Eagles vs. Commanders score, takeaways: Philadelphia sacks Carson Wentz nine times, rolls to 3-0 start

The Philadelphia Eagles defense put up a dominant performance to spoil Carson Wentz's first game against his former team, finishing with nine sacks and six points allowed in a 24-8 drubbing of the Washington Commanders. The nine sacks by Philadelphia are the most by any team in the NFL this season. It also finished with 17 quarterback hits on Wentz.

Wentz was hit throughout the day -- by the defense and on the stat sheet. He finished 25 of 43 for 211 yards and no touchdowns. He entered Week 3 tied for the league lead with seven touchdown passes. Wentz, who had two fumbles on the afternoon, has 69 career fumbles in 88 career games.

The Eagles scored all 24 of their points in the second quarter, not having to do much in the second half as Washington's offense struggled to make a rally. Jalen Hurts finished 22 of 35 for 340 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions to pace the Eagles, even though most of the damage was done in the first half. Hurts started 1 of 5 in this one before completing 12 of his next 14 passes -- including two touchdowns -- to lead the Eagles offense in building a 17-0 lead and essentially putting the game away. 

Hurts threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert on a screen pass to put the Eagles up 10-0 early in the second quarter and a 9-yard pass to A.J. Brown to give Philadelphia a 17-0 lead. Brown, who caught his first receiving touchdown with the Eagles, finished with four catches for 75 yards. 

Hurts went 18 of 27 for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the first half. DeVonta Smith had seven catches for 156 yards in the first half -- including 45- and 44-yard catches to spark two Eagles scoring drives. Smith's 156 receiving yards in the first half were the most by an Eagles player since Kevin Curtis in 2007 -- and the second-most in franchise history. His 2-yard touchdown catch to end the half put Philadelphia up 24-0, essentially putting the game out of reach for Washington. 

Hurts became the third player since 2000 with 250 pass and rush yards in the first half of three straight games. The others to do it were Patrick Mahomes (2019) and Aaron Rodgers (2014). Hurts produced 361 total yards in the victory. Smith finished with eight catches for 169 yards and a touchdown. 

Below are the top takeaways from the Eagles' win over the Commanders. For a recap of this game, all the updates and analysis are detailed in the live blog below.

Why the Eagles won

The Eagles defense turned in a near-flawless performance in the rout of Washington, sacking Wentz nine times and having 17 quarterback hits. Philadelphia had 16 pressures in the win to go with six hurries, preserving the lead as it dominated Washington's offensive line throughout the afternoon. 

The only points the Eagles defense allowed was late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. Philadelphia also allowed just one catch of 20-plus yards after Wentz led the league with 10 20-plus completions after two weeks. Wentz was also held without a touchdown pass as well. 

The defense has allowed just 15 points over the last two games. 

Why the Commanders lost

Washington's offensive line allowed 16 pressures and nine sacks, but Wentz also held onto the ball too long and had two fumbles. Wentz was just 3 of 10 for 24 yards in the first half and couldn't pull Washington out of an early hole as the Commanders punted on eight of their first nine possessions (the other was a Wentz fumble) and turned the ball over on downs on the next two possessions. 

Eleven of their possessions ended with punts (eight), a fumble and two turnovers on downs. That offense is too inconsistent to win games consistently at the NFL level. Washington didn't even have an opportunity to come back. 

Turning point

DeVonta Smith had a 45-yard catch that ignited the Eagles passing game and set the tone for the rest of the day, making this acrobatic grab on a Jalen Hurts ball with 1:20 left in the first quarter. Ron Rivera tried to challenge the catch (and he would have won it), but Nick Sirianni had the Eagles run up and get the play off before the flag was thrown. 

This magnificent catch by Smith stood and the Eagles got three points. The catch set the stage for the Eagles' offensive explosion in the second quarter. 

Play of the game

DeVonta Smith had plenty of highlight reel plays that qualify for this list, but his two-yard touchdown catch prior to halftime takes the cake. On fourth-and-goal at the Commanders' 2-yard line, Hurts went to the hot hand in Smith, who corralled the pass for the score that put Washington out of arm's reach of winning this one. 

Smith had Kendall Fuller all over him, yet still was able to make the grab and put Philadelphia up 24-0. He finished with seven catches for 156 yards in the first half, including two impressive 40-yard catches that sparked the Eagles offense. This catch showcased by the Eagles traded up to get Smith last year. 

The quote

"My ball or nobody's." -- DeVonta Smith on 50-50 balls that come his way. Smith's three catches that were considered 50-50 passes he went up and got -- which was all of them -- to get the Eagles offense on track. 

Up next

The Eagles (3-0) have a home matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday while the Commanders (1-2) face the Cowboys in Dallas next Sunday. 

Live updates
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@Commanders via Twitter
September 25, 2022, 8:48 PM

That will do it from Washington. Eagles lead the NFC East at 3-0 while Washington is 1-2 -- commanding lead in the NFC East. 

September 25, 2022, 8:35 PM
@Commanders via Twitter
September 25, 2022, 8:23 PM

A Commanders TD. Too little, too late. Eagles just need a first down to finish this one off. 

September 25, 2022, 8:09 PM

The Eagles have eight sacks today.

The most in a game in the NFL this year. 

September 25, 2022, 7:46 PM

The Eagles have 7 sacks today.

Ties Pittsburgh for the most in a game in the NFL this year. 

September 25, 2022, 7:44 PM

The Commanders are taking a lot of time to put points on the board.

Down 24-2 with 9:55 left. 

September 25, 2022, 7:43 PM

For you Scorigami people.

The #NFL has had 24-2 final scores. The last was in 2012 when the Giants beat the Falcons in the NFC Wild Card Round. 

September 25, 2022, 7:35 PM
@Eagles via Twitter
September 25, 2022, 7:32 PM

Ron Rivera and the Commanders tried to take a page out of Andy Reid's playbook on 4th-and-goal with that shovel pass.

And failed miserably. 

September 25, 2022, 7:31 PM

I don't like to get on Carson Wentz much, but that was a weak and pathetic block attempt on that Antonio Gibson run to end the third quarter. 

September 25, 2022, 7:26 PM
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