By: Drew Willingham
Headline Photo Credit: Washington Redskins
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Less than 90 minutes prior to kickoff in yesterday’s Week 1 contest, Washington announces the inactive players for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Surprisingly to many, including the player himself was the announcement of RB Adrian Peterson on that list. This marked the first healthy scratch of Peterson’s career in order to make room for the returning Derrius Guice from an ACL Injury, Chris Thompson, and former Eagle Wendell Smallwood. Peterson would remain on the sidelines in street clothes throughout the game to support his team despite the mismanagement of his roster spot in the eyes of fans around the nation.
For the 170th time, The Redskins and Eagles rivalry took place in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL Season. The pregame hype was surrounding the Eagles QB Carson Wentz and Redskins RB Derrius Guice returning from injuries that occurred last season. Many NFL analysts picked Philadelphia to win this game undoubtedly, but the first half displayed a different perspective that had Washington fans rejoicing all over social media. On the seventh play of the opening drive, Washington QB Case Keenum connects with the ageless wonder TE Vernon Davis for a 48-yard touchdown pass. This play was historical in many ways, this marked Davis’s 63rd touchdown reception that moves him to No. 6 all-time among tight ends in NFL history surpassing Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, and this also gave Keenum his eighth longest touchdown pass of his career.
Philadelphia would only produce five plays in their first drive that included a punt, Washington would only produce a field goal in their next drive, and QB Carson Wentz would throw an incomplete pass on 4th down to turnover on downs that would start the 2nd quarter with the score of 10-0 Redskins. Following the turnover by Philadelphia, on the second play of the drive, QB Case Keenum connected with rookie WR Terry McLaurin for a 69-yard touchdown pass that would give Washington a 17-0 lead with 10:07 remaining in the 2nd Quarter. The second touchdown of the game for Washington would be yet another historical achievement. This play would mark Keenum’s longest completion of his 8-year career, the touchdown would also give McLaurin his first of his career, and all in the same would give the rookie the third longest touchdown reception by a rookie in franchise history.
Down by 17 points, the Eagles would make adjustments and finally connect on a big play later in the 2nd Quarter. With 4:27 remaining in the 1st half, QB Carson Wentz would connect with WR DeSean Jackson for a 51-yard touchdown pass. The big play would cut the deficit to only 10 points and would be a difference maker later in the contest. Washington would score again on a field goal before the end of the 2nd Quarter to have a 20-7 lead going in to halftime. Case Keenum would lead the half with 257 passing yards, which is the most produced in one half of a game for him thus far in his career. Momentum would still be on the Redskins side going in to halftime as the fans would continue to rejoice all over social media.
Leading off the 3rd Quarter, the Eagles would receive the ball, after 12 plays of their first drive of the second half, the Eagles would score on a 5-yard pass from Wentz to WR Alshon Jeffery. The deficit would only be 6 points after the extra point by K Jake Elliot and the score remained 20-14 Redskins until the Eagles next possession. The Redskins would punt on their next three consecutive drives, as the Eagles would score another two touchdowns on their next two drives. Wentz would pass for both of those touchdowns, connecting with Jackson again with this time being a 53-yard touchdown, and also another one to Jeffery for a 2-yard touchdown. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the Eagles had scored 22 unanswered points to give them a 29-20 lead.
Washington would start the 4th quarter with the ball, but would punt for the third consecutive possession. Philadelphia would be held to a field goal on their next possession, but not after running the clock down to 3:12 left in the game and securing a 12 point lead. Washington would muster up another touchdown with a 4-yard pass from Keenum to WR Trey Quinn :12 left in the game. A failed onside kick attempt would finally end this game with a final score of 32-27 Philadelphia over Washington. The quarterback play from both teams would be stellar, despite their teams trading places as far as having a rough half of football. Carson Wentz’s return from injury didn’t phase him as he threw for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Case Keenum would end the game throwing for 380 yards, 3 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Keenum would also complete 30 passes on 45 attempts, this accomplishment of 45 attempts with zero interceptions would be the first of his career.
Next week Philadelphia travels to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in a Sunday Night contest, as the Falcons are coming off a tough loss in Minnesota, the momentum could continue to swing in the favor of the Eagles after this come from behind victory. Washington is back at home next week, as they take on the Cowboys who just dominated the New York Giants in Dallas to have a hot start to the 2019 campaign. Reports are stating that Derrius Guice may have suffered an injury in the Week 1 contest against Philadelphia, Can the Redskins just throw Peterson back in to the mix and cross their fingers? Or Will their be some type of backlash this week as a result of Jay Gruden’s Week 1 Pregame decision? Stay tuned.