Washington again starts quickly, ends slowly

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It’s not how you start, as much as it is how you finish.

That was found to again be true for the Washington Football Team Sunday, as they jumped to a 10-0 lead over the Eagles, only to again lose 20-16.

Scott Turner’s offense was balanced and was spreading the ball around in the game’s opening quarter. Taylor Heinicke had completed each of his seven passes for 97 yards, which is 13.9 yards per pass attempt. Jaret Patterson had gained 20 yards in his four attempts, including an 11-yard touchdown run, for the game’s first score. Cam Sims had two receptions and Dyami Brown, John Bates, Terry McLaurin, Adam Humphries and Ricky Seals-Jones all had one reception apiece.

Leading 16-7 at the half, Washington had achieved 16 first downs to only eight for the Eagles. They had out-rushed Philadelphia (68-47) and gained more total yards (201-161). On third downs, the defense had held the Eagles to 1-4 conversions, while Washington was 5 of 8.

Yet, the officials don’t call these games, ending them at the half; they make you go out and play the second half as well.

Though only gaining 47 yards rushing in the first half, the Eagles continued to run the ball at Washington, gaining 71 yards in the second half. When it was crunch time, the Eagles made big plays in the second half, converting 2 of 3 fourth-down attempts.

Meanwhile, Washington’s offense in the second half didn’t come through in big moments. The offensive line allowed more pressure from the Eagles, who sacked Heinicke twice for -22 yards in the decisive second half. Heinicke also had two passes deflected by defensive end Josh Sweat who finished with a big game (1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 2 passes defended, 2 QB hits, 5 tackles, 3 of which were solo).

In the second half, the Eagles had scoring drives of 75 yards in 14 plays, 33 yards in nine plays and 28 yards in 10 plays.

Washington’s second-half possessions were -5 yards in three plays, 9 yards in six plays, 30 yards in seven plays and the final 55 yards in 11 plays.

Trailing 17-16 in the final quarter, this fourth-down attempt did not go well at all.

On the final Washington offensive play, tight end John Bates was not permitted to make an attempt to catch the ball. And another scoring opportunity was lost, and this time the ball game as well.