Sunday, October 05, 2008
Redskins Thump Eagles
As the famed Bill Parcells quote goes "You are what your record says you are".
The Eagles are now a 2 - 3 ballclub and are in danger of becoming an afterthought in the NFC East after a 23 - 17 loss at home to the division rival Redskins.
This game started out well enough for the Eagles. On the Eagles' first offensive possession, they drove right down the field with a variety of well-called plays (loved the WR screen to Jackson). The drive culminated in a Brian Westbrook run from 9 yards out. That first drive did a lot to assure Eagle fans that Westbrook was fine, as he had 5 touches for 39 yards in that first drive.
The Eagles' second score came courtesy of a 68 yard DeSean Jackson punt return, where he went across the field, used his blocking well, and took the kick back to the house. The only catch? The Eagles appeared to be flagged for a block in the back; the refs ultimately picked up the flag, but it appeared that the block in the back did indeed occur, although it could be argued that the block did not affect the return. Regardless, the Eagles definitely got a break.
On offense, the Redskins tried to pass the ball on the Eagles, but Jason Campbell got batted around pretty good on the Skins' first couple of possessions.
This led the Redskins to try the running game to good effect. While the Redskins were only able to cobble together field goals in the first half, they held the ball for the majority of the 2nd quarter, relegating the Eagles offense to the sidelines.
The Redskins continued their offensive assertiveness into the second half, this time converting their drives into touchdowns. In the third quarter, the Skins only took 7 plays to go 75 yards for a Chris Cooley touchdown catch from wideout Antwaan Randle-El. The Skins struck again on a shorter drive to end the third quarter, as Clinton Portis, who had 145 yards in the game, took advantage of the great day his offensive line seemed to be having, and punched the ball into the endzone from 4 yards out.
Meanwhile, the Eagles' offense, stagnant for 2 quarters, seemed to come to life in the fourth quarter, but only to have their redzone woes continue as the Eagles, on a 3rd and inches call from the 2 1/2 yard line, called a play that was a predictable as tax time in April. The play lost 3 yards and brought on a field goal try from a distance that is apparently amenable to David Akers' current skillset to bring the score to 23 - 17.
Unfortunately, that field goal drive was the last time you saw the Eagles' offense the whole day. The Redskins simply shoved the ball down the Eagles' throat for the final 7 minutes of the game to secure the victory.
- Greg Lewis should have come up with that 3rd down catch towards the end of the 1st quarter. I know that Troy Aikman said nice things about him during the broadcast, but I don't think I'll ever be sold on Lewis for anything more than a spare receiver.
- David Akers missed another 50 yarder and it was a momentum killer. Akers' long distance struggles were underscored by the fact that the Redskins' kicker, Shaun Suisham, was able to hit 3 field goals, all from over 40 yards (including a 50 yarder just before the half).
- Brian Westbrook left the game during the Eagles' drive toward the end of the 1st quarter. He appeared to have something wrong with his chest. Pam Oliver lated reported it as a rib injury.
- Sav Rocca....great 53 yard punt that put the Skins on their own 2 yard line at the 10:15 mark in the 2nd quarter.
- What a horrible challenge on the Chris Cooley touchdown. The brain trust thought that Randle-El was past the line of scrimmage, but it wasn't really even close.
- Eagle defenders have done just a brutal job of getting off of blocks in this game. The entire defense looks a step slow.
- The Asante Samuel penalty for defensive holding was a killer. That allowed the Redskins to convert a 3rd and 9.
- Where was the Eagles' linebacker corps in this game?
- The Redskins rolled up 203 yards rushing on the Eagles defense. This led to a 10 minute time of possession discrepancy in favor of the Redskins and frankly, this was the story of the game.