Columnists, Sports

4th and Inches: Eagles spoil revenge and an AFC East thriller

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | DFP Staff

Eagles defense spoils Wentz’s revenge tour 

Washington Commanders’ starting quarterback Carson Wentz played against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, for the first time since his departure in 2021. The divorce between Wentz and the Eagles was anything but pretty. So when the Commanders were scheduled to play Philadelphia in Week 3 of the 2022-23 season, all eyes were on Wentz as he faced off against his former team. 

Wentz has had an inconsistent start to the season. His four touchdown performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars led the Commanders to their first win under the new moniker. Wentz threw three touchdowns the following week against the Detroit Lions, but the team failed to capture the win. 

Through the first couple of weeks, Wentz has been able to move the ball downfield, which Washington has struggled with in recent years. Yet from the first snap of Sunday’s contest, that all changed. The quarterback struggled the whole game and was not helped by his offensive line, which allowed nine sacks in the Commanders’ 24-8 loss. 

When the clock hit triple zeros, Wentz finished with 211 passing yards and no touchdowns. Jalen Hurts, who replaced Wentz as the starter in Philadelphia, ended the day with 340 passing yards and three touchdowns. 

Washington’s poor performance against Philadelphia was not entirely Wentz’s fault. The Commander’s offensive line was beat up heading into the game, which is likely the reason Philadelphia’s pass rush dominated.

However, when Wentz had enough time in the pocket to make a throw, he did not hit his targets at the rate he did the first two weeks of the season. Whether it was the high-emotions environment or simply a poor game, Wentz was unable to clip the Eagles’ wings. 

Wentz will have another opportunity to play his former team on Nov. 14 when the Commanders head to Philadelphia for a Monday night primetime matchup. However, this Eagles team has found its stride and is only getting better, making revenge a tall task.

Bills vs. Dolphins: A game to remember 

The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins have been two of the hottest teams in the NFL. When the two franchises faced each other in Week 3, they did not fail to put on a show that NFL fans will be talking about long after the final whistle. 

The first major story from the Bills-Dolphins matchup came right before halftime when Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s head slammed back on the turf after he absorbed a huge hit. When Tagovailoa stood up, or rather tried to, he started stumbling around and required the assistance of his teammates. It is a miracle there were no cartoon birds circling his helmet. 

Tagovailoa was sent to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion and was listed as questionable to return in the second half. However, when the second half began, he was back on the field to lead his team to a thrilling 21-19 victory. 

There has been speculation that the evaluation was not completed thoroughly or with integrity. After the game, the NFL announced an investigation into Tagovailoa’s evaluation during halftime and the decision to clear him for play. 

The second major story from the matchup happened with under three minutes left to play. The Bills pinned their opponent near their own goal line, forcing punter Thomas Morstead to punt the ball from his own endzone. 

The Dolphins’ Trent Sherfield got a little too close to the punter as he extended his leg to boot the ball downfield. Rather than flying to the return man, the ball flew into Sherfield’s backside, causing the ball to go out of the endzone for a safety. 

The play, now dubbed the “Butt Punt,” instantly went viral on social media. Former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, the culprit behind the infamous “Butt Fumble,” chimed in on twitter, saying, “Woah… stay out of my lane bro.” 

Fortunately for Miami, the Dolphins were able to recover and win the game a few drives later after the Bills’ offense failed to spike the ball with the clock expiring –– much to the dismay of Buffalo’s offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. 

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