Washington 27 — Philadelphia 17
LANDOVER (AP) — The Washington Football Team played like a group of guys determined to make a name for themselves.
Peyton Barber ran for two touchdowns and Dwayne Haskins rallied Washington from a 17-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 Sunday 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.
STATS AND STUFF
Wentz threw his first interceptions in 191 attempts, going back to last Dec. 1. ... Eagles rookie WR Jalen Reagor made a 55-yard, over-the-shoulder catch for his first career reception on third-and-22... Eagles DT T.Y. McGill shared a sack with Vinny Curry. His last sack came in 2016 with the Colts. ... Kerrigan set a franchise record with his 92nd career sack, passing Dexter Manley.
Both teams lined up on the field and locked arms in a sign of unity about 30 minutes before kickoff while Alicia Keyes performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in a video designed to address racial inequality.
The Eagles left the field afterward while Washington players went to the sideline and took a knee for a moment of silence.
The Eagles were not on the field for “The Star-Spangled Banner” while Washington players stood on the sideline. A few players raised their fists.
Eagles: Johnson (ankle), RB Miles Sanders (hamstring) DE Derek Barnett (hamstring) and DT Javon Hargrave (pectoral, hamstring) were among the inactive starters. ... Curry (hamstring) left in the fourth quarter. ... DE Brandon Graham was evaluated for a head injury. ... Driscoll left in the fourth quarter.
Washington: LB Cole Holcomb (knee) left in the second quarter before returning in the second half.
The Eagles host the Los Angeles Rams and Washington visits Arizona.
Packers 43, Vikings 34
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Rodgers took full advantage of the young cornerbacks and the empty stadium in Minnesota, beginning his 13th season as Green Bay’s starting quarterback by passing for 364 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Packers.
Davante Adams was predictably the biggest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard each reached the end zone, too, as Green Bay had its way with a Minnesota defense renovated this year out of salary-cap necessity as hefty new contracts were given to quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook.
Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who posted their highest score against the Vikings since a 44-31 victory at the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013.
Cook rushed 12 times for 50 yards, two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions. Adam Thielen caught six passes for 110 yards, two scores and another 2-pointer, but Cousins underthrew him in the final minute of the first half. Jaire Alexander, who also recorded a safety on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception.
Then Rodgers hit Valdes-Scantling on a fade route up the right sideline with rookie Cameron Dantzler in position but too late to turn for the ball, a 45-yard touchdown that gave Green Bay a 22-7 lead with 11 seconds left in the first half.
Surprised by his team’s decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the first round, the 36-year-old Rodgers made it clear he’s nowhere close to being done. He completed 32 of 44 passes, and several incompletions were throwaways when nobody was open.
Mike Hughes and Holton Hill were the top two cornerbacks for Minnesota, with the third-round draft pick Dantzler seeing plenty of action in a trio all age 23 or younger. Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander all departed during the offseason, leaving coach Mike Zimmer with a tall task this year.
Seattle 38, Falcons 25
ATLANTA (AP) — Russell Wilson was cooking right from the start, throwing four touchdown passes to lead Seattle over Atlanta.
With the Falcons not allowing fans for at least their first two homes games because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Seahawks took advantage of what was essentially a neutral site to pull away in the second half.
Seattle heeded the pleas of its fans to “Let Russ Cook” — essentially a call to open up the offense in the first half rather than relying on Wilson to keep leading dramatic comebacks.
He completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards, throwing a pair of TD passes in the first quarter as Seattle built a 14-12 halftime lead and adding two more in the third quarter to put the Falcons away.
The biggest one of all came after the Falcons made what looked to be a crucial stop, leaving the Seahawks with fourth-and-5 at the Atlanta 38. The offense stayed on the field, but instead of going for the first down with a short throw, Wilson lofted one to DK Metcalf, who was streaking toward the end zone.
Metcalf beat cornerback Isaiah Oliver and hauled in the perfectly thrown ball without breaking stride to push Seattle to a 21-12 lead.
On the ensuing possession, Atlanta attempted a fake punt on fourth-and-2 from its own 33. Blocking back Sharrod Neasman took a direct snap and had enough for the first down on a run up the middle, only to fumble the ball. It was recovered by Seattle’s Freddie Swain at the 36.
Five plays later, Wilson zipped his fourth TD pass of the game, a 7-yarder to new tight end Greg Olsen. The 35-year-old was let go after spending the last nine years at Carolina, where he faced the Falcons twice a season.
Wilson hooked up with running back Chris Carson on his first two scoring passes.
A 3-yard TD toss was set up by a 41-yard pass interference penalty against Ricardo Allen that erased a third-and-23 hole. After the Falcons were stopped on a fourth-and-3 play from their own 40, Wilson went to Carson again for a 19-yard score.
The Falcons outgained the Seahawks 506 yards to 383, with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage all collecting more than 100 receiving yards. But Atlanta came up short all four times it tried to convert on fourth down.
It was not a promising start to a make-or-break year for Falcons coach Dan Qunn, who kept his job despite back-to-back losing seasons. He likely must lead Atlanta to the playoffs to return in 2021.
The only bright spot for Atlanta was Matt Ryan going past John Elway for ninth on the NFL career passing yardage list. Matty Ice was 37 of 54 for 450 yards and a touchdown, the second-highest yardage total of his career.