By the Associated Press
Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns and Dwayne Haskins rallied the Washington Football Team from a 17-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 in coach Ron Rivera’s debut.
After falling behind 17-0 following a pair of touchdown passes by Carson Wentz, Washington relied on a punishing defense and opportunistic offense in its first game since owner Dan Snyder finally agreed to change the team’s name and former employees alleged sexual harassment.
Rivera lived up to his “Riverboat Ron” nickname earned in nine seasons with Carolina. In his first game after finding out he has a form of skin cancer, Rivera went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 5 with the score tied midway through the fourth quarter.
Barber ran for the first down and then scored from the 3 to give Washington a 24-17 lead.
Zach Ertz dropped a pass on fourth-and-3 from the Eagles 42 on the ensuing drive and Dustin Hopkins kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 27-17.
Wentz was sacked eight times and threw two costly interceptions behind an injury-depleted offense line featuring two guys — right tackle Jack Driscoll and right guard Nate Herbig — starting their first career games.
Wentz’s pass for Jalen Reagor late in the second quarter was underthrown and picked by Fabian Moreau at the Philadelphia 45. Haskins then connected on four straight passes after starting 3 of 12. He hit Logan Thomas for a 6-yard TD toss to cut the deficit to 17-7.
Then, Jimmy Moreland stepped in front of Wentz’s pass to John Hightower and returned it 32 yards to the Eagles 20. Barber needed two tries from the 1 before running in for a score that cut it to 17-14.
After Washington’s fifth sack pushed Philadelphia back, Jake Elliott was short on a 53-yard field goal.
The Eagles went for it on a fourth-and-4 from the Washington 45, but Jon Bostic sacked Wentz on a blitz up the middle. That turned into a 38-yard field goal by Hopkins that tied it at 17 early in the fourth quarter.
Washington’s defensive line had its way against Philadelphia’s depleted line, missing three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson and three-time Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks. Ryan Kerrigan led the way with two sacks and No. 2 overall pick Chase Young got one.
Wentz threw a 6-yard TD pass to Ertz and a perfect 34-yard toss to Dallas Goedert in the first half.