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How the Commanders ruined Eagles’ perfect season, plus previewing tonight’s big college basketball games

How the Commanders ruined Eagles' perfect season, plus previewing tonight's big college basketball games


Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Pop the champagne, 1972 Dolphins. Your status as the only undefeated team in NFL history will last at least another year. The Commanders went to Philadelphia last night and topped the previously unbeaten Eagles, 32-21, in controversial and stunning fashion.

  • The Commanders rushed 49 times for 152 yards, with both Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson scoring touchdowns. It was Washington’s most rushing attempts in a game since 2002.
  • The Washington defense was terrific, holding the Eagles to a season-low 264 yards and forcing four turnovers.
  • Washington held the ball for a ridiculous 40:24. The Commanders ran 81 plays; the Eagles ran 47.
  • Washington also went 12 of 21 on 3rd downs and converted its only 4th down.
  • As 11-point underdogs, the Commanders pulled off their biggest upset since 1995.

There was plenty of controversy to go around, too. The Commanders’ third turnover forced — a fumble by Dallas Goedert recovered by Jamin Davis — showed a clear facemask by Davis just before the ball came loose. Then, late in the game, Taylor Heinicke took a knee to run down the clock, but Brandon Graham crashed into him, drawing a personal foul penalty that essentially sealed the game. There was also a questionable-at-best offensive pass interference called on the Commanders. Let’s just say it wasn’t the best refereeing ever.

But give Washington a ton of credit. They had a game plan to control the game on the ground. When they had to go to the air, Terry McLaurin came up big with eight catches for 128 yards. Joey Slye nailed four field goals, including two from 55-plus. The defense limited Hurts’ rushing with a disciplined effort by the defensive line. Basically, exactly what our Tom Fornelli wrote would happen in Monday afternoon’s newsletter.

Washington has sneakily won four of five after starting 1-4. It’s rarely pretty, but it was absolutely effective — and shocking — on Monday night. Taylor Heinicke has things trending in the right direction, yes, but the entire team has stepped up around him as well, and it brought head coach Ron Riveran — who just lost his mother — to tears after the game. The Commanders earned an A+ in our weekly grades.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…


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