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3 Quick Hits From Washington's First Half Against The Eagles

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Quarterback Alex Smith hands the ball off to running back Antonio Gibson during the Washington Football Team's game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 3, 2020. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

The Washington Football Team leads the Philadelphia Eagles, 17-10, at halftime. Here are three quick hits from the first two quarters.

1. Washington Finally Scores On Opening Possession

Washington had an opportunity to make NFL history Sunday night as the only team to go scoreless on its opening drive for the entire season.

Yet in by far its biggest game of the season, Washington was nearly flawless during its first possession in Philadelphia. With Alex Smith (17-of-22 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns) back at quarterback, Washington marched 91 yards on 15 plays and chewed up 8 minutes and 13 seconds of game time. And on 3rd-and-goal from the Eagles' 5-yard line, Smith took the snap, set his feet and unloaded a line drive towards the back-left corner of the end zone. On the other end of the pass was wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who got both feet in bounds to give the visitors an early lead.

Thanks to its fourth third-down conversion in as many tries, Washington was off to its best start of the year.

2. Defense Helps Eagles With Costly Penalties

Washington's defense has had some flashy moments like Kamren Curl's interception and Chase Young's five-yard sack on Jalen Hurts, but there have still been some significant miscues, particularly when it comes to unnecessary penalties.

That was evident on Philadelphia's 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that could have been limited to a field goal or even a punt. Washington committed three penalties on the drive, two of which came on third down and extended the Eagles' drive. One of the most costly came on a 3rd-and-6 when a seven-yard sack from Montez Sweat was erased by a defensive holding on Cole Holcomb.

Washington still has plenty of time to correct its errors, but it will need to capture the energy it had on the first two drives in order to come away with a win.

3. Jalen Hurts Latest Mobile Quarterback To Have Success

Washington has struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season, namely the Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray, the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson.

Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts is the latest dual-threat signal-caller to have success against Jack Del Rio's defense. While he has only completed 5 of his 12 passes for 65 yards and an interception, he has six rushes for 27 yards and a pair of scores.

Fortunately, Washington's defense finished the half strong with a crucial three-and-out. That allowed the offense to get the ball back with enough time to drive down the field and score the go-ahead touchdown on a 13-yard touchdown from tight end Logan Thomas.

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