By Devon Givens
After two games of registering just four total sacks, the Philadelphia Eagles finally got to the opposing signal caller in a big way. They sacked Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz a season-high nine times in Sunday’s 24-8 victory at FedEx Field. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon had his group ready to play right from the start with a dominant performance. Josh Sweat and Fletcher Cox combined for a sack on the opening drive to get the visitors off the field on third down. And that was just the start of things to come. The Eagles fed off the early success and continued to meet at the QB for six first-half sacks.
Veteran defensive end Brandon Graham led the way for the Birds with 2 ½ sacks. Sweat, Cox, and Haason Reddick racked up 1 ½ each. Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards finished with one sack apiece.
Wentz had a tough time in his first meeting against his former team. He finished the day, 25 of 43 for 211 yards, fumbling the football twice, and losing one. The Commanders new quarterback displayed a number of old all too familiar tendencies that frustrated Eagles fans. From holding onto the ball too long, missed targets on seemingly simple throws and so many other head-scratching plays that is now Washington’s to monitor.
Gannon has been under fire for his defensive game plans through his first 20 games as DC. But his defense has been strong over their last two times out against high-scoring offenses. Philadelphia has held the last two opponents (Minnesota and Washington) to a total of 15 points in victories. Philadelphia’s defense held Washington scoreless on their first 11 possessions.
If the Birds can keep this type of defensive play up, matching their own high-powered offense – Philadelphia will be a tough team to deal with on a weekly basis.