PHILADELPHIA − The Eagles were in for a struggle even after getting a key turnover early in the game that gave them an early lead.
But Washington kept to its game plan of running the ball, and Taylor Heinicke, in his fourth game replacing injured and former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, found open receivers.
And the Eagles trailed for the first time at halftime this season as Washington held a 20-14 lead at the break.
The Commanders dominated the line of scrimmage, holding the ball for 23:49 in the first half, compared to just 6:11 for the Eagles.
The Eagles need a victory to tie a franchise record with 9 straight wins, last set during the Super Bowl season in 2017. The Eagles also did it in 1960 and 2003.
They also needed a win to stay in front of Minnesota in the NFC standings after the Vikings improved to 8-1. The Eagles do hold the tiebreaker, however, after beating the Vikings in Week 2. The Eagles also wanted to stay two games in front of the Giants (7-2) in the NFC East.
Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin had a big first half, with 6 catches for 76 yards, as did Brian Robinson, who ran 16 times for 60 yards.
The Eagles, meanwhile, only had 4 rushes on offense. Still, they got an early turnover from Josh Sweat, who strip-sacked Heinicke, to give the Eagles the ball at Washington’s 19. The Eagles needed just three plays to score as Jalen Hurts snuck the ball in from the 1.
But Washington came right back with a 13-play drive that used up 7 minutes, 21 seconds, culminating in Antonio Gibson’s 1-yard run.
The Eagles then quickly marched down the field, with Hurts’ 6-yard jump pass to Dallas Goedert giving the Eagles a 14-7 lead.
But the Eagles couldn’t stop the Commanders, clearly missing defensive tackle Jordan Davis. The Commanders moved closer with a field goal after holding the ball for 6:30. Then Hurts was intercepted when throwing deep to A.J. Brown with 8:43 left in the half.
The Commanders took over at their 14, and used up another 7:04 before scoring to go ahead 17-14 with 1:39 left. The Eagles then went 3-and-out before Washington ended the half with Joey Slye’s 58-yard field goal.
Sweat helped the Eagles get on the board first with his strip sack of Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
But really, Sweat’s play made up for a roughing the kicker call when Washington was punting from near its goal line. Reed Blankenship was called for the penalty, giving the Commanders a first down at their 28. On the next play, Sweat sacked Heinicke, forcing a fumble recovered by Marlon Tuipulotu at Washington’s 19.
Sweat had a tackle for loss before leaving the game early in the second quarter with a leg injury. Sweat returned late in the second half.
Before the game, the Eagles placed nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Maddox suffered the injury against the Houston Texans on Nov. 3 while covering on a Houston Texans punt return.
By going on IR, Maddox will have to miss at least four games. That makes him eligible to return Dec. 11 against the Giants. The Eagles didn’t fill his roster spot before the game, but did elevate rookie Mario Goodrich from the practice squad for the game.
Josiah Scott started in Maddox’s place against Washington.
The Eagles also have defensive tackle Jordan Davis on IR recently. He’s eligible to return Dec. 4.
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.