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September 10, 2017

First half observations: Eagles 16, Redskins 14

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles jumped out to a 13-0 lead over the Washington Redskins in their season opener, but after an injury to starting cornerback Ronald Darby and a couple of turnovers, the Birds nearly found themselves limping into the locker room facing a 14-13 halftime deficit.

But on the crucial final drive of the half, Carson Wentz led the offense down the field and into field goal range and Caleb Sturgis hit from 50 yards out to give the Birds a 16-14 lead instead.

Here's a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from the first half.

THE GOOD

We might need a separate category just for this one… 

That was Carson Wentz’s first completion of the 2017 season, and it went for a 58-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor.

Wentz finished the first half 15-of-22 for 180 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Wentz has been making a habit of being incredibly difficult to bring down:

Unfortunately, as the half went on, the Redskins started to get to the Eagles QB. (More on that in a minute)

•  Nelson Agholor – with the exception of one play that we'll get to later – had a great first half. Not only did he catch that TD, but he also made a big third-down reception to move the sticks.

And if this was a better throw, he takes it for a TD.

He finished the first half with four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.

•  LeGarrette Blount, receiving threat?

That was just the second receiving TD of his career. He finished the half with four carries for 32 yards, in addition to his one-yard TD reception

•  The Eagles, specifically Fletcher Cox, are really good at getting strip sacks.

But even when he's not stripping the ball, he's disruptive.

Speaking of the defensive line, Brandon Graham was a beast in the first half, putting constant pressure on Cousins despite not recording a sack.

•  Corey Clement showed why he’s active for today’s game, making his presence known on the opening kickoff. He made the tackle inside the 15-yard line. 

•  Mychal Kendricks with the big hit.

THE BAD

Carson Wentz wasn't perfect in the first half, but this pick-six was not his fault.

•  I would've liked to have seen more Alshon Jeffery in the first half.

He finished with just one catch for 14 yards.

•  As the half wore on, Wentz's elusiveness couldn't prevent him from getting sacked. He was sacked twice in the first half, but it felt like more than that.

The offensive line didn't look great in their first half of football this season. And that was before this... 

His return is questionable.

•  MAKE A DAMN TACKLE!

THE UGLY

•  CB Ronald Darby left the game with a really bad looking ankle injury. I won’t put the replay in here, because it’s really not fun to watch. He’s not coming back anytime soon. That left the Eagles with Patrick Robinson and Jalen Mills as their only two active quarterbacks. Corey Graham was moved to the slot.

•  This play call from Doug Pederson on first down. Also the throw. And Torrey Smith's lack of effort. Basically everything.

But hey, it brought us all together – not to mention that the Eagles were able to stop Washington on their ensuing possession.

•  The reason the Eagles aren't up more? Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point following the Blount touchdown.

On the bright side, he closed out the first half with a 50-yard field goal to put the Eagles back up, 16-14.


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