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Redskins Start Hot, Fade Fast in 32-27 Week 1 Loss To Eagles

Was Doug Pederson’s halftime speech that much better than Jay Gruden’s?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins held a 17-0 lead over the Eagles early in the second quarter after entering the game as 10.5-point underdogs.

From there, Philadelphia outscored Washington 32-10 despite being down 20-7 at halftime and escaped Week 1 with a 32-27 win.

The momentum shifted for good in the third quarter, as the Eagles gained 197 yards to the Redskins’ six in those pivotal 15 minutes. Boos heard early in the game turned to roars of celebration, as Philadelphia posted a pair of touchdown drives after receiving the ball to start the second half.

An Alshon Jeffery touchdown catch capped off a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive while former Eagle and Redskin DeSean Jackson caught his second deep ball score of the day in his return to Philly.

Jackson shredded the ’Skins and finished with eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Philadelphia dominated time of possession at around 34 minutes — 57 percent of the game. In 2017, the eventual-Super Bowl champion Eagles were best in the league in ball control at an average of 32 minutes and 48 seconds per game.

Veteran quarterback Case Keenum started hot in his burgundy and gold debut after arriving this offseason from the Broncos via trade. He began the game six-for-six with 109 yards and a touchdown to another veteran — 35-year-old tight end Vernon Davis.

His first eight completions went to seven different receivers, as Washington had their way on offense early on.

Keenum posted 257 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first half; he managed 123 yards the rest of the way and finished 30-of-45 passing for 380 yards and three scores.

Washington’s offensive line, seen by some as a weakness for the offense, allowed just one sack despite former Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams’ absence.

Defensively, Washington showed up in a big way in the first half but couldn’t make necessary adjustments after halftime. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s unit ran down as the game went on and allowed 437 total yards: 313 through the air and 124 on the ground. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar and linebacker Cole Holcomb led the defense with nine tackles each.

The Redskins were penalized 11 times for a loss of 91 yards compared to six times and 54 yards for Philadelphia. Despite taking the loss, Washington out-gained the Eagles on a per-play basis (6.7 to 6.2).

Washington looks to rebound in its home opener next week against the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys at 1 p.m. Starting the season 0-2 overall and in division would dampen the team’s already slim playoff hopes.