PHILADELPHIA — A rookie’s breakthrough. An exiled receiver’s return. A brawl.
Oh yeah, and another comeback win.
Nothing normal seems to happen this season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jordan Matthews, the draft pick who replaced DeSean Jackson, and veteran Jeremy Maclin lifted the Eagles past the star receiver’s new team Sunday. Philadelphia again stormed from behind to win, beating the Washington Redskins 37-34 as Mathews caught two touchdown passes and Maclin had one.
The Eagles are the first NFL team to start a season 3-0 after trailing by 10-plus points in each game.
“Man, that was an emotional one,” said Matthews, who scored his first NFL touchdowns. “They are close (games), so I know that coach (Chip) Kelly is losing some hair.”
The nasty game was marred by a fourth-quarter brawl near the Washington sideline after Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was blindsided by defensive lineman Chris Baker during an apparent interception return. Baker and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters were ejected — and then the INT was overturned by video replay. That led to Maclin’s 27-yard touchdown to break a 27-27 tie.
Maclin credited Foles’ toughness with inspiring the Eagles.
“That’s the guy you want, the guy who gets up play after play,” Maclin said.
Maclin, who missed all of 2013 with a knee injury, finished with eight catches for 154 yards. Matthews also had eight receptions.
Jackson wasn’t going to let Philadelphia forget him. The receiver, cut by Kelly last winter, caught an 81-yard touchdown pass and added a Rockettes-style kick to his celebration as his former fans loudly booed. He gained 117 yards on five catches.
“Honestly, it’s a new time. It’s a new era,” said Jackson, who was one of the first players to leave the field after the game. “I don’t see them worrying about me, and I don’t worry about them. I’m happy where I’m at.”
The Eagles, who rallied from 17 points down in their first two victories, came back from an early 17-7 deficit to drop Washington to 1-2 even though the Redskins outgained Philly 511-379.
Philadelphia has scored 101 points in three wild games.
“We stick together and there’s a great camaraderie,” Foles said. “In the locker room during games like that, we lean on each other instead of blaming each other. That’s what football should be about.”
Rookie Cody Parkey’s third field goal, a 51-yarder with 5:55 remaining, turned out to be the winning points when Washington scored a late TD.
Philadelphia’s Chris Polk had a 102-yard kickoff return, the first for an Eagle at Lincoln Financial Field, which opened in 2003.
Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns in his first start replacing injured Robert Griffin III. Cousins came in last week to pass for two TDs when RG3 hurt his ankle.
As they did in record-setting fashion in their first two victories, the Eagles fell into a hole. Kai Forbath’s 49-yard field goal made it 17-7. Once again, the Eagles didn’t flinch.
The Redskins couldn’t handle Matthews, Philadelphia’s second-round pick from Vanderbilt. He slipped into the back of the end zone off play-action for an 11-yard pass from Foles, who threw for 325 yards. Then Matthews took a perfect toss over two defenders for a 10-yard TD and the halftime lead.
Jackson tied the game 27-27 late in the third quarter on a fly pattern, shaking off an attempted tackle by Cary Williams and turning around as he pranced into the end zone — then making a kicking motion as if to remind the Eagles that they kicked him out of Philadelphia.
“Those are spur-of-the-moment type things,” Jackson said. “When I get the opportunity to make plays, whatever comes to my mind, that’s what I’m going to react to.”
The Redskins had a chance to take the lead, but Forbath, who’d made 18 straight field goals, hit the right upright with a 33-yarder with 10:07 left.
On the next play, the officials ruled on the field that Breeland intercepted Foles — leading to the brawl. But replays clearly showed the ball hit the ground.
And Philly was aided by another video review soon after when Maclin’s lunging sideline catch was called incomplete, then reversed. Two plays later, Maclin was in the end zone.
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