Instant analysis from Eagles' terrible loss to Washington


Well that wasn't pretty.

The Eagles are now 0-1 after their season-opening loss to Washington on Sunday, an ugly 27-17 loss that got off to a very promising start, and ended with a terrible second half of football.

Here are some instant takeaways from the game:

Offensive Line: The Eagles’ were missing three-of-their-five projected starts on Sunday against Washington, and for the first drive, it looked like they might be OK.

Then the rest of the game happened.

The offensive line let up four sacks on the first three drives, and it could have been more if not for Wentz escaping pressure a few times. They gave up their fourth sack midway through the third, a 13-yard sack that pushed the Eagles further out of field goal range, turning a makable field goal into a 53-yard miss by Jake Elliott.

The issues continued, and got worse, into the second half. At the start of the fourth quarter Washington rusher Ryan Kerrigan brought Wentz down, pushing the offense back up against their own goal line. The sack was the seventh of the game for Washington, making it the most Wentz has been sacked in his career.

Washington ended the game with nine sacks.

Rookie Jack Driscoll started in the place of Lane Johnson, struggled while he was out there and left the game towards the end of the third quarter. His replacement was Jordan Mailata, who went in over Matt Pryor.

Some of the sacks were on Wentz, but the bottom line is that combination of poor offensive line play and some bad decisions by the quarterback really slowed down the passing game.

Yes, the Washington defensive line is talented. But it is going to be a long season if the Eagles don't figure out something to do with the offensive line -- and now that the regular season is here, it is hard to know what they can do to truly fix the problem.

Carson Wentz: The Eagles couldn’t have asked for much more from Wentz to start the game on Sunday.

Wentz got the ball rolling early, as one of his Wentz’s best throws of the game came in the first quarter. Facing 3rd-and-22, Wentz dropped back and hit receiver Jalen Reagor with an absolute dime down the field for a 55-yard completion. The ball couldn’t have been placed any better as Wentz put it right over Reagor’s shoulder and hit him in stride for the completion.

After a bit of a dry-spell for the offense, Wentz got the Eagles back on the board midway through the second quarter when he hit tight end Dallas Goedert with a perfectly thrown 34-yard pass down the left sideline for a touchdown. The touchdown gave the Eagles a 17-0.

The issue? Wentz cooled off considerably as the game went on.

One issue for Wentz throughout his career has been holding onto the ball, and that was an issue once again early on in the game, when Wentz had the ball stripped away on 3rd-an-5 by Washington defensive end Chase Young. Wentz was going down as he held the ball with one hand, and Young knocked it out. Center Jason Kelce recovered.

Wentz’s shaky stretch started towards the end of the first half. First, his pass down the left sideline was intercepted by Washington with 1:44 to play in the half was intercepted. It wasn’t clear whose fault it was, Wentz or Reagors, but the result was a Washington touchdown on their next possession. Wentz had a chance to build the Eagles’ lead on the team’s final possession of the half, but he missed Reagor down the middle of the field, who had a step on his man and would have scored if Wentz hit him in stride.

Wentz’s second half didn’t get off to a much better start, as he threw his second interception of the game on the Eagles’ second possession. The interception came in the direction of receiver John Hightower, but was either too late or telegraphed by Wentz, as Washington cornerback Jimmy Moreland picked it off. Washington scored on the possession to cut the Eagles’ lead to just three, 17-14 with 9:25 to play in the third quarter.

Wentz had his third turnover of the game with just over three minutes to play in the game when he fumbled the ball away, essentially ending the Eagles' chances.

How much blame Wentz deserves for the offensive struggles is debatable, considering the play of the offensive line, but the bottom line is this — as the team struggled, Wentz missed open throws that were there to be made, made poor decisions and didn’t do anything to help his team get out of the funk they were in.

Jalen Reagor: The Eagles couldn’t have scripted the first NFL catch for Reagor, as he got behind the Washington secondary to pull in a 55-yard deep ball on 3rd-and-22. The throw by Wentz was perfect, but Reagor also did a great job tracking the ball and bringing it in over his shoulder for a big gain down the field.

Reagor’s day as the starting punt returner did not get off to the best start, as he let the ball slip through his hands on first return of the day. The Eagles recovered, but Reagor was briefly pulled as the punt returner before going back in.

Overall, Reagor certainly looked the part in his first NFL game, and the Eagles should be encouraged by what they saw.

Zach Ertz: There has been a lot of debate recently on his much tight end Zach Ertz is worth. He showed just how valuable he is to the team right away. Ertz caught the first touchdown of the game on the Eagles’ opening drive, pulling in a five-yard catch in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Then, on the next drive, Ertz caught a 3rd-and-2 pass from Wentz to extend the drive, which resulted in a field goal and a 10-0 Eagles’ lead.

The veteran had a costly drop, however, in the fourth quarter. Wentz hit Ertz in the hands over the middle on 4th-and-3, but Ertz dropped it, giving the ball back to Washington with just over four minutes to play.

One thing was pretty clear watching the Eagles operate on Sunday — they were prioritizing getting the ball to Dallas Goedert over Ertz.

Darius Slay: As expected, cornerback Darius Slay followed star Washington receiver Terry McLaurin throughout the game (outside of when the team was in zone). Slay did a good job on McLaurin to start the game, not giving up a catch in the first quarter. McLaurin did shake Slay towards the end of the second half, making a short catch and then breaking Slay’s tackle for a 21-yard gain. Slay held McLaurin in check for the most part throughout the game.

First Drive: All offseason the Eagles talked about wanting to move quicker on offense, and not have to go on lone, 12-play drives to get in the end zone. Mission accomplished on the first drive of the game. The Eagles’ initial drive took just 2 minutes and 27 seconds, lasting only four plays and ending with a 5-yard touchdown from Wentz to Ertz.

DeSean Jackson: There was a weird stretch in the beginning of the game where receiver DeSean Jackson spent a few offensive drives on the sideline. Jackson didn’t seem to be injured, and wasn’t looked at by trainers, but did not go onto the field with the first-team offense. Jackson did eventually return.

Josh Sweat: Defensive end Josh Sweat had an outstanding training camp, and that continued on Sunday when he beat Geron Christian for his first sack of the season in the third quarter. Sweat knocked the ball out of Dwayne Haskin’s hand, forcing the fumble, which Washington recovered.

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!