A tale of two halves!
Love that cliche. It’s the perfect way to describe what we saw on Sunday afternoon, when the Eagles’ defense allowed 20 points and touchdown passes of 48 and 69 yards before forcing three straight punts to begin the second half. Only a garbage time touchdown tarnished an otherwise dominant third and fourth quarter.
Going through the post game quotes, Eagles players and coaches didn’t have much to say about what changed at the half. There didn’t seem to be any sort of rah-rah speech or key adjustment or anything of the like.
Said Doug Pederson:
What changed in the second half?
DOUG PEDERSON: I don’t think much of anything. We just kind of settled into the game. Made a few adjustments at halftime, but there were some plays to be made in the first half. We just didn’t make them, offensively. Defense, we didn’t get off the field on third down in the first half, but we got off the field on third down in the second half. And then conversely, we stayed on the field and made some plays on third down. So just a matter of staying patient, trusting the game plan and the guys executed well in the second half.
Malcolm Jenkins, who finished with three tackles and played 100% of the snaps, said the boos hit home:
“We deserved all the boos. We heard them. When you play well, these fans will be with you every step of the way, and they’ll love you. But if you deserve the boos, you’ll hear them. That’s one of the reasons I love playing here.”
File that quote away for the next time we have the “is booing warranted?” discussion on sports radio or this website.
Sunday’s first half/second half disparity is probably still fresh in your mind, but visualizing it this way helps show just how skewed the quarters were:
Touchdown, field goal, touchdown, punt, punt, field goal. Washington needed only nine plays to go 151 yards on their pair of passing scores.
In the second half then, it looked like this:
Punt, punt, punt, garbage time prevent defense touchdown.
Washington opened the second half with three drives that went for five yards in 10 plays. Doesn’t get much better than that for Malcolm Jenkins and the Eagles’ defense.