Gross – 26 Immediate Takeaways from Commanders 32, Eagles 21

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was brutal. Not only did the Birds lose, but that fourth quarter was a comedy of errors all around. They had three chances to win it, and this is what happened:

  1.  fumble on a facemask that wasn’t called
  2.  fumble on a deep bomb that was caught, with Quez Watkins getting up and getting stripped
  3.  three and out followed by punter penalty that killed the two-minute warning stoppage

And the cherry on top was the fugazi call on Brandon Graham at the end there. The zebras didn’t cover themselves in glory on Monday night either.

You’d almost rather just lose 35-0 instead of going through that fourth quarter, and even before that the defense didn’t show up ready to play. Nobody realistically should have expected the Birds to go 17-0, but losing at home in prime time to the Commanders remains unacceptable. I guess it’s a big game for all of the miserabs who were waiting for a loss in order to deliver some version of “I told you so.”


1) Josiah Scott filled in for Avonte Maddox, who went on IR a few hours before the game. He was credited with a PBU to force a punt after the first drive, though I’m not sure he knew much about it. He had his back turned but did a nice job staying with Curtis Samuel and getting his body in the way. Scott didn’t commit any killer mistakes that I noticed.

2) Atrocious penalty on Reed Blankenship. Roughing the punter? How often do you even see that? Special teams has been less than impressive over nine games and Michael Clay might not be long for this world.

3) Luckily for Blankenship, the Eagles came back on the very next play with a strip sack and ironically ended up with better field position than they would have had with the punt.

4) We got the ubiquitous cheesesteak mention, coming out of the second commercial break. The Rocky mention happened in the second quarter. How original and creative!

5) They haven’t gotten away from the three DT front despite the absence of Jordan Davis. If you watched a lot of those early down defensive snaps, they just put Marlon Tuipulotu in the middle and configured their bear front that way. Didn’t seem to make much of a difference though, because they were getting gashed on the ground.

6) 13 plays and 75 yards on that first Washington scoring drive was uber gross. It ate up more than seven minutes of clock, with three third down conversions that killed the Eagles. They converted 3rd and 2, 3rd and 1, and 3rd and 4, hitting a couple of big passing plays and doing well enough on the ground to keep the chains moving.

7) The 3rd and 10 screen pass which moved the sticks on the second drive was beautiful. They beat a corner blitz and got more bodies out into space. That’s the perfect example right there of just having the right play to beat the defensive call:

8) I don’t know about that DPI on Benjamin St-Juste. They were both hand fighting, but he came back a second time with the right arm, and so that’s probably why the refs decided to throw the flag instead of letting it go.

9) The Birds run a college offense, right? This one was right out of the Tim Tebow Florida playbook:

If you think about it, this can be placed in “option” family of plays, or at least the “read a defender” category. Hurts has to sell that run well enough to hold the linebacker in place, then he jumps and throws at the right moment, so the timing is super important there.

10) Pretty awesome that Brian Robinson was out there on the field playing after what he’s been through. I mean the dude was shot twice and now he’s back on the football field.

11) Big Play Slay didn’t have a great game. Wasn’t even close to a guy on 3-4 first half plays and had a bad penalty as well. He looked really out of it on those zone calls, which was the story of his first season here. He’s a better man corner, much better than in zone. Just let the guy cover 1v1 and do his thing.

12) The Commies 4th and 1 delay of game was just brutal. Credit to the Eagles for making the third down stop, but Taylor Heinicke just totally fuckin blew it on that one. Could have been the difference between 7 and 3 there.

13) I don’t even have a problem with Jalen Hurts throwing into double coverage on that first interception. He did it 3-4 times in the Steelers game with great results, so it’s always going to be high risk/high reward in those situations. In that case, A.J. Brown had the ball hit him in the hands, but he just couldn’t haul it in.

14) That little rat Heinicke somehow got the ball back to the line of the scrimmage after the high snap. Great play by him. Bastard.

15) You know the saying, “you are what you eat?” Well I am now Tostitos Cheesey Enchilada dip.

16) The second Washington TD drive was even more gross than the first. Grosser? Grossest? 16 plays, 86 yards, seven more minutes off the clock, three third down conversions, and a 4th and 1 conversion. That’s what we call bending and then you also break.

17) The 3 and out to open the third quarter was a killer. Put the defense right back out on the field just so we could watch the Commander’s offense go on another long drive, saved only by a 3rd down sack in the red zone after their dipshit offensive coordinator decided for some reason to throw the ball on back-to-back plays.

18) Miles Teller was at the game. Enough of this guy. He’s been at every sporting event for the last four weeks. He was at Angelo’s pizza. He went to UFC 281. I’d rather have Drake at the games. Miles Teller has jumped the shark.

19) New rule: you can’t say that a sports team needs to make second half adjustments if you can’t be specific about what those adjustments are. Should they play more zone? More man? Blitz more? Tell me about the actual adjustment that you would make.

20) The late hit penalty on CJGJ was lame as hell. You could hear the boos in the stadium when they showed the replay, and even the in-house ref on the broadcast immediately said it was a shit call. The only explanation I can think of was that maybe they saw a lowering of the helmet and flagged him for that. Even then, it should have come with elaboration when the call was made on the field.

21) It’s such bullshit that there’s no way to call the Dallas Goedert facemask DESPITE going to review to check the placement of the ball on the fumble. There’s gotta be a better way to do this in the rulebook, because a clear and obvious miss shouldn’t be allowed to stand like that. The Eagles had the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to drive and take the lead, and instead, they had to fend off Washington after a fugazi turnover in their own end.

22) You could make a case that the Eagles should have taken that Washington penalty prior to the 55 yard field goal. Could go either way with the thought process. That kick just barely went over the bar.

23) Say what you will about the defense, but they gave the offense three chances to put together a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, and the O couldn’t get it done.

24) Landon Dickerson with a penalty and whiff in the fourth quarter.

25) The Arryn Siposs penalty was particularly atrocious because it killed the two-minute warning and they lost another time stoppage. After the flag, they should have told home boy to angle the ball out of bounds to get the play dead with 2:01 on the clock, and they didn’t do that.

26) Whatever with this play here. Brandon Graham has to try to slow himself, yes, but it was a weird, abrupt kneel, and he’s trying to pull up as he touches the quarterback:

I hate these plays. Worst thing about the NFL these days. It’s a high-speed guy and these are bang-bang plays.

Anyway, whatever. More in the morning.