October 22, 2019

Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Takeaways

In the hometown of their division rivals, the Washington Redskins locked up the NFC East Division Championship, and a playoff spot, with a 38-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

After the Eagles marched down the field to score on the game’s opening drive, the Redskins responded two drives later with a score of their own. Once Jay Gruden’s bunch got going, they didn’t look back. Washington stretched their lead over the course of the game, making Saturday night’s playoff-clinching victory seem fairly easy.

Just by looking at the play selection, it’s clear what the Redskins’ gameplan was. Kirk Cousins finished with 365 yards on 31-of-46 passing, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. On the flip side, running backs Alfred Morris and Pierre Thomas combined for 21 carries and 69 yards. The Redskins passing attack is strong, but their running game is not.

As soon as the Redskins run into a team that forces them to run the football, they’ll falter. They have yet to prove that they can win the game running the football, but that doesn’t matter when the scoreboard shows them as the victors, as it has the past three weeks.

Along with that takeaway, here are five more from the Redskins’ victory over the Eagles. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Week 16 Preview: at Philadelphia Eagles

The Washington Redskins travel up to the “City of Brotherly Love” Saturday in a game for all the marbles against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Redskins, at 7-7, need to come away with a victory  to claim the NFC East for the first time since 2012, while the Eagles (6-8) are fighting to stay in contention for the crown themselves.

The Redskins are coming off of two big wins, taking a monkey off their back in both of them. Two weeks ago, they defeated the Chicago Bears for their first road win, and then came home to manhandle the Buffalo Bills the following week for their first consecutive wins of the year. The Eagles came back to Philly with their feathers ruffled last week, losing on primetime to the Arizona Cardinals, 40-17 in embarrassing fashion. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Game 4 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles

The Washington Redskins, weather permitting, are scheduled to face their first division foe of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles, at FedEx Field this Sunday. Both teams enter this game looking to get to the .500 mark for the first time this season. Philadelphia looks to build off of a 24-17 win in New York vs. the Jets, while the Redskins try to erase the memory of a 32-21 loss to the Giants on Thursday Night Football.

The last time the Redskins faced the Eagles at home was Week 16 of last year, when they beat them in a 27-24 thriller, a rare bright spot in an awful 2014 campaign. The Redskins look to duplicate that success against an Eagles offense that looks very different from 2014. Sam Bradford is now the starting QB for coach Chip Kelly rather than Nick Foles/Mark Sanchez, and RBs DeMarco Murray Ryan Matthews join the party in place of LeSean McCoy. The Eagles will stick to the classic Chip Kelly offensive scheme, just with different personnel than the Redskins are accustomed. [Read more…]

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: [Read more…]

District Sports Page’s Washington Redskins Postgame Show: Week 3 vs. Eagles

Dave Nichols and Andy Holmes from District Sports Page discuss the Washington Redskins 37-34 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with DSPs Redskins Radio Shows on BlogTalkRadio

Washington Redskins Game 3 Review: In barnburner, Redskins fall short in Philly

Despite a career day by Kirk Cousins, including 437 yards and three touchdowns, the Washington Redskins breakdowns on special teams cost them, as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 37-34 on Sunday.

The Redskins had a kickoff returned against them for a touchdown and Kai Forbath — after hitting from 49- and 44-yards — missed a 33-yarder in the second half that turned out to be the margin of victory for Philly.

In addition to the loss in the standings, Washington also lost cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a possible Achilles tear. Veteran guard Shawn Lauvao and safety Duke Ihenacho were both injured and did not return. Also, NT Chris Baker was ejected for a late hit on quarterback Nick Foles, which led to a brawl along the Redskins sidelines. Eagles tackle Jason Peters was ejected as well.

Cousins was mostly terrific, completing 30 of 48 for 427 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception against. But on the last drive, trailing by three and time running out, he missed an open Pierre Garcon on fourth-and-10 that sealed the Eagles win.

Garcon had 11 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown and Desean Jackson, who was listed as questionable with the shoulder injury he sustained last week, caught five balls for 117 yards and an 81-yard scoring strike from Cousins.

 The Redskins came out blazing. An 11-play, 82-yard opening drive ended in Darrel Young’s third touchdown of the season. Unfortunately, Chris Polk returned the ensuing kickoff 102 yards to tie.

Another long drive, 82 yards in 12 plays, resulted in Garcon’s 4-yard touchdown catch on the next possession.

Kai Forbath kicked field goals of 49-and 44-yard in the second quarter but the Eagles scored TDs instead, with Jordan Matthews catching a pair of 11-yard scores from Nick Foles, who finished the day 28 of 42 for 325 yards.

In the third, it was the Eagles that settled for field goals, with Cody Parker hitting from 38- and 33-yards while Jackson’s long bomb tied it at 27 at the end of the frame.

The fourth quarter was just as wild. Jeremy Maclin beat Brandon Meriweather clean for a 27-yard touchdown and Parkey made good from 51-yards after a Cousins interception, which looked to seal the win.

But the Redskins scored with 4:16 left, on a Roy Helu 1-yard carry, which was set up by a 55-yard screen pass-and-run by Helu down the left sidelines.

The Redskins held the Eagles to three-and-out and got the ball back, but a couple of short attempts fell incomplete and Cousins missed Garcon on the final play to end it.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Baushaud Breeland appeared to have intercepted a Foles pass. He returned it and was tackled, but Baker leveled Foles right at the end of the play, starting a fracas. Eagles tackle Jason Peters defended his QB along the Redskins sidelines and both players were ejected for fighting.

Washington Redskins Week 1 Recap: Frustrating season-opening loss to Houston Texans

The Washington Redskins lost their season opener against the Houston Texans, 17-6, with an extremely frustrating performance with several missed opportunities. Despite new coach Jay Gruden calling the shots, things looked exactly the same as Mike Shanahan’s team in 2013, when the special teams were atrocious, the offense turned the ball over, and Robert Griffin ended up on his back every other play.

The defense played well against a mediocre Texans offense early, but whether they got tired or lost focus, they could not get the critical stops at the end of the game. The Redskins lost their edge on the defensive side of the ball when Bacarri Rambo got turned around in coverage allowing DeAndre Hopkins to score on a 76-yard catch-and-run. [Read more…]

Redskins defense struggled to keep up with pace of Eagles revamped offense

The scene was set for drama on the national stage Monday night. Not only did the game mark the return of Robert Griffin III from offseason knee surgery for the hometown Washington Redskins, but it was also the debut for Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, straight out of the University of Oregon with his zone-read offense. 

What no one could anticipate before was that the latter was much more prepared to take the field right off the bat than the former. 

Griffin, quite famously, never played a down in the preseason as he rehabbed the reconstruction of his right knee. Kelly’s offense, not quite as prominently though just as accurately, didn’t show anything in the preseason that would indicate that his zone-read offense would not only be NFL-ready, but as devastatingly effective as it was in the first half against a Redskins defense rife with rookies, some p laying out of position due to injury need already in the young season.               

On the opening possession, the Eagles marched down the field at an unreal pace, catching the Redskins defense completely off guard in the process. Once the Eagles reached the Redskins 25 yard line, though, the Skins stepped up and made a play. Michael Vick attempted a lateral pass to running back LeSean McCoy, but defensive lineman Ryan Kerrigan knocked the pass down, making the lateral a live ball. DeAngelo Hall picked up the loose football and ran it back 75 yards for a Redskins touchdown. 

The play was reviewed to ensure that it was indeed a lateral and the touchdown stood. Despite the defense being shredded during the opening drive, the Skins were able to stem the tide with the big play and open up a 7-0 lead over their division rival. 

However, that good feeling didn’t last long. 

That one play, which resulted in the defensive touchdown for the Redskins, was the only highlight – and points – the home team scored in the first half. The defense looked sloppy and undisciplined, committing unnecessary penalties and generally being run ragged by the Eagles no-huddle attack.  Add to that several missed tackles in the open field and severe breakdowns in coverage, and the recipe added up to total disaster. 

The Eagles’ high-tempo offense resulted in less substitution time – and weary defensive linemen – for the Redskins. Vick seemed to have no trouble throwing against the Redskins secondary, which was a big question mark going into the game due to starting two rookies in their first NFL game. 

At the end of the first half, the Eagles held a 26-7 lead, and it wasn’t that close. The Redskins had no answers on defense and the offense gave them no help. Griffin was rusty, throwing two interceptions. Alfred Morris fumbled twice to allow the Eagles to dominate field possession. Lack of offensive production forced the defense back on the field before they could catch their breath. 

Asked if the Eagles surprised the Redskins with their offensive attack, head coach Mike Shanahan said, “[It was] kind of what we thought. It was what they’ve done before in the past. One thing you have to be able to do is tackle McCoy. You have to tackle Vick. I thought [wide receiver DeSean] Jackson made a couple of plays in there. They out-executed us.” 

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett made some drastic adjustments at halftime in order to slow down the impressive Eagles spread offense. It helped that the Eagles seemed to let their foot off the gas in a game they were seemingly in control of, but the Skins D did make some plays that helped spark the team. 

Down 33-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, veteran cornerback Josh Wilson forced Philly wide-out Jason Avant to fumble, which set up the Redskins at the Eagles 27 yard line. The ensuing drive lasted five plays, resulting in a 10-yard touchdown throw from Griffin to Leonard Hankerson (five catches, 80 yards), his first of two scores for the evening. 

There were more bright sides. Barry Cofield, Perry Riley, and Ryan Kerrigan all had sacks. Riley finished with eight tackles, Kerrigan with seven. The defense played much better in the second half – not coincidentally when the offense picked up its game. 

However there were three players that stood out with disappointing nights. 

Rookie Baccari Rambo finished with six solo tackles and four assists. Granted, he was needed to make a lot of plays as the Redskins last line of defense as free safety, but at times he looked a step slow against the Eagles up-tempo game plan. He also had a couple of missed tackles in the open field against the shifty McCoy, which continues a pattern that plagued him in the preseason. 

Linebacker Brian Orakpo, returning from his season-ending torn pectoral muscle of last season, was not much of a factor against Jason Peters, the rather average starting left tackle for the Eagles. Most of the night, Orakpo was absent from the Eagles’ backfield. Instead, he spent much of his time trailing the play, trying to chase down Vick or McCoy from behind. 

And then there was DeAngelo Hall. 

Hall made the big play with the fumble recovery. There’s no doubting his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. There is also no doubting his penchant for making dumb mistakes and blowing coverage. The Eagles’ first touchdown was a direct result of Hall getting beat to the post by Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson. Hall looked like he thought help was coming from the safety, but he has to know in that situation the safety is a raw rookie. 

“[I] spoke with a couple guys back there,” Hall said. “Like I said, we’ll go back to the drawing board. I don’t even know exactly what went wrong; it was supposed to be a couple guys [on coverage]. But it is what it is. [The Eagles] came out, executed their game plan and they got a win.” 

Hall also took a personal foul penalty with a horse-collar tackle of Jackson along the sideline later in the second quarter. Jackson gained 14 yards on the play; Hall’s unnecessary penalty added 15 yards to the play, which pushed the Eagles to the Skins 31 yard line. Two plays later, Vick hit tight end Brent Celek for 28 yards to increase Philly’s lead.

Overall the performance by the Redskins defense was sub par in the first half, and clearly improvements need to be made. But they played much better in the second half, allowing just seven points, while the offense started to click and take some of the pressure off the clearly struggling-to-keep-up defense.

There will be some growing pains with the defense this season. Rambo and fellow rookies E.J. Biggers and David Amerson are all going to be counted on to play big minutes in the secondary, especially if continually injured Brandon Meriweather can’t get back on the field for the Skins. But Haslett and the defensive coaches need to figure out how to get more pressure up front to take some of the heat off the raw and inconsistent secondary.

Monday night’s first half was a perfect storm of high-level execution by the Eagles and lack of execution — and maybe a little lack of preparation — by the Redskins, especially breaking in three rookies on the back line. The Redskins defense will get better with experience. Will Chip Kelly’s offense do the same? Or will teams be able to better game plan for it now that there’s full-speed film on it? These teams match up again later in the season in what will certainly be an even more intriguing matchup.

[District Sports Page intern Brandon Enroth contributed to this article]

Washington Redskins Postgame Quotes & Audio: Week 1 loss to Eagles

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

Head coach Mike Shanahan

“We couldn’t get a lot going offensively. Anytime you have three first downs in the half, you are putting your defense out there quite a bit. I thought defensively we put them in a heck of a jam. We did have a couple of missed assignments and missed tackles. But at the end of the day, it’s over and we have to get ready [for Green Bay] in a short week.”

“If your offense doesn’t go, you’re always going to try and put it on your quarterback. It’s kind of the nature of the business. It wasn’t the quarterback, it was the combination of a lot of people not working together. One guy is a little off here and there. We need to play much better than we did.”

“You can’t change those expectations. They found a way to win the football game, and we didn’t. It’s a 16-round fight, and we lost the first round, and you just take them one at a time. I was pleased with the way they fought back. We did some things well in the second half. We just have to keep rolling.”

Robert Griffin III

“We didn’t play well in the first half at all. We had a serious case of the ‘can’t-get-rights,’ just penalties, hurting ourselves – you know, I don’t throw picks, [running back] Alfred [Morris] doesn’t fumble and [kicker] Kai [Forbath] doesn’t miss field goals and all three of those happened tonight. So we’ll get better, no doubt. I’m proud of the way the team fought back. You know we can’t put our defense in those kinds of situations – having them on the field the majority of the game, but everybody fought back real hard in the second half. You know we got it within six, and that’s all you can ask for. You don’t want your team to come out in the second half and just fold, so I’m proud of the way we fought and that’s what I told them in the locker room.”

Brian Orakpo

On second-half changes: “Just the way our front line was aligned. We changed that – guys playing more in the box. What they try to do, they try to spread you out and kind of leave the box wide open, so we just made a few adjustments to get more guys in the box so we could play the run a little better. Then, we had some very successful third downs where we were finally able to start getting off the field.”

For Shanahan, Griffin’s full comments, plus those of many others, please click the links below.

09-09-13 Mike Shanahan Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Robert Griffin III Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Bacarri Rambo Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Darrel Young Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Deangelo Hall Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Fred Davis Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Leonard Hankerson Postgame RAW

09-09-13 London Fletcher Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Pierre Garcon Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Trent Williams Postgame RAW

09-09-13 Will Montgomery Postgame RAW

 

Washington Redskins Week 1 Recap: Skins overwhelmed early; come up short against Eagles

LESEAN MCCOY RUNS FOR 184 YARDS AS EAGLES BUILD 33-7 THIRD QUARTER LEAD

The Washington Redskins were completely overwhelmed by the Philadelphia Eagles new fast-break, zone-read offense in the first half, as they fell behind by as much as 26 points before finding some semblance of offense themselves to cut the gap to a respectable six points in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for those of the capacity crowd that stuck around that long, that’s where the comeback ended as the Eagles wrested a 33-27 victory from their division rivals on both team’s opening night of the 2013 season.

In Robert Griffin III’s return from major knee surgery, the playmaker showed plenty of rust from missing the entire preseason, but eventually found some rhythm in the second half of the game to inspire thoughts of better days ahead for this Redskins team.

“We couldn’t get a lot going offensively,” head coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. “Anytime you have three first downs in the half, you are putting your defense out there quite a bit. I thought defensively we put them in a heck of a jam. We did have a couple of missed assignments and missed tackles. But at the end of the day, it’s over and we have to get ready [for Green Bay] in a short week.”

Except for one spectacular freak play, the first quarter could not have gone any worse of the Washington Redskins.

Upon taking the opening kickoff, the Eagles — led by quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy — walked down the field without opposition, employing new head coach Chip Kelly’s no huddle, zone-read offense. They marched 70 yards on 11 plays until Vick tried to throw a swing pass to McCoy in the right flank. Vick’s pass was a lateral, and it turned into a loose ball when Ryan Kerrigan (sack, seven tackles) got a paw up in the air and batted the ball down.

Everyone on the field stopped, except DeAngelo Hall, who scooped up the bouncing ball and trotted 75 yards to the end zone of an apparent touchdown. After official review, the play stood and the Skins held a 7-0 lead without the offense stepping on the field.

That was the Skins lone first half highlight.

The Eagles drove 51 yards on ten plays with the ensuing kickoff and settled for a field goal. Then, on the first play following a touchback on the kickoff, Alfred Morris fumbled giving the Eagles a short field. On their second play, Vick found wideout DeSean Jackson alone in the back of the end zone to make it 10-7.

On the following drive, Griffin tried to force a pass into heavy coverage and was intercepted by Brandon Boykin. The Skins defense forced a punt and Washington took over on their own five yard line after rookie returned Chris Thompson executed a fair catch deep in his own territory. Griffin threw an incomplete pass on first down, then attempted a pitch-sweep to Morris. The pitch was too far forward for Morris to handle cleanly, and the only option was for the back to fall on it for a safety, making it 12-7 Eagles.

Vick led the Eagles on two more touchdown drives in the opening half, while the Redskins offense sputtered behind an obviously rusty Griffin and overly concerned Morris.

The Skins first possession in the second half resulted in Griffin’s second pick of the night, as Cory Williams made a spectacular play, cutting in front of Pierre Garcon to make a diving catch to end Washington’s possession at their own 30. Two plays later, McCoy bolted up the middle and through the Skins defense for 34 yards to make it 33-7.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the blow out. The Eagles took their foot off the gas a little. The Redskins finally started to find their timing. And the defense stood up to the Eagles a bit. Late in the quarter, the Skins forced a punt, assisted by Eagles tight end Brent Celek’s personal foul penalty. On the ensuing drive, they marched 66 yards in 10 plays, resulting in Morris’ five yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 33-14 to end the quarter.

On the next Eagles possession, veteran defensive back Josh Wilson forced a fumble from Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant, and Griffin needed three complete passes, the last to Leonard Hankerson for 10 yards, to clip another seven points off the deficit. The Skins next possession ended in a turnover on downs, but they still weren’t done. With 3:42 remaining, Griffin led the Redskins on a 10-play, 89-yard drive, culminating with Hankerson’s second touchdown of the night.

Unfortunately, Washington could not recover the onside kick, and the comeback ended at 33-27.

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