Stuffing the run: Even without two of their three starting linebackers, the Eagles continued to be strong against the run. Red-hot Mychal Kendricks missed the game with a hamstring injury and Jordan Hicks injured his ankle on the third play of the game. But the defense held the Redskins to 3.0 yards per carry in the first half. Jay Gruden had so little faith in his offense’s ability to run the ball against the Eagles that he called pass plays on three third downs of two yards or less in the first half. The Redskins failed to convert any of them.
Ertz keeps producing: Tight end Zach Ertz entered Week 7 with 34 catches, 20 first downs and four touchdowns. Carson Wentz didn’t target him until late in the first half when the two connected on a 46-yard completion. Then Ertz scored his fifth TD, and fifth in the red zone, on a four-yard pass with 22 seconds left in the half to give the Eagles a 17-10 lead.
Rookies to the rescue: Rookies Mack Hollins and Corey Clement notched their first NFL touchdown catches. Hollins, a fourth-round pick who came into the game with just five catches, caught a 64-yard scoring pass from Carson Wentz late in the first half that tied the game at 10. Clement, an undrafted free agent, made an impressive catch for a nine-yard touchdown against linebacker Zach Brown early in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a 24-10 lead at the time. He also had a six-yard run on a third-and-six early in the fourth quarter that kept a touchdown drive alive.
Huge losses: Hicks’ ankle injury appears to be fairly significant. Certainly won’t play this week against San Francisco and probably will miss multiple games. Then, on the second play of the third quarter, Redskins defensive lineman Ziggy Hood fell into Jason Peters’ right knee. The 35-year-old nine-time All Pro left tackle had to be taken off the field on a cart. His injury likely is season-ending. Second-year man Halapoulivaati Vaitai replaced him and did a good job. But he’s not Peters. He will be missed going forward.
The running quarterback: Carson Wentz wants to be known as a thrower not a runner. Threw four touchdown passes Monday night, giving him 11 in the last three games. But he also had a career-high five rushing first downs against the Redskins, including an unbelievable 17-yard run on a third-and-eight in which he appeared to be sacked, then emerged from a pile of bodies and sprinted up the middle for a first down. Six plays later, he threw a 10-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor.