The Philadelphia Eagles lost their first game of the 2022 NFL season Monday night, falling 32-21 to the Washington Commanders. It was a game where the NFC’s top team was undone by its own mistakes — with an assist from some questionable officiating in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles committed four costly turnovers in Week 10, leaving just enough room for Taylor Heinicke and a run-heavy Washington offense to steal a win on the road. Three of these were fourth quarter fumbles that ultimately doomed Philadelphia’s quest for an undefeated season.
The first was an egregious blown call that may have altered the course of the game. Referees missed a late facemask against tight end Dallas Goedert that preceded a fumble and ended a budding drive in Philly territory.
Not sure how the refs missed the facemask. Washington got away with one here pic.twitter.com/2QR52pBT4B
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 15, 2022
Three plays later, Joey Slye kicked a 55-yard field goal that extended Washington’s lead to 26-21. The score stayed there with 1:45 left to play and the Eagles sitting on their final timeout. Then, with the Commanders facing third-and-long and Philadelphia in position to get the ball back for a possible game winning drive, Heinicke gave himself up in the backfield for what should have set up fourth down.
Except Brandon Graham, a Philadelphia veteran and defensive captain, couldn’t slow him momentum and crashed into a downed Heinicke, drawing a flag for unnecessary roughness and gifting Washington a first down.
i've never seen anyone happier to be hit late than Taylor Heinicke pic.twitter.com/cBcTEPG2Se
— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) November 15, 2022
From there, the Commanders ran the ball once, kneeled twice and punted the ball away with seconds left on the clock. The Eagles last-ditch lateral play ended in a Washington fumble recovery in the end zone and a Commanders team that came into the game as an 11-point underdog wound up winning by the same amount.
It was a finish that left a bitter taste in the mouths of of NFL fans outside the D.C. area.