It was certainly the best of the early games Sunday — a good, old-fashioned slugfest, complete with quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles going toe to toe. Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns and Foles went for 325 yards and three TDs in a game eventually won by the Eagles, 37-34.
But that duel was merely the preliminary bout for the main of the event of the day, which took place early in the fourth quarter.
Can you say chaos?
Here was the situation, and you’re going to have to follow along closely because this gets confusing.
Philadelphia had the ball, first-and-10 at the Philadelphia 24-yard line with 10:07 left in the game and the score tied at 24. Foles’ pass intended for Brent Celek was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland at the Philadelphia 48-yard line and returned 17 yards to the Eagles’ 31.
That’s when the turmoil started.
Toward the end of the play, the Redskins’ Chris Baker blindsided Foles and knocked him to the ground. Then the Eagles came to Foles’ defense and the melee was on. Multiple flags were thrown, and we needed to go to the judges’ scorecard to sort it all out. The result: offsetting penalties on each side with two ejections — the Redskins’ Baker and the Eagles’ Jason Peters.
And then — I have mentioned the word chaos yet? — the replay official challenged the interception ruling, and, after a review, the play was reversed to an incomplete pass because the ball had hit the ground.
Let’s go back to the original ruling on the field. It was called an interception, and because Breeland was not down and at the end of the play, Foles got blown up. But you can no longer blow up the quarterback on a change of possession. That was taken out a few years ago.
Then came the skirmish … uh, it was a fight, let’s call it what it was.
Flags were thrown and when order was restored, two Washington players were ejected. It all had to go to review to get sorted out, first for the incomplete pass. When they reversed the call to an incomplete pass, then it came down to what would be enforced by penalty.
Referee Tony Corrente’s initial announcement was right, it was the Eagles’ Peters that should have been ejected, not Trent Williams of the Redskins.
In other words, there were fouls on both teams, and even though there were two on the Redskins and one on the Eagles, they offset. That’s the rule. Live ball-fouls combined with dead-ball fouls offset, and that’s how Corrente ruled after the review when he reversed the call of an interception to an incomplete pass.
You can’t believe how chaotic this is for the officials on the field when it’s all — and by all, I mean a fight — is happening. It’s chaos. And they got it right at the end.
The winner by a decision: Philadelphia … and the officials.
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