Carson Wentz's 4 TDs Propel Eagles Past Kirk Cousins, Redskins on MNF

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2017

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) gestures after scrambling for yardage against the Washington Redskins during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Michael Perez/Associated Press

It's Carson Wentz's world, and the rest of the NFL is living in it.

The second-year quarterback drove the Philadelphia Eagles to a league-best 6-1 record with a 34-24 victory over Washington on Monday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are now in firm control of the NFC East, while Washington dropped to 3-3, tied for second place with the Dallas Cowboys.

Wentz already torched Washington in a season-opening win with 307 passing yards and two touchdowns and was even more effective Monday with four touchdown passes to go along with 268 passing yards.

He did more than just make plays with his arm—as his team-best 63 rushing yards can attest—and impersonated a magician in the second half with the game hanging in the balance.

Wentz escaped what appeared to be a surefire sack on 3rd-and-8 in his own territory for a 17-yard run to extend a drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. The sequence helped extend Philadelphia's lead to a commanding 31-17 after Washington climbed within one score with the first of two touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed.

It wasn't the only magic from the North Dakota State product. His touchdown pass to Corey Clement on the first possession of the second half involved more of his Houdini act under duress:

Philadelphia's defense allowed 303 passing yards and three scores from Cousins, but a critical interception from Corey Graham set up Jake Elliott's second field goal and clinched the intra-division win.

The Eagles made plenty of clutch plays down the stretch, but they seized control in the final four minutes of the first half after Washington dominated the early proceedings.

After completing just three of his first eight passes, Wentz hit a streaking Mack Hollins for a 64-yard score to draw even after the ensuing extra point. It helped overcome Philadelphia's seven first-half penalties, a Quinton Dunbar interception and Cousins' early touchdown pass to a wide open Chris Thompson in the flat.

Those weren't Philly's only concerns, as the Eagles announced linebacker Jordan Hicks was out after suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter.

Even without Hicks, Philadelphia's defense gave its quarterback the ball right back with a three-and-out after the Hollins score, and two completions to Zach Ertz—one for 46 yards and one for a touchdown—in the span of 90 seconds put the home team ahead for good.

Ertz served as Wentz's most reliable target Monday. He finished with a team-high 89 receiving yards on five catches. He was the only pass-catcher for either side to even reach the 70-yard plateau, as the two quarterbacks spread the ball and completed passes to a combined 17 receivers. 

The second half wasn't a seamless march to victory for the Eagles. They announced left tackle Jason Peters—a nine-time Pro Bowler—was out with a knee injury after he was carted off in what Ian Rapoport of called a "horrific" scene.

Ben Fennell of NFL Network reacted to the setback:

Even without Peters, the Eagles will likely continue their 2017 domination Sunday when they play the winless San Francisco 49ers. Washington faces a stiffer challenge with another NFC East showdown, this time against the Cowboys.