Washington pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the NFL’s opening Sunday, rallying from a 17-0 hole to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
It did so after head coach Ron Rivera required a halftime IV.
Rivera coaching with cancer
Rivera revealed last month that he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer in the offseason. He vowed to continue coaching with the support of his doctor. As he coaches through treatment, he’ll need to pay extra attention to his body, as he did on Sunday with the halftime IV.
He described the IV to reporters as precautionary, a measure taken “just to be safe.”
He certainly looked and coached like his old self in the second half. After Washington scored 17 unanswered points to tie the game, it found itself facing fourth-and-1 at the Philadelphia 4-yard line with 7:26 remaining.
Riverboat Ron’s Washington debut
A chip-shot field goal would give them the lead. A touchdown would provide a much safer cushion. What did Riverboat Ron do? He went for it, of course.
Running back Peyton Barber barreled into an Eagles defensive front that ceded just one yard on the play. But that’s all Washington needed for a first down to set up a Barber touchdown run two plays later. Washington would go on to kick another field goal to cap a 27-0 run and secure the 27-17 upset of its division rivals, a dramatic victory in Rivera’s first game coaching his new team.
As for halftime, Rivera gave credit to second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins for delivering a “ruckus” of a speech in his stead, according to NFL Network.
Washington defense batters Eagles
Haskins completed 17-of-31 pass attempts for 178 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. Washington’s defense, meanwhile, intercepted Carson Wentz twice and sacked him eight times, including 1.5 sacks from rookie Chase Young. Washington’s defensive also forced and recovered a fumble from Wentz.
It was a tumultuous offseason for Washington in more ways than one. For Rivera in his debut, Sunday was a much-needed win.
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