The Washington Commanders shocked the NFL world Monday night with a 32-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in prime time.
The Commanders went into Philadelphia on Monday night with a plan of running the football and keeping the Eagles’ high-flying offense off the field. The plan worked, as Washington dominated the time of possession, holding the 40 minutes of actual game time.
Washington’s defense frustrated the Eagles, forcing four turnovers and holding Philly to just 264 total yards.
For the Commanders, it was a total team effort. Instead of focusing on studs and duds this week, we look at some of Washington’s top performers from its win over Philadelphia.
QB Taylor Heinicke
Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Washington Commanders celebrates after an unnecessary roughness penalty was called against the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Heinicke’s numbers won’t blow you away. They never do. Outside of one interception, Heinicke had a strong game. He managed the game effectively, made good decisions with the football and was lights out on third down. He talked last week about the Commanders needing to be better on third downs.
One play that really stands out is in the third quarter when center Tyler Larsen snapped the ball over Heinicke’s head. It was set to be a big loss as multiple Eagles were in pursuit. Heinicke picks the ball up, gathers himself and throws the ball out of bounds to the line of scrimmage. That was a game-changing play right there. He was out of the pocket and made sure the ball got back to the line of scrimmage to avoid an intentional grounding call.
RBs Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr.
Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. (8) celebrates his touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Much like Heinicke, Washington running backs Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. played massive roles in the win. Although their individual numbers will not show it, Gibson and Robinson controlled much of the game. The pair combined to run for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 40 attempts. It was a workmanlike effort from Washington’s backs, which is what it took for this specific game plan.
WR Terry McLaurin
Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) is pushed out of bounds by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Terry McLaurin was the best wide receiver on the field Monday. Heck, he may have been the best player on the field Monday night. McLaurin worked Philadelphia’s secondary, specifically cornerback Darius Slay. McLaurin finished with eight receptions for 128 yards. He made plays in the short, intermediate and deep passing game. The Eagles knew McLaurin was getting the football and still couldn’t stop him. On the pass in which Heinicke was intercepted, McLaurin had the coverage beat, but he had to wait on the ball.
K Joey Slye
Joey Slye #6 of the Washington Commanders kicks a field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Kicker Joey Slye had a game for the ages Monday night. Slye was successful on all four of his field-goal attempts, including a 58-yarder before halftime. Slye also converted on a 55-yarder in the fourth quarter. The Commanders don’t win this game without Slye’s big kicks.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera walks off the field after win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The coaching staff gets criticized a lot, and rightfully so in many cases. However, on Monday night, the entire staff deserves credit for that big win. Head coach Ron Rivera had his team prepared. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner called a terrific game, while Jack Del Rio’s unit followed Turner’s script. The goal going in was to keep Philly’s offense off the field, which Washington did for 40 minutes.