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 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 Washington 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 even though Washington (1-2) outgained Philly 511-379.
“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 and Foles were teammates for one season at Michigan State before Foles transferred to Arizona.
Baltimore 23, (at) Cleveland 21: Justin Tucker kicked a 32-yard field as time expired for the Ravens (2-1).
Joe Flacco set up Tucker’s winner with a 32-yard pass to Steve Smith with 1:28 left. The Ravens then ran the clock down before bringing in Tucker. Both losses for the Browns (1-2) have come on last-play field goals.
Flacco finished 19 of 31 for 217 yards with one touchdown.
Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer (Michigan State) completed 19 of 25 passes for 290 yards but Cleveland missed a field goal and had one blocked.
“It’s going to be a long two weeks,” said Hoyer, whose team has a bye this week. “I know we’re going to watch this film and be mad at ourselves. We had some opportunities to put this game away and we didn’t.”
Dallas 34, (at) St. Louis 31: Terrance Williams scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and Bruce Carter returned an interception 25 yards for a TD on the next snap, capping the Cowboys’ comeback from a 21-0 deficit.
DeMarco Murray’s 1-yard run late in the first half began the rally for Dallas (2-1). Dez Bryant caught a 68-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.
“No one ever comes that wide open,” quarterback Tony Romo said of the 68-yard touchdown pass. “You want to make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
The comeback matched the largest in Dallas history, the other two coming in overtime in 1984 against New Orleans and 1999 against Washington..
(At) Arizona 23, San Francisco 14: Former Lion Drew Stanton (Michigan State) threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to rookie John Brown and Arizona ended a four-game losing streak to San Francisco.
Tommy Kelly blocked a field goal for the Cardinals (3-0), who outscored the 49ers 17-0 in the second half.
The 49ers (1-2) mounted 80-yard touchdown drives the first two times they had the ball, then didn’t score again, blowing a halftime lead for the second week in a row.
Stanton, starting for injured Carson Palmer for the second straight week, completed 18 of 33 for 244 yards and two scores. Michael Floyd caught five for 114 yards.
(At) New Orleans 20, Minnesota 9: Drew Brees passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints won for the first time this season.
Minnesota lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel with a broken left foot early in the second quarter. He was replaced by rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 12 of 20 for 150 yards while leading two scoring drives that both ended with field goals.
(At) New England 16, Oakland 9: Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals and the Patriots held on to beat the Raiders when defensive tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass near his goal line.
Darren McFadden’s potential tying touchdown run was nullified by a holding penalty. A play later, Wilfork grabbed the ball when Logan Ryan jarred it loose from intended receiver Denarius Moore with 51 seconds left.
The Patriots (2-1) won their 12th home opener in 13 seasons, while the Raiders (0-3) lost their 15th straight game in the Eastern time zone.
San Diego 22, (at) Buffalo 10: Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Eddie Royal in leading the Chargers.
Malcom Floyd had two catches for 98 yards, and Donald Brown finished with 31 carries for 62 yards and five catches for 27 yards.
Indianapolis 44, (at) Jacksonville 17: Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes — three of them in a lopsided first half — for the Colts in their first win of the season.
The Jaguars (0-3) trailed 30-0 at the break and benched quarterback Chad Henne (Michigan) in favor of rookie Blake Bortles. The third overall pick in May’s NFL draft played the entire second half, finishing with two touchdown passes and two interceptions.
(At) Cincinnati 33, Tennessee 7: Andy Dalton caught a touchdown pass — the first Bengals quarterback to pull off that feat — as Cincinnati stayed undefeated. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson let Dalton catch Mohamed Sanu’s pass and go 18 yards for a score.
The Bengals (3-0) head into their bye week with their best start in eight years.
The Titans (1-2) committed a safety for holding in the end zone on a punt, missed two field goal attempts and snapped the ball before Jake Locker was ready in shotgun formation.
(At) N.Y. Giants 30, Houston 17: Rashad Jennings ran for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown and Eli Manning threw two TD passes for the Giants (1-2).
The Giants got a lot of contributions. Victor Cruz caught a 26-yard touchdown pass, his first since Game 4 of last season. The defense intercepted three of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes, and the special teams blocked a punt.
Fitzpatrick threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Damaris Johnson and ran for another score for the Texans (2-1).
Kansas City 34, (at) Miami 15: Alex Smith shook off five sacks to throw three touchdown passes and help the Chiefs earn their first victory.
Smith led touchdown drives of 62, 76 and 66 yards in a span of four possessions as Kansas City (1-2) took leads of 14-0 and 21-10. The Dolphins fell to 1-2.