Taylor Heinicke and the 4-5 Washington Commanders came into their Monday Night Football matchup against Jalen Hurts and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles with the expectation that they would be the proverbial lambs lined up to be slaughtered at the hands of the best team in the NFL.
While a bad Heinicke start included a fumble deep in his own territory, the fact that Washington was able to respond in such impressive fashion deserves a tip of the cap to Ron Rivera. The Eagles had just seven minutes of possession midway through the third quarter due to Scott Turner’s ground-and-pound attack.
The Commanders managed to defy the odds and help pop champagne corks in the hands of all the 1972 Miami Dolphins, ending Philly’s unbeaten run with a 32-21 victory. A Brandon Graham unnecessary roughness penalty following a hit on a kneeling Heinicke ended up sealing the deal.
While there were some Commanders who didn’t pull their weight in this game, as Hurts and the passing game managed to reel off some big plays against Jack Del Rio and that secondary, this is a cause for celebration. These three standouts played the biggest hand in finalizing the win.
3 studs as Commanders pull off an insane upset of unbeaten Eagles
3. RB Brian Robinson
Seemingly every week, the hypothetical title of best running back on the team switches between Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Turner decided to give Robinson the bulk of the workload, and he turned in another solid, gritty performance in his debut season,
While Robinson didn’t have a run that went further than 11 yards (an issue that he still needs to correct), he did churn out 86 yards rushing while plunging into the end zone. Washington wanted to chew clock to keep Hurts off the field, and Robinson helped them execute that vision.
Brian Robinson played well for the Washington Commanders.
The fact that Robinson is even on the field after what happened to him in the offseason is impressive, and playing a role in such a huge upset is even more jaw-dropping. The Eagles were without star rookie run-stopper Jordan Davis, and Robinson made them pay.
Eventually, the Commanders will need to look at Robinson’s lack of juice and figure out if he is a viable starting running back in the league. For the time being, however, his ability to keep the chains moving up the middle is going to be exploited by Turner and this coaching staff.