PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — DeVonta Smith caught eight passes from Jalen Hurts for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown, Carson Wentz flopped in his first game against the team that drafted him, and the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Washington Commanders 24-8 on Sunday to remain undefeated.
Smith made acrobatic catches along the touchline and to the edge of the end zone for respective gains of 45 and 44 yards, and caught a fourth-place TD pass to end the first half with no time on the clock. The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama surpassed his previous professional high for yards he received before halftime.
His 156 yards was the most by an Eagles player in a half since Kevin Curtis in 2007. And Smith was just part of another clinical offensive performance from Philadelphia (3-0).
Hurts was 22 of 35 for 340 yards and three touchdown passes, one each to Smith, AJ Brown and Dallas Goedert. After a three-TD game with two on the floor, Hurts continued to show that he could get the job done with his throwing arm and legs.
The quarterback he replaced as the Eagles’ starter was completely ineffective and was fired nine times. Wentz, the second pick in the 2016 draft for Philadelphia on his third team in three years, was 25 of 43 for 211 yards with two fumbles — one lost, setting up Goedert’s 22-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
All but 24 yards from Wentz came in the second half, long after the score was decided.
Washington (1-2) had just 50 yards at halftime and the defense wasn’t much better. The troubling trend of abandoning long-range games only got worse after a loss in Detroit.
JUST BE GREEN
After Smith reached the Washington 1-yard line, Brown and other teammates demanded noise from the crowd, and they got plenty of it throughout the game. The Eagles fans outnumbered the Commanders, with almost the entire touchline behind the visiting benches covered in midnight green.
The stadium at times sounded more like it was in South Philly than near the Washington bypass. “EAGLE, eagle!” Chants filled the air, and the commanders even had a false start penalty that could be attributed to the crowd in their home building.
The Eagles had six sacks in the first half alone. Among the nine for the game, Brandon Graham led Philadelphia with 2 while Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat each had a sack and a half.
Book a few of those sacks of guard failures combined with a smart game plan from defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Others happened when Wentz held the ball too long.
NO CATCH CHALLENGE
Smith’s longest catch of the day might not have been a finish at all. He caught the ball on the right touchline, although it wasn’t clear if he had both feet in bounds.
The Eagles grabbed the ball for the next game before Washington coach Ron Rivera could challenge. Rivera was heated and insisted he throw his red challenge flag. Referee Ronal Torbert announced that Rivera threw the flag after the snap.
Eagles: Reddick and Goedert each went away briefly but returned. … LG Landon Dickerson played after being ruled questionable with a foot injury.
Commanders: S Kamren Curl was injured in the fourth quarter. … CB William Jackson (back), DE James Smith-Williams (abdominal), DE Casey Toohill (concussion) and DT Daniel Wise (ankle) were all inactive. Jackson wasn’t added to the injury report until Saturday, and the absence of a starter who played 97% of defensive snaps in two games forced Rachad Wildgoose to regular duty.
Eagles: host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.
Commanders: Visit the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.
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