LANDOVER, MD (WWBT) - With the Eagles leading 17-0 midway through the second quarter, fans of Washington likely had a “here we go again”-like thought circulating through their minds. But the burgundy and gold used the rest of the contest to prove that, at least Sunday afternoon, this isn’t the Washington club that fans are used to.
Washington scored 27 unanswered points, 20 in the second half, to upset the defending NFC East champions, 27-17, and get Ron Rivera a win in his debut with the team.
Eagles' quarterback Carson Wentz relied heavily on his tight ends, connecting with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedart for touchdowns in building the 17 point cushion. Washington’s offense, meanwhile, could not spark much yardage early in the contest.
But things started to click late in the second quarter. Dwayne Haskins used his own tight end, hitting former Hokie Logan Thomas for the team’s first score of the season to make it 17-7 and Washington went into the locker room with momentum.
The second half was all burgundy and gold. Peyton Barber found the endzone twice, the defense kept Philadelphia at bay, and Washington picked up its first season opening win at home since 2011. The squad also snapped a six-game skid to the Eagles.
Haskins completed 17 of his 31 pass attempts for 178 yards and the touchdown, while Thomas caught four passes for 37 yards and the score. Barber finished with 29 yards on 17 carries.
The defense fueled the comeback, tallying eight sacks and two interceptions. Ryan Kerrigan picked up two sacks to become the franchise’s all-time leader in the category with 92, while Chase Young picked up 1.5 sacks. Kerrigan also recovered a fumble to seal the game for Washington. Fabian Moreau and Jimmy Moreland came away with the picks.
The quarterback Haskins’ leadership got Washington going at halftime. Rivera, who is undergoing cancer treatment, got an I-V at halftime to stay hydrated and be ready for the second half, so the second year QB seized the opportunity to rally the team. Haskins spoke of last year’s opener in Philadelphia in which Washington held a 17-0 lead, but saw it slip away.
Washington heads to Arizona next Sunday for a 4:25 PM kickoff against the Cardinals.
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