The Philadelphia Eagles came into Week 10 as the last undefeated team in the NFL this season. By the end of their Monday Night Football matchup with the Washington Commanders, though, the 1972 Miami Dolphins were once again popping champagne. There were several reasons the Eagles lost, and missed/questionable calls from the officials are definitely on that list. Just don’t tell Eagles center and team captain Jason Kelce it was the refs’ fault.
The officials had a major effect on the Eagles’ Week 10 loss to the Commanders
In Week 10, the Philadelphia Eagles were double-digit favorites at home vs. their NFC East rival Washington Commanders. The only problem is no one told quarterback Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders they were supposed to roll over and lose by two scores.
Washington came out swinging, pounding the ball with Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson and hitting timely big plays to Terry McLaurin. The Commanders defense played tough, too, forcing four turnovers and allowing just 264 total yards.
To get an upset like this, teams usually need a little help from the officials as well, and the Commanders got that on Monday night.
In the fourth quarter, Jamin Davis and John Ridgeway teamed up to force a Dallas Goedert fumble. The only problem was Davis had a firm grasp of the Eagles’ tight end’s facemask when it happened.
The officials reviewed the turnover — and surely saw the obvious penalty — but that piece wasn’t reviewable, and the fumble stood.
Later in the fourth quarter, as the Commanders were trying to run out the clock, Heinicke scrambled, and when he couldn’t find a receiver, he took a knee to keep the clock running. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, who was hot in pursuit, took several steps after the knee and dove into the Commanders QB.
It did look like Graham tried to pull up at the end, but the hit was still too late and too high. The referee threw the flag, and that essentially ended the game.
After the loss, many Eagles fans weren’t happy with the officiating overall.
The next day on his New Heights podcast, though, Jason Kelce didn’t want to hear it.
Jason Kelce won’t blame the refs for his team’s loss
Eagles center Jason Kelce was as disappointed as anyone after the team lost its undefeated season. Still, he wouldn’t tolerate hearing that it was the referees that cost the team the game.
Speaking with his brother, Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, on their New Heights podcast, Jason said, “I cannot stand people blaming referees. We had so many opportunities to win that football game that we didn’t take care of.”
The longtime Eagles lineman then explained his overarching theory on refereeing in the NFL.
“It’s very apparent when an official doesn’t make the correct call or misses something, right?” Jason noted. “Officials ain’t going to be perfect. They ain’t going to make every call. And the reality is, you gotta go out there and play the game that’s called.”
He then got specific about the missed facemask call in the Monday night contest.
“That was a facemask on Dallas Goedert — No, it wasn’t! You know why? Because they didn’t f****** throw the god**** flag, alright? So, it wasn’t a facemask,” Jason Kelce ranted.
The veteran center then summed up his overarching philosophy on blaming referees for losses.
“It’s a loser’s mentality to put it on somebody else,” Jason said. “It really bothers me when people put it on officials.”
Travis agreed with his brother. He said that hasn’t always been the case, even citing a specific 2016 playoff loss to the Steelers as one he blamed on an official when he was younger. However, now, he doesn’t blame the referees either.
Can the Eagles still win the NFC?
The Eagles may have lost their undefeated season, but often that’s a good thing for teams with title aspirations. The team can now concentrate on the grander prize without having the pressure of perfection hanging over their heads.
Now, though, the Eagles have to concentrate on winning the NFC and getting the bye week in the playoffs.
Right now, the team is tied with the Minnesota Vikings. However, Philly owns the tiebreaker, having beaten the Vikings in Week 2 to hand them their only loss on the season.
With eight games to play, Philadelphia and Minnesota have shockingly similar schedules. Both teams play the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and Chicago Bears. The Eagles play the Giants twice, while the Vikings have the Lions in their division.
The additional two games for the Eagles are vs. Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints. For the Vikings, it’s the New England Patriots and New York Jets.
With such similar schedules, it should be quite a battle down the stretch for NFC supremacy. And for the Eagles, there is minimal margin for error. Not only are they battling the Vikings for a bye, but the Giants are only one game behind them at 7-2. So, a slip-up could cost them the NFC East as well as a conference crown.