The Philadelphia Eagles suffered their first loss of the season after falling to the Washington Commanders on Monday night.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said the team’s poor play is the reason they are no longer undefeated.
The referees missed a critical face mask call in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a turnover. But Sirianni noted that if the Eagles had played better throughout the game they would not have been in the position to rely on officials making the right calls.
“When you play the way we did tonight, and when you play the way we did in all three phases – offense, defense, special teams, coaching – when you play like that, it seems like everything is going against you,” Sirianni said.
The Eagles’ defense allowed 152 rushing yards and the offense struggled late in the game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts looked poised to bring his team back when he launched a 51-yard shot to wide receiver Quez Watkins, who hauled it in.
Watkins went to the ground after the catch, got back on his feet to run for extra yardage, but Washington Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste knocked the ball out and created a critical turnover.
“You create your own luck. And we played like crap. We didn’t do a good enough job. If it feels like things go against you, those plays, those scenarios, when you play like that, get magnified. Whether it was the right call or the wrong call. We made our own luck today, and it was bad,” Sirianni went on to say.
On what turned out to be the Commanders’ final drive of the game, pass rusher Brandon Graham was flagged for roughing the passer.
The critical play happened with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke dropped back to pass, but soon decided to give himself up and take a knee. Graham hit Heinicke while the quarterback was down.
“I’m just more sick that I let the team down in the moment,” said the defensive end, via NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The penalty gave Washington a fresh set of downs, and allowed the Commanders to take a knee a few times before punting. The Eagles got the ball back with only a few seconds remaining in the game.
Nevertheless, the Eagles remain in the top spot of the NFC East and are tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the best record in the NFL.
Philadelphia beat Minnesota in Week 2 and are in control of a possible tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed.
Although the Eagles are still in position to make a playoff run, Sirianni knows his team cannot continue to play the way they did on Monday.