Eagles Survive Season Opener
The pageantry of opening day was in full force in the nation's capital. American flags waved, F-16 bomber Jets roared above the capacity crowd at Fed-Ex field. "The guys were really fired up in that locker room" Coach VaFungool added. The pre-game fireworks blasted. They couldn't match the explosion on the third play of the game. Sophomore quarterback, Carson Wentz, made an early adjustment at the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 6. "We have all the confidence in the world in Carson. When he sees something he has the trust of everyone here to make the adjustments he sees fit" coach VaFungool stated. Sending much maligned Nelson Agholor on an out route, noticing the soft coverage, Wentz delivered a strike, and Agholor took off in to the DC night. 71 yards later, the Eagles had silenced the hostile Redskin faithful, and took an early 7-0 lead. "Any time you can get an early on the road, it's huge boost." Wentz said with a grin.
After a Redskin 3 and out, one of the newest Eagles soared. After a 3rd conversion, LaGarrete Blount took a hand-off and scampered for a 35 yard score. Eagles raced to a 13-0 in the blink of an eye. "You can't let up especially on the road", coach VaFungool said. The Redskins were hurting but rallied. On thier next possession, Washington put together a nice drive, which ultimately ended in a field goal. Touch passes floated to perfect spots Kirk Cousins showed why he's been franchised tagged twice by the Skins. The Eagles had just gained a 1st down at the 2 minute warning. Then disaster struck. Wentz fired a pass to Zach Ertz which ended up being caught by the wrong Zach. Redskins LB Zach Brown stepped in front of the Wentz throw and raced to the endzone. Quicker than a Rev Run meltdown, the skins pulled within a field goal. "I saw Ertz get some separation he ran the curl, but the LB did a great job closing on it." Wentz said. 3 plays later, the unthinkable happened. Looking for Jeffrey over the middle, rookie Safety Montae Nicholson picked off Wentz and went to the distance. 5 plays in Eagle possession led to 14 Redskin points.
The Eagles scorching start had come to a screeching halt. The Redskins took back the momentum and the lead. The crowd was back in it. 17-13 at halftime, these young birds didn't hang their heads. "The guys knew we still had a half left", said coach VaFungool.
Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles took possession deep in their own end. It was a gutty working-man type drive. 5 straight runs. A 3rd down pass to the flat to Sproles, who gained extra yards by throwing a cement truck stiff arm. The 2 minute warning hit, and the Eagles had the ball at Redskin 7 yard line. Drama in DC was in full force.
On 2nd a Goal from the 6 yard line, Blount bounced outside and scored. The Eagles had the lead again. On the final Redskin drive, the Eagle defense was stiff. Only allowing 3 points all game, they stood true. "Coach Ricky is a damn good coach. He disguises his blitz packages very well. We know when we play him it's always a battle." Coach VaFungool stated. "You can't sulk or over analyze when things go awry." Wentz said.
The Eagle defense allowed just 23 rushing yards. Gridlock in DC. Blount rumbled to 89 yards and 2 scores. Wentz was 10-12. His only 2 incompletions went for pick sixes. "Any time you get a win, on the road, against a rival is huge.We made some mistakes. We will watch film and evaluate tomorrow. I thought we played well and answered the challenge. Coach VaFungool said with a slight smile.