Redskins Embarrass Themselves In Philly
Could magic happen again, and the Redskins go on a 7 game run to close out the season to win the NFC East? That was the question on many Redskins fan’s mind this past week. Now the question is can the Redskins manage to stay out of 4th place in the NFC East. Washington went in to Philadelphia and were out coached, out played and frankly just flat out gave up. While the final score shows a close game, the Redskins really looked bad in this game and had a very pathetic showing all around.
This is a team that is supposedly led by a Hall of Fame coach, a franchise quarterback and this top 5 ranked offense, yet they couldn’t get on the score board until the 4th quarter. The Redskins offense managed just 4 yards of passing (net) in the first half of the game. That is simply unacceptable. Yes they were able to run the football for 160 yards in the first half, but they needed to have at least a marginally effective passing game. With the Eagles having a 17-0 halftime lead and then driving down for a TD on their opening possession of the 2nd half, the Redskins had to abandon the run. After having 28 rushes in the first half, they managed just 10 running plays in the second half including just 4 runs by Alfred Morris. The Redskins simply can’t win a football game if they have to abandon the run like that, and their best offensive player is eliminated from the gameplan.
The Eagles challenged the Redskins to beat them through the air and they simply couldn’t get the job done. The fault of which lies with everyone. Now the offensive line was a major problem, and the receivers didn’t exactly help matters, but this was a game where game planning and the lack of development by Robert Griffin III really came into focus. The Eagles were ready for everything the Redskins threw at them, and did a great job covering Griffin’s first read on plays forcing him to make progressions and give their pressure time to get to the quarterback. Last year the Redskins were able to overcome talent deficiencies with misdirection and catching the defense out of position, but that simply hasn’t been the case this year. Defenses aren’t biting on the fakes or options as much and it’s forcing Griffin into tougher decisions and situations. Right now he’s struggling to succeed in those situations and the Eagles exploited that.
Defensively you knew it was going to be a struggle to stop this Philadelphia offense, but the Redskins needed their defense to come up with some big plays that could maybe swing the game there way. On the plus side the defense limited them to just 24 points (which is good for them) and only two first downs after the Eagles first drive of the 2nd half, but the damage was already done. Partly the defense played better down the stretch because the Eagles took their foot off the gas and made a couple critical mistakes. Despite the Eagles playing a little sloppy, the defense was never able to capitalize with a big splash play like they had in some other games this season. The defense didn’t get embarrassed as bad as they did week one, but for the first 35 minutes of this game it had a similar feel. The Eagles made big play after big play and were able to expose all the holes in the Redskins defense. Blown coverages and missed tackles plagued the Redskins again.
While this should just be a given at this point, but Special teams embarrassed themselves in this game as well (sadly though this still might not be one of their 5 worst games of the year). Sav Rocca averaged just 37.2 yards per punt on his 6 punts, and just two of his were inside the 20. Two of Rocca’s kicks failed to go 30 yards which is pretty sad. Now one of those were one of his inside the 20 kicks, so some may try to give him a pass, but he punted it to the 12 yard line from the 39 yard line. Most punters would be able to put it at least inside the 10 if not the 5 yard line in that situation. Nick Williams got a chance as the punt returner and the results weren’t pretty at all. He muffed two punts, but was able to recover both to prevent a major mistake. On two other occasions he let the ball bounce as opposed to fair catching it, costing the Redskins valuable yardage. It was an all around poor day for the special teams and it definitely hurt the Redskins chances of winning the game.
As much as the loss hurts, it’s how they lost that really is most disturbing with this team. Sure the loss all but knocks you out of the playoff picture, but to get out played and out coached is just unacceptable. Where is the desire to fight and win this game and build on the slim playoff hopes they had going into the week? Where is the offensive game plan that could win a shootout versus the Eagles high octane offense? Why is the defense making the exact same mistakes they made in week 1 (and through out the season). The fact that the Redskins didn’t show up for the first 3 quarters is without a doubt a failure, and something that should be viewed as unacceptable to the Redskins fan base.