Wentz passes for 307 yards, 2 TDs as Eagles blast Redskins
LANDOVER, Md. — Quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins have had a lot of success at the Philadelphia Eagles’ expense over the past few seasons.
That came to end on Sunday.
Quarterback Carson Wentz passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles defeated the Redskins 30-17 at FedEx Field, snapping a five-game losing streak against Washington.
The Eagles’ defense held the Redskins to 264 net yards, recovering three fumbles — two by Cousins — and intercepting a pass at the goal line.
“Hats off to those guys on defense,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “They battled, they hung in there. Kept our offense in good situations when we took the field.”
Tight end Zach Ertz caught eight passes for 93 yards and wide receiver Nelson Agholor snagged six for 86 and a touchdown as the Eagles converted 8-of-14 third downs. The Redskins were 3-for-11.
After a Caleb Sturgis field goal made it 22-17 with 2:00 left, Cousins dropped back to pass and was sacked by defensive end Brandon Graham as he was preparing to throw and the ball came loose. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox returned the fumble 20 yards for a touchdown and the two-point conversion was good.
The Redskins argued that Cousins’ arm was coming forward, but the play was upheld upon review.
“Real time, I have lack of control in the hand,” referee Brad Allen told a pool reporter. “That means empty hand going forward. We ruled fumble, recovered by the defense.”
Allen said the replay views were “inconclusive, so we have to stay with the ruling on the field.”
Cousins finished 23 of 40 for 240 yards with one touchdown pass to go with the interception and fumbles. He tied with running back Rob Kelley for the team rushing lead with 30 yards.
“It’s frustrating. I think we’re better than that up front,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “We’re better than that at receiver — dropping balls — and we’re better than that at quarterback. We all had our hand in it.”
Wentz was 26 of 39 with an interception.
“He hung in there,” Pederson said. “He took shot after shot after shot. He extended a lot of plays with his legs and his athleticism.”
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. caught six passes for 62 yards in his Washington debut, while wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey had three for 38 in his first game with the Eagles.
Trailing 19-14 in the third quarter, the Redskins got new life when a defensive holding penalty negated fourth down deep in their own end. Cousins passed for 36 yards and ran for 16 as the Redskins drove inside the Eagles 20 before settling for a Dustin Hopkins field goal.
On their next possession, Cousins hit Pryor on a crossing route for 28 yards to the Eagles 18, but three plays later the Eagles blitzed and Cousins threw off his back foot. His pass was intercepted at the goal line by cornerback Jalen Mills.
“There’s a play to (be) made to (wide receiver) Jamison (Crowder) and that’s the frustrating part. We can hit that, but I was trying to take (Pryor) to a spot that I shouldn’t be taking him,” Cousins said. “My eyes were in the wrong place and it leads to what you saw.”
Philadelphia took an early 7-0 lead thanks to the feet and arm of Wentz. On third-and-12 from his 42, Wentz dropped back, moved around the pocket while twice avoiding a sack and then threw across his body to an open Agholor. Agholor broke a tackle and scored.
“A lot of it honestly is instinct. They run a good coverage and some things broke down,” Wentz said. “That’s something we’ve talked about all season. Guys never die out there. Just always stay alive and get open, and Nelson did a great job.”
Things then got ugly as the teams traded fumbles and, late in the quarter, Crowder muffed a punt that was recovered by the Eagles’ Trey Burton at the Redskins 39.
Eight plays later, Wentz passed 1 yard to running back LeGarrette Blount for the score, but Sturgis missed the extra point.
The defense got Washington on the board midway through the second quarter. Wentz’s pass was tipped by defensive lineman Stacy McGee and picked off by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan at the 24. He rumbled down the sideline for a touchdown and the Eagles lead was cut to 13-7.
Washington went ahead 14-13 after an eight-play, 69-yard drive capped when Cousins found Chris Thompson out of the backfield, and the running back bounced off two potential tacklers, spun and completed the 29-yard touchdown play.
Sturgis field goals on the final play of the first half and early in the third quarter gave the Eagles a 19-14 lead.
NOTES: Eagles DE Derek Barnett and WR Mack Hollins were the only active 2017 draft choices. Undrafted rookie RB Corey Clement also was active. ... The Redskins’ defense recorded a sack in its 25th consecutive regular-season game, the longest streak in the NFC. ... Eagles starting CB Ronald Darby left in the second quarter with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. Head coach Doug Pederson did not have an update after the game. LT Jason Peters (groin) left in the second half. ... Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan’s three career interceptions have all been returned for touchdowns. ... Jordan Reed became the third Redskins tight end to catch 250 passes (Chris Cooley and Jerry Smith).