The Eagles overwhelm the Commanders, demonstrating that they are the class of the NFC owing to their high-powered attack.
The Philadelphia Eagles were the favourites to win the NFC East heading into the 2022 season.
Nobody who seen their first three games would argue with such predictions.
The issue now is, how high is this team's ceiling after a 3-0 start?
On Sunday, the Eagles defeated the Washington Commanders 24-8, transforming FedEx Field into "The Linc" South, with the lower bowl nearly entirely filled with Philadelphia green and black.
"All it means is that it's a good beginning." "According to head coach Nick Sirianni. "Every week, we deliver the same message. 'Return to work.' Enjoy this evening... we liken it to a 17-round heavyweight boxing battle."
The Eagles cruised through the second half thanks to a strong second quarter in which they scored all 24 points. They had 322 total yards at halftime opposed to the Commanders' 50. They have minimal flaws.
The Washington Commanders try to stop Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) from passing the ball on Sunday. Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports
(Jalen) This hurts so much.
Jalen Hurts had another productive game, going 22-for-35 for 340 yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line let the second-year starter to feel comfortable in the pocket, and Hurts, who led the league in total yards entering Sunday, started picking apart the Washington defense for big plays in the second quarter.
Sunday, Hurts didn't do much with his legs (nine carries, 20 yards). The possibility of his running gives every play a run-pass option, Commanders coach Ron Rivera stated earlier this week. While the Commanders were able to contain the Philadelphia rushing onslaught, they were unable to stop Hurts' arm.
Hurts connected with receiver Devonta Smith on the right sideline for a 45-yard gain in the second quarter, the first highlight-reel play from the Alabama Crimson Tide combination. Hurts pushed his squad to the line and snapped the ball before Rivera could toss the challenge flag; Smith never placed a second foot down in-bounds.
Later in the fourth, Hurts and Smith connected for a 44-yard gain on a deep pass, putting the Eagles on the brink of victory in the waning seconds of the first half, with the Eagles leading by 17. They were out of timeouts. Hurts stated that he wanted to score before the half, and fourth down arrived. He called a play that wasn't in the game plan this week but was something the Eagles practiced frequently. Hurts sent it up to Smith, who ascended once more and came down with the touchdown.
"It's our ball," Smith added, referring to Jalen's faith in his receivers.
Sirianni appreciated the Eagles' trust in him on Sunday. It was successful.
"Did he play his butt off again?" Sirianni explained.
Hurts showed touch on those long balls to Smith, and Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen are arming him with all the weapons he needs to make the correct reads. Hurts could not have achieved this level of accomplishment without the use of weaponry. And he has two of the top wide receivers in the NFL right now.
WR duo on fire
Smith's rise as a second-year wideout and Heisman Trophy winner would be beneficial to any offense. The Eagles had all the makings of an outstanding wideout combination after trading for and extending another explosive receiver, A.J. Brown.
Smith (eight receptions, 169 yards) was likely the best player on the field Sunday, making at least three challenging catches. His third, a 2-yard score as time expired, put an exclamation point on the first half.
"He was getting his way," Brown explained. "He's free to do anything he wants."
"It gives you so much offensive momentum." When you go up and make a big catch like that, it gives everyone enthusiasm and momentum."
Brown caught five passes for 85 yards and a score. Brown's touchdown came on a play that Hurts modified at the line of scrimmage, and he utilized his physicality to get separation and then power over the goal line.
Brown made his presence in Philadelphia known right away with a strong Week 1 performance (10 catches, 155 yards). Smith didn't catch anything that day, but he's made up for it in the previous two weeks.
Pass rush defense
Eagles center Jason Kelce displayed a piece of memorabilia he got after the game: a No. 11 Commanders jersey worn by former teammate quarterback Carson Wentz.
The jersey was covered with green patches. Wentz's former team did him no favors on Sunday.
"We were having a good time," defensive end Brandon Graham said.
The Eagles sacked him nine times, including six in the first half. Wentz had 24 yards throwing after 30 minutes. The Commanders' lone goal came with 1:55 remaining with the game already won.
The Philadelphia defense has recovered after being outscored by 35 points by the Lions in Week 1, putting up strong performances against the Minnesota Vikings and Commanders in back-to-back weeks.