensive penalties from Landon Collins and Troy Apke and a stagnant offense for Washington it seem that Philly would wrap up an easy victory and extend their winning streak against Washington to 7 games. However, Fabien Moreau picked off Carson Wentz near the end of the half, and Washington capitalized finding TE Logan Thomas in the corner of the endzone, flipping the momentum.

Washington came out of the half motivated. The defense forced a three and out, then intercepted Carson Wentz for the 2nd time, and the offense followed up by scoring another TD. Philly looked like they were going to retaliate with another scoring drive, but a huge sack by Jon Allen and Matt Ioannidis for a 13-yard loss pushed Philly back, and Jake Elliott missed a 53 yard FG.

After that, the Eagles offense was essentially held to nothing. They couldn’t contain Washington’s pass rush, allowing eight sacks, the most Washington has had since 2014. Chase Young absolutely balled out in his NFL debut, with 4 tackles, including 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Washington’s pass rush has the potential to be one of the best in the league. The secondary looked to be a big issue, but that might not be the case. Big free agent signing Kendall Fuller was out with a knee injury, so Washington will have a boost in the DB unit next week.

The offense looks exactly how I expected them to look; not that good. Haskins’s stat line looked worse than how he played, however. Yes, he struggled in the first quarter, going 1/6 with 6 yards, but from the second quarter on, he was 16/25 for 162 yards and a TD. This offense has not had much time together to familiarize themselves, but I did not take too much stock in the season from one half of the first game of the season, hence last season in Philadelphia. The run game was nonexistent with 80 yards on 36 attempts (2.2 yards per carry), but there aren’t high expectations for this offense. Unless they have some magical resurgence, this might be what the offense will be.

As many know, head coach Ron Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, so he’s receiving treatments during the week, and he needed an IV during halftime. With Rivera busy with that, Dwayne Haskins gave the team a speech to fire up the team, and it worked. It’s only week 1 in possibly the weirdest offseason in NFL history, but I think what we saw today was not a fluke.

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