PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles keep losing key players and are still winning games thanks to No. 11.
Carson Wentz tossed four touchdown passes and ran for a career-best 63 yards, helping the Eagles overcome losing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters in a 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Linebacker Jordan Hicks also went down with an ankle injury.
Peters was carted off the field and Hicks left the stadium on crutches. Coach Doug Pederson didn’t have any updates on their status after the game.
”This is a resilient group and we’ve seen it over the first two months of the season,” Pederson said.
They’ll be fine as long as Wentz is under center.
The second-year quarterback made one highlight play after another in front of a national audience. Wentz has led the NFL-best Eagles (6-1) to five straight wins and is an early front-runner for MVP.
”He is amazing,” receiver Nelson Agholor said. ”I talk about how great and how athletic he is and how he has a great arm, but the attention to detail, the film study, the professionalism he has is second to none.”
Kirk Cousins threw for 303 and three TDs for the Redskins (3-3).
”Carson made some unbelievable plays there in crunch-time situations,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. ”We lost and it wasn’t good enough by anybody, offensively. But Kirk competed and made some great throws, some great plays.”
The Eagles went three-and-out three times in their first four drives and had only 57 total yards before Wentz hit Mack Hollins in stride with a perfect 64-yard TD pass to tie it at 10.
That got the offense rolling.
Wentz connected with Zach Ertz for 46 yards on the next series and found him again for a 4-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.
After getting the second-half kickoff, the Eagles drove 86 yards for another touchdown. Peters was injured during the series, and fans chanted his name while teammates surrounded the cart.
Wentz finished the drive off with a play that Peters would appreciate.
While being hit by two defenders and falling forward, Wentz lofted a 9-yard TD pass to Corey Clement.
Wentz fired a 10-yard TD pass to Agholor to expand the lead to 31-17. Wentz kept that drive alive by escaping a sack and running 17 yards on third-and-8.
Cousins tossed a 7-yard touchdown to Chris Thompson to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead. He connected with Jordan Reed on a 5-yard TD to cut the deficit to 24-17 and threw a 12-yard pass to Reed to cap the scoring.
Here’s some things we learned from Philadelphia’s win over Washington:
LEGITIMATE CONTENDERS: The Eagles are the real deal and have a commanding lead in the NFC East. The Redskins and Cowboys (3-3) are tied for second place. Dallas still has a chance because they play Philadelphia twice but Washington was swept in the season series for the first time since 2013. ”Every time we win, it’s harder,” Pederson said. ”And the bulls-eye on our back becomes bigger.”
PLENTY OF OPTIONS: Wentz threw TD passes to four different players, excluding starting receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. ”The depth we have and the ability to spread the ball around makes us tough to defend,” Wentz said.
TERRELLE THE CHEERLEADER: Josh Doctson started over Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract to be the No. 1 guy in the offseason. Pryor had only two catches for 14 yards and has been a bust so far. Cousins didn’t even mention his name when rattling off all the options he has. ”I was on the sideline really just cheering my teammates on,” Pryor said. ”Just trying to be the best teammate I could be on the sideline and get guys pumped up. Whatever I could do on the sideline.”
More AP NFL: http://Hometeaminsider.com and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi