March 8, 2021

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins Week Three loss to the Philadelphia Eagles

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 37-34 division opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

  1. Kirk Cousins played well enough to put his team in position to win the football game. He was 30-48 for 427 yards and three touchdowns, that was the good part. The bad is that he also had a crucial interception that gave the Eagles great field position late in the game, which also gave them a two possession lead. Furthermore, throughout the game and especially late his location of the football was troubling, as he threw behind his receivers on a handful of instances. Moreover, after starting the game great on third down plays, he finished 0-8 on third and fourth down plays. All in all although this game was there for Cousins and company to take, but his production is encouraging as is the fact that he is still not used to being a starter in this league. If he continues to get solid protection from his offensive lineman we could see similar offensive production put up in the near future.
  2. It seems like a terrible nightmare from last season. The defense and special teams giving up 37 points, giving up a kickoff return for a touchdown, missing chip shot field goals. The miss by Kai Forbath came back to haunt the Redskins as they lost the game by those three points. On the defensive side, it seemed that Jim Haslett’s game plan was to make Nick Foles beat them — not to allow Lesean McCoy or Darren Sproles to. The defense did indeed shut down the running and screen game as the dynamic duo only accounted for 72 total yards from scrimmage. However Foles did beat the Redskins defense methodically. Foles had all day to throw for 325 yards and three touchdowns. The defense was burned on the majority of deep throws, especially recently reinstated safety Brandon Merriweather and ILB Perry Riley, who inexcusably was assigned to cover Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews on multiple sets. Merriweather was also the guilty party missing tackle on Chris Polk during the ensuing kickoff after Darrel Young’s touchdown reception. The defense has a short week to game plan for Victor Cruz who has a history of torching Haslett in the past.
  3. Maybe the most eventful part of the game came when the Philadelphia Eagles started their drive early in the fourth quarter. Foles had one of his few errant throws of the game as he sailed one way over the head of his open receiver into the waiting arms of Bashaud Breeland. After momentarily hesitating (because he knew the ball actually hit the ground), he began his “return” as the referees had not blown the play dead. While finally falling to the ground to end the “return”, NT Chris Baker laid out Foles, who was running to the ball to try and make a tackle. Although, I think it is questionable whether or not it was a clean block, I disagree with the reasoning of the referees that because he is a quarterback you cannot block him in such a way. My understanding is that Foles turned into a defender on the “return”. Whether the play way legal or not, what ensued was certainly not as the Eagles LT Jason Peters ran to try and take out Baker after the whistle had already blown. A huge scrum and fight broke out on the Redskins sidelines where punches were definitely thrown and fines should be expected. Baker claimed post-game that he was punched by Peters, but did not retaliate and that he had not known the person he blasted was Foles initially, that he was just trying to make a block. At the end of everything the referees made a laughing stock of themselves as they ejected No. 71 Trent Williams on top of Baker. This made little sense to anyone for multiple minutes until the referees finally realized their mistake when they meant to eject the Eagles No. 71 Jason Peters instead of Williams. After all of this, the referees finally reversed the call of the interception by Breeland to a simple incomplete pass, probably the most eventful incompletion you will see all season.
  4. As seen through the scrum that incurred, both teams were tightly wound, mostly stemming from the return of DeSean Jackson back to Philadelphia after being cut earlier in the offseason. Jackson successfully returned from his AC joint sprain shoulder injury in order to play in this game. His biggest impact of the game came when the Redskins were facing their largest deficit in the game. Late in the third quarter, Cousins threw a deep ball down the field that Jackson hauled in and scampered away for an 81-yard touchdown. Jackson beat former Ravens DB Carey Williams on a deep post pattern. At the end Jackson mocked the “Fly Eagles Fly” motto by motioning his outstretched arms. This was clearly one of the more promising plays for the future of this offense.
  5. After losing Robert Griffin last week for an extended period of time, the Redskins suffered more bad injury news during this game. First and most importantly, Deangelo Hall is believed to have suffered an injured Achilles tendon on a non-contact play where he was trying to run back to the ball carrier after covering Jeremy Maclin. If the injury turns out to be expected after an MRI tomorrow, Hall’s season would most probably be over and we could see a lot more of Bashaud Breeland and possibly a resigning of former Redskins DB Richard Crawford. Additionally, Duke Ihenacho and Shawn Lauvao left the game with injuries that are currently being considered as minor. Other minor injuries that occurred in the game were cramps and a mild hamstring injury to Jason Hatcher and a jammed middle finger for Brain Orakpo. It will be very interesting to see how soon these players could return with a short week in preparation for the New York Giants coming to town Thursday night.
About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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