Ron Rivera’s first year in Washington is already becoming a fairy tale.
The Washington Football Team rallied with 27 unanswered points to upset the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 and win their first home opener since 2014.
Rivera, who revealed his cancer diagnosis last month, received a precautionary IV during halftime and that gave second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins the opportunity to address his team when down 17-7.
“Pretty much the moral of the speech was, ‘We’re home. We’re the home team. They’re the visitors. … This is our house,” said Haskins, who also mentioned how the Eagles rallied against them in the second half last year in Week 1.
Simply put, Rivera described it as a “ruckus” of a speech. The coach’s IV was planned all along “just to be safe.”
Haskins wasn’t exactly having a good start to his day either, but Washington took advantage of its play-making pass rush on defense. Carson Wentz was hounded by Washington’s defensive line all afternoon. The Eagles QB was sacked eight times and coughed up three game-altering turnovers that all led to Washington scores.
“There’s no reason to be little bro to them,” said Haskins about their early deficit.
With the game tied at 17, “Riverboat Ron” reared his head in the fourth quarter when Washington was faced with a decision to either take a go-ahead chip-shot field goal from the 4-yard line or go for it on fourth-and-1. Washington running back Peyton Barber got the two yards needed for a first down and proceeded to find the end zone two plays later.
“We didn’t come here to tie, we came here to win the football game,” Rivera said about going for it on fourth down.
Washington’s defense quickly ended two Eagles drives and secured the win with a timely strip-sack fumble recovery to run out the clock. The triumphant comeback was one to remember for Washington, as it was their first win within the division since Oct. 28, 2018.
In what has been a topsy-turvy NFC East the past few years, Rivera has his team already believing.
“Remember, [the Eagles are] standard now,” Rivera said ahead of the season opener. “They won the division last year. They’ve been to the playoffs and a Super Bowl, and won it.
“This is a measuring stick. You want to win your division, you’ve got to beat teams like this.”
The Washington Football Team travels to Arizona in Week 2.
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