PHILADELPHIA — It’s not the start the Eagles were hoping for.
Washington used two ball-control drives to score on their first two possessions, allowing the Eagles to keep pace. The Eagles did after the Commanders’ first TD, but they couldn’t on the second.
The Eagles trailed 17-10 after a last-second 41-yard field goal from Jake Elliott.
But the Eagles finally came alive in the second half behind quarterback Jalen Hurts and a deep punt. He hit AJ Brown on a 59-yard TD midway through the third quarter to give the Eagles their first lead of the game.
The defense also came together after a slow start as linebacker Nicholas Morrow had two sacks in three quarters, his first two of the season.
But it required overtime and Jake Elliott’s 54-yard field goal with 3:58 left put the Commanders up 34-31.
The Eagles went 4-0 in the second season for the first time in two straight seasons since 1992-93.
Washington ties it on a last-second TD
Sam Howell’s 10-yard TD pass to Jahan Dodson tied the game at 31-31 as time expired, forcing overtime.
The Eagles took the lead with 1:43 left on a Jalen Hurts 28-yard TD pass to AJ Brown. But the Eagles couldn’t catch Washington. The Commanders reached the Eagles 10 with 5 seconds left. Howell’s pass to Curtis Samuel fell incomplete over the middle and short of the goal line.
If Samuel had caught the ball, time would have expired. But there was still 1 second left. This time, Howell beats Dodson in the corner.
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But the defense was a concern early Sunday, with Washington scoring twice on 75-yard drives.
It took the Eagles until midway through the second quarter to sack Washington quarterback Sam Howell after Howell was sacked 9 times and threw 4 interceptions against Buffalo last week.
Then the Eagles offense faltered, and penalties were a factor.
On the first drive, the Eagles stopped Washington on 3rd and 11, but Zach Cunningham was called for defensive holding. This led to a touchdown. Late in the first half, with the Eagles stopping Washington on 3rd-and-8, Howell threw the ball into the end zone to avoid a sack.
But James Bradberry was called for pass interference, giving Washington a first down at the 10. Washington settled for a field goal, putting the Eagles up 17-7.
It took 2 1/2 quarters for the Eagles to take their first lead, but they finally did as Hurts connected with AJ Brown for a 59-yard TD. Brown caught the ball on the left sideline at Washington’s 30, then cut across the middle and took the field.
The Eagles went for a 2-point conversion after Washington was called for biting Hurts’ pass to Brown. That set up the Eagles at the Washington 1, and Kenny Cainwell drove it in, giving the Eagles a 21-17 lead with 7:11 left in the third quarter.
It was Hurts’ third longest shutout. He hit Brown for 28 yards early in the third quarter and Devonta Smith for 37 yards late in the second quarter. He opened up Smith deep in the first half but dropped him.
At this point, Hurts is 16-of-22 for 213 yards.
Cam Jurgens did not start the second half at right guard due to a leg injury. His return is questionable. He was replaced by Suva Obeta.
The Eagles got a 47-yard field goal from Jake Elliott on that drive after Jalen Hurts was hit on the arm on 3rd-and-3 from Washington’s 30. 37.
There was less than a minute left in the first half when Jalen Hurts threw the ball to Devonta Smith. He jumped two defenders and somehow landed the ball at Washington’s 26 with 20 seconds left.
That led to an Eagles field goal to end the first half.
When the Eagles finally found their commanders, the Eagles’ offense seemed to turn into a fun one.
Nicholas Morrow sacked Howell on 3rd-and-8 from the Commanders’ 23. The Eagles took over at midfield, but only gained 1 yard when the Hurts appeared to have room to run. He was then sacked, and then he overthrew a wide open Devonta Smith.
With 6:06 left in the first half, the Hurts completed 9 of 11 passes, but they only passed for 69 yards. And the 1-yard run was Hurts’ only carry so far.
Hurts finished the half 12-for-16 for 116 yards. He gained just 7 yards on 3 carries.
Washington used up 7 minutes, 52 seconds with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The Eagles responded with a 12-play, 75-yard TD drive that took up 6:35. De’Andre Swift’s 5-yard run up the middle tied the game at 7-7.
Both drives consumed all but 1:17 of the first quarter.
For the Eagles, Jalen Hurts completed all 7 of his pass attempts for 49 yards. That included two 3rd-and-long passes, the first to AJ Brown for 11 yards on 3rd-and-8 and the other to Dallas Goedert on 3rd-and-6 to the Washington 9 for 8 yards.
The Eagles have already ruled out safety Sidney Brown because of a hamstring injury, and they ruled out Justin Evans on Sunday morning. He has a neck injury. That gives the Eagles two healthy safeties to play in Reid Blankenship and Terrell Edmunds.
Also, WR Quez Watkins is out with a hamstring injury, the second straight game he’s missed. Other inactives were RB Rashad Penny, OL Tyler Steen and DT Moro Ojomo. QB Tanner McGee is the rushing quarterback.
For the Chiefs, RB Chris Rodriguez, DE KJ Henry, DE Trent Scott, G Chris Paul, DE Curtis Hodges and WR Mitchell Tinsley were inactive.
A practice squad player makes his NFL debut
To deal with the losses of Evans and Brown, the Eagles elevated safety Tristin McCullum from the practice squad for the game. This will be his NFL debut. McCallum was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2022, and he spent the entire season on the Texans’ practice squad.
The Eagles signed McCollum in the spring, but waived him before the start of the season before bringing him to the practice squad, where he spent the first three games.
The Eagles also raised Braden Mane. It’s his second tally, meaning he only has one more before the Eagles add him to the 53-man roster or sign him to another race.
Contact Martin Frank at [email protected]. Follow at X @Mfranknfl.