After 3 quarters, the Eagles were up 24-0 and on top of the world. The 4th quarter was ugly, but in the end it didn’t impact the outcome. A blowout became a close win. “Win” being the key word. Last year the Eagles lost every way imaginable. I’m not going to apologize for ugly wins. That victory improved the Eagles to 6-5 and put them alone atop the NFC East. You can argue the merits of that distinction. It would be similar to being the Detmer with the strongest arm.
The problem with this game is that the offense and defense both got cold at the same time. The offense was great for 2 1/2 quarters and then got sloppy. They could not score, nor sustain drives to work the clock. The Eagles defense played brilliantly for 3 quarters, allowing just 193 yards and no points. They flew around the field and played with great energy. They gave up some rushing yards, but kept the Skins under control. The 4th quarter was a very different story. The Eagles gave up 234 yards and 16 points. Ugh.
While the results weren’t pretty, the Eagles did find a way to win. There is something to be said for that. When we see the Eagles win ugly, we tend to pick apart what happened. If we see the Patriots or Packers win an ugly game, our response is generally something more like “Good teams do that. They just find a way to win.”
There really is a lot to be encouraged by in this game. If you stopped the game in the middle of the 3rd quarter, people would be raving about the Eagles and how well they played. The problem is finishing games off. The Eagles just don’t have much speed on defense and that leaves them vulnerable to the passing game. Opposing teams should throw the ball a lot when facing the Eagles. Running the ball actually plays into the Eagles hands. It takes long, sustained drives. It works the clock, which shortens the game. And it allows the defense to be led by the DL and not the secondary. I’d much rather you test Cox-Logan-Thornton than Williams-Allen-Chung-Carmichael. That looks better when Bradley Fletcher is in there, but it still isn’t a compelling group.
How frustrated must Skins fans be? They have Mike Shanahan, a 2-time Super Bowl winner and NFL offensive guru, as coach. They have Jim Haslett, a proven NFL defensive coach. They have a franchise QB in RG3. They have a good RB in Alfred Morris. They have Orakpo and Kerrigan, a good OLB duo. And yet that team is still a mess. Chip Kelly is cleaning up the mess of 2012 and has the Eagles moving in the right direction immediately. Shanny delivered some fool’s gold in 2012 and that raised hopes for this year that aren’t close to being met. Will he stick around for the future? I sure hope so.
There are a few items to discuss. Chip Kelly called a timeout and then draw late in the half. Why? The Eagles were at their own 38-yd line. There were 17 seconds left and it was 3rd/15. Kelly ran a draw. It gained 2 yards. Had Bryce Brown broken loose for 25 yards, you would have been in FG range. It was worth it to stop the clock and give yourself an outside shot. If you drop back to pass, you have more things that can go wrong (holding call, sack, strip-sack, INT, pass deflection, hit on the QB). Run the draw. Safe play that might break for a long gain. If it doesn’t, you punt and the Skins won’t have time to do anything.
The Eagles got into the shotgun on 4th/inches. This is not my favorite move. I prefer the I-formation or a QB sneak. Lining up in the shotgun and running a dive play is awkward to me. Brown got the 1st down. He ran hard and straight ahead. He did exactly what Kelly wanted.
This was another week with controversial non-challenges. Chip didn’t challenge a 1st half run where Alfred Morris was clearly out of bounds. He also didn’t challenge a play where Riley Cooper looked to have scored a TD. This really becomes a philosophical discussion. The Morris run netted an extra 7 yards or something like that. The ball was at the WAS 20 and it was a 1st down. Is that worth challenging? There is no right/wrong answer, only opinions.
The Cooper play got the ball to the 1-foot line. The Eagles scored on the next play. No harm, no foul. This time. Having seen the Eagles commit way too many Red Zone turnovers in recent years, I think you can argue more strongly that this was a play Kelly should have challenged. I do think the ball broke the plane. I can’t say with absolute conviction that the refs would have ruled for a TD, but I think they would have.
Some questioned Kelly’s decision to go for it on 4th/1 in the 4th quarter. The Eagles weren’t in FG range. I’d rather go for it than punt and risk only getting 18 additional yards. I liked the call. Just didn’t work.
The Eagles were a passing team in the 1st half, having almost a 2-to-1 pass to run ratio. And that was smart. From the first snap you could see the Skins would sell out to stop Shady. They paid no attention to Foles on the read-option. The Eagles played mostly in 3 WR spread sets, but the Skins still focused on the run. They kept 7 in the box and only 1 deep Safety against that look. They did a good job vs Shady, but could not stop Foles and the passing game.
Foles threw a couple of deep balls, but that wasn’t working. The Eagles were able to throw short and create big plays. Celek and Brown turned screens into big gains. DeSean caught intermediate passes and got downfield. There were a lot of RAC yards in the game and that’s great. Those are safer plays. 9 of Foles completions went to RBs or TEs. Only 8 went to WRs.
The big criticism of the offense is that it was too conservative in the 2nd half. I don’t fully agree with this. The focus went on the run game, as it should have. You want to work the clock. The Eagles still mixed in passes. It seemed to me that the Skins just did a much better job of covering than in the 1st half. You watch plays and don’t see players running open as much. And Foles didn’t want to force things. That’s smart. Play to the situation. With a lead, you don’t need to take chances.
I’m frustrated with Shady. He was too aggressive in the 2nd half. If you re-watch the game, you’ll see holes that he passed up. He kept trying to get outside for big plays. That had worked in the 1st half. He needed to show better situational awareness. In the 2nd half, you want to move the chains more than you want big plays. Shady wasn’t passing up huge holes, but he had room to run. If Alex Gibbs studied, the film, he’d have a heart attack. He taught RBs to make one-cut and then get upfield. Shady kept swinging for the fences. Just wasn’t the right thing to do.
We do have to give the Skins some credit. S Reed Doughty played very well in the 2nd half. He came down in the box a lot and either made the tackle or boxed Shady in. That was good defense by him. I do wonder if Kelly should have mixed in Brown or even Chris Polk some. Force the Skins to face a different RB style.
It was smart of the coaches to get the ball to the RBs in the passing game. The Skins have LBs that are big and tough, but not speedy. Kelly probably knew that the Skins would aggressively play the run so one way to get Shady going is to throw him the ball in space. Worked well.
1st/10. 12 personnel. Both WRs are to the left. TEs are stacked to the right. Skins have Nickel D in there, but an 8 man front. Really more like a 10-man front. Both TEs release to the inside. They take DBs to the inside with them. Shady runs a semi-wheel route. Really just has an angled release, then goes downfield. He’s 1-on-1 with Kerrigan. Total mismatch. Foles hits him in stride and Shady gets 49 on the play.
1st/GL. From the 1. Skins were inexplicably in a Nickel D. Had 2 DTs, 2 OLBs, 2 ILBs, and 5 DBs. Mathis blew open a huge hole and Shady walked into the end zone. ILB Perry Riley watched Foles and didn’t go for Shady. That made the TD easy.
* Skins had some success with ILB blitzes, especially on delays.
* Went under C late in the 1st Qtr on 3rd/1. This is a recent wrinkle that Derek Sarley has written about in his film reviews for the Daily News.
* 4-13 on 3rd downs.
* 3-4 in the Red Zone. 3 for 3 on Goal to Go situations. That was critical in this game.
FOLES - Good game. 17-26-298. Didn’t have a TD or any turnovers. Came close to a TD with 2 passes. One was ruled a score and then reversed. The other probably should have been but didn’t get challenged. Looked good from the start. Erased any doubts that the Nick from the Dallas game would be involved. That guy seems to be long gone.
Good mechanics. Could sell his play-action fakes a bit better. Like many young QBs, Foles doesn’t want his back to the defense for long so he’s quick with his fakes. Does a good job of turning his shoulders so he is perpindicular to the LOS before setting to throw. Sets his feet and throws. Not slow, but not in a rush either. Be quick, but not in a hurry. Seeing Foles in the pocket made me feel confident. The guy from the Dallas game was very awkward. Foles was comfortable on Sunday.
Had another good game as a runner. Made the Skins pay for not taking him seriously. Ran 9 times for 47 yards and a TD. By comparison, RG3 ran 10 times for 44 yards and no TDs. How many people thought Nick would be the more productive runner? You probably could have won a ton of money in Vegas with a prop bet on this.
Early deep ball to Riley was a pretty good throw. Just missed connecting for a 90-yd TD.
Hit DJax on 3rd/11. Sat in the pocket and made a good throw. Ball was thrown to good spot, away from the DB. Was that intentional?
Had to run for his life on early 3rd down. Pressure came from left side. Nick went right and held the ball a bit, but then wisely threw it away.
Good throw to Shady down the sideline for a gain of 49. Put some air under it so Shady could adjust, but threw it flat enough that no defender would be able to make a play. Tough balancing act.
Nothing pretty about his TD run except the result. Got near the GL and then used his size to fight his way into the end zone.
Got great protection to open the 3rd series. Had no one open so took off running for a gain of 15.
Good job on screen to Celek. Looked right. Gave quick pump fake. Looked back left at last second and made quick, soft throw.
Hit Riley on dig route with good throw. Riley was able to add RAC yds since he caught the ball on the move. Hit DeSean on a drag route on the next play. Short throw that turned into a gain of 26 due to RAC yds. Pass to Riley was perfect spiral with good velocity. Pass to DJax was a soft, touch throw. Both guys were able to pluck the ball on the move and get upfield.
Ran screen to Brown in the mid-2nd. Smith lined up in the backfield and went in motion to the left. Decoy. Foles looked his way and pump-faked, then turned and dumped the ball to Brown. Lots of room. Gain of 24.
Took a big hit from Fletcher on delay blitz. Got sacked. Ball came loose, but they ruled Nick down. I was nervous that replay might show this was a fumble, but nothing came of it.
Tried to run on 3rd/3 inside the 10. Looked like he should have given the ball to Polk. The OLB went for Polk, but team only needed 3 yds and Polk is a good downhill runner. Foles got 2 of the 3 yds. SS focused on Foles and went hard after him the second he saw it was a keeper.
Took a sack late in the half that basically killed that drive.
Scrambled on opening drive of the 2nd half and got a 1st down, then slid.
Scrambled for 10 yards in the early 4th.
Made one very bad decision in the 4th. On 3rd/long, tried to force a ball to Cooper. CB undercut the route and almost picked it off. Foles was greedy there and got away with it.
Scrambled on 3rd down late in the game. Looked like he got the 1st, but Shanny challenged and replay overturned the call.
SHADY - 20-77 on the ground. 4-73 as a receiver. Ran for a pair of TDs. That was good to see. Shady hadn’t had a rushing TD since the first Giants game. Got the team going with big catch/run down the right sideline. Thought he had a TD, but got tackled at the 4 for only a gain of 49 yards. Slow. Lazy. Missed a blitz pickup on 1st/GL. Riley did a delay blitz and Shady didn’t see him til the last minute. Forced Nick to move in the pocket and throw the ball away. First good run came late in the 1st Qtr. We used a spread set so there were 5 blockers for 5 defenders with one DB for Shady to beat. He got by that guy, but someone else grabbed him down by the jersey. Got 9 yds on the play. Had a great run in the mid-2nd. S fired into the backfield and Shady unleashed one of his Barry Sanders cuts on the guy and went around him. Shady got up the field for 10 yds. Meriweather tackled him and Shady started jawing right in his face. Got called for taunting, which moved the Eagles half the distance to the goal. Had another incredible run when that drive got down to the Red Zone. Was running outside zone. Fletcher shot a gap to get him and Shady hopped away from that and kept going wide. Turned upfield. Eluded Meriweather and Kerrigan, then cut to the inside. Got inside the 10 and had a chance for a TD, but went to the ground and grabbed his hammy. Scary moment. Shady was in pain. Was out for the rest of the half. Came right back in the 3rd Qtr. Caught a couple of passes on that drive. Short stuff, but kept the chains moving. Drew a flag on one when the LB horse-collared him. Would have been a TD without that so the guy had to. Ran for 1-yd TD up the middle to finish that drive.
Had a couple of great runs in the 2nd half. Made defenders miss in the backfield. Just wicked moves. Unfortunately, started looking for too many big plays and trying to get outside. Made poor choice on 4th Qtr run. Didn’t have room up the middle, but could have gotten a yard or so. Decided to cutback. That was closed off. Tried to run around that guy and was tackled for a loss. Did this on a few plays. On one drive, had runs of -5 and -6 yards. Clearly the Skins were loading the box and selling out to stop the run. Shady just needed to focus on getting a yard or two and not trying to get into space.
B BROWN – 4 carries for just 2 yards. A couple of those runs came on 4th/short. Did go 2-28 as a receiver. Caught screen in the mid-2nd and got upfield for gain of 24. Play had a chance to be huge, but got tripped up and couldn’t keep his balance. Caught screen before the half. Didn’t get many yards, but did manage to get out of bounds. Best run came on 4th/inches. No hesitation. Hit it hard. Got a yard. Was stuffed on 4th/short in the 2nd half.
POLK - Only used for 1 snap at RB. Got in the game late in the half. Didn’t get the ball on option play.
CELEK - Didn’t really have a clean block on Foles TD run, but did get in the way of a defender. No style points, but effective. Caught screen pass to open the 2nd Qtr and went flying down the field. Tackled as he got into the end zone. Originally ruled a TD, but replay showed he was down at the 1-yd line. Slow. Lazy. Good block on 4th/inches. Got into his defender, turned him sideways and made sure the guy didn’t get penetration. That gave Brown space to attack. The screen was the only pass that came his way.
ERTZ - Caught pass in the late 1st Qtr. Crossing route. Got a gain of 15. Was given a clean release on that play and just ran away from the DB. Had a bad drop on easy pass over the middle in the early 3rd. Came right back to him on the next play. Made this catch in traffic, took a big hit, bounced off that and got 5 extra yards. Finished 2-31.
CASEY - Had a good block on 3rd Qtr play-action pass.
D JACKSON – 4-82. First catch came on 3rd down on the opening drive. Caught the ball near the sideline and then took a huge hit. Drew a flag. DB hit him in the helmet. Best catch came in the mid-2nd. Caught pass on drag route. Had Wilson trailing him and got the ball on the move. Added almost 25 RAC yards. Able to turn on the jets and get wide and then down the sideline. Caught pass along the sideline late in the half. Caught pass on deep crossing route in the early 3rd and got 22 yards on that play. Easy. Wide open and running in space.
AVANT - Quiet game. Had pass come his way in the late 1st Qtr. Was open on crossing route. Jason reached for the ball with one hand, but couldn’t hang on. Looked like pass was too far out front of him. Caught short pass in the early 3rd. Came over the middle on 3rd/5. Came up just short of the sticks. Bobbled the catch or might have gotten the 1st. Had a DB right there so it wasn’t an easy catch.
COOPER - 3-37. Sounds like a quiet game, but was more impactful than that. Targeted 7 times, the most of any Eagles receiver. Foles went his way with a deep ball on the opening drive. Looked like there should have been a penalty called on the Skins for PI. CB grabbed Cooper downfield. Cooper wasn’t able to adjust to the pass and make the catch. Hard to say if the contact was the reason, but it didn’t help. Best play was catch in the mid-2nd. Eagles were backed up inside the 10. Riley ran a dig route, which is a deep cross. Used a push-off on Amerson to create separation. No flag. Got the ball over the middle and added RAC yards for a gain of 23. Had a pass come his way in the end zone in the mid-2nd. CB held Coop or it probably would have been a TD. Drew the flag. Had a nice catch along the sideline wiped out by OL penalty in the early 3rd. Caught a slant pass inside the 5. Short, quick throw. Should have been a TD, but Riley’s back was to the GL and they ruled him short. Chip decided not to challenge. Cost him a TD. My take…Cooper was slow, lazy.
D JOHNSON – Inactive
MAEHL - Only played 5 snaps.
SMITH - First game as an Eagle. Had one snap on offense. Came in the mid-2nd. Lined up in the backfield and then went in motion to the left. Decoy. Play was RB screen to the right.
PETERS - Started. I didn’t think he had much of a chance to play, but got out there and had a solid showing. Orakpo tried running around Peters early on, but Jason just rode him deep, wide. Good block of Orakpo on Shady’s first TD run. Got under his pads and moved him off the ball. Called for illegal hands to the face when pass blocking Jackson in the early 3rd. Jason got his hand up by the bottom of Jackson’s facemask. Could have also called him for holding. Whiffed on block of OLB in the mid-4th and Shady was tackled for a loss. Good game overall.
MATHIS – Good game. May have kept Foles from getting killed on opening drive. Perry Riley looped around on blitz and got by the OL. Mathis saw him at the last minute. Got a hand on Riley to slow him just a bit. Still hit Foles hard. Had to hold Orakpo on the next play. Skins had a blitz that confused Evan and Peters. Orakpo slanted inside and had an open path to Foles. Smart to hold. Loved what Evan did on Celek’s screen. Didn’t run down the field like a cheerleader. Saw guys chasing so he slowed and basically took out 2 guys, Cofield and Doughty. Great block on Shady’s first TD run. Downblocked on DT and caved the guy in. Moved him a couple of yards to the inside. Good job on screen to Brown. Blocked DL downfield and got a bit of a shove on LB chasing the play. Gave up a sack in the 3rd Qtr, but really wasn’t his fault. Coverage sack. Foles held the ball waiting for someone to come open, but didn’t happen. Good down block on 3rd Qtr run play. Really moved the DT down the LOS.
KELCE - Very good block late in the 1st Qtr. Was able to get into the NT and move down the line. That created a hole for Shady right up the middle. Good block on Brent’s screen. Got upfield and dove at DB. Didn’t hit him, but kept the guy from getting to Celek. That’s fine on a play like that out in space. Held Cofield on pass in the 2nd Qtr and drew a flag. Good call. Put a nasty cut block on Fletcher on screen to Brown. London could see him coming so it wasn’t dirty. Hit Fletcher low and hard. Got him off balance and forced an awkward fall. Actually stayed there and helped Fletcher up. Gotta be nice to senior citizens. Kelce had some issues with Barry Cofield in the season opener, but not on Sunday.
HERREMANS - Did a good job on Foles TD run. He and Johnson moved DT off the ball. Todd stuck with the block. Very good block of Fletcher on 3rd/1. Totally kept him out of the play. Great block on Celek’s screen. Hit DL as the guy was turning and put him on the ground. Didn’t try to kill the guy, but hit him hard. Kerrigan lined up at DT and rushed up the middle in the early 3rd. Got some penetration, but Todd kept control and gave Foles room to work with. Got beat by inside move of OLB on 4th Qtr pass play. Might have held on the play. Gave Foles time to get rid of the ball.
JOHNSON - Good game. Wasn’t overly aggressive with his pass sets. Got moved back by Kerrigan at times, but was able to re-set and anchor. Good block on Foles TD run. Helped with DL at the snap, then got on Fletcher. Failed to read a stunt late in the half and Orakpo looped around him and sacked Foles. Those plays are tough on veterans, let alone rookies. Good block of Orakpo on 3rd Qtr pass. Stuck with him as he tried to round the corner. Lane eventually got him off balance and pushed him to the ground. Excellent block on Shady run to his side. Helped move DT off the ball and then completely drove Fletcher out of the play. Good down block on 4th/inches. Caved that guy in. Kerrigan was offside or close on 3rd Qtr pass play (guessed the snap count), but Lane kept him blocked. Beaten by Kerrigan in the early 4th Qtr. Foles got hit and the pass fell incomplete because of that.
BARBRE - DNP
TOBIN - DNP
VANDERVELDE - DNP
KELLY - DNP
Dealing with the speed and elusiveness of RG3 and the power of Alfred Morris is not fair. That really is a deadly combo. Bill Davis focused on stopping the run and even when the Eagles did the right thing, the Skins were able to get positive yards. They ran for 191 yards. It still felt like the Eagles didn’t play bad run defense.
I thought Davis did a good job of calling this game. He took some chances with blitzes, vs the run and pass. He mixed in stunts and slants. He was trying to create negative plays without being too risky. The Eagles did come up with 4 TFLs and would have had more if Morris wasn’t so hard to bring down.
Even on the final drive, Davis stayed creative. He rushed 3 guys on one play and then 4 or 5 right after that. He blitzed up the middle and off the edge. He used different combinations and different looks. Davis wasn’t going to play a standard prevent defense. My one complaint is with so much off coverage. I do understand Davis didn’t want receivers getting behind the defense, but they did a couple of times. I would have played more press, with the Safeties staying back.
In the 1st half, WAS ran 28 times for 160 yards. They didn’t score a point.
In the 2nd half, WAS ran 10 times for 31 yards and scored 16 points.
* 1st/10. Play-action pass to Paulsen. Someone blew coverage and left Paulsen wide open. Nate Allen was the underneath cover guy. He didn’t seem to think Paulsen was his guy. Cary Williams ran downfield with a WR, but it was hard to tell if the D was in man or zone. Luckily RG3 threw the pass 5 yards too far.
* 2nd/5. From PHI 5. Skins decided to throw the ball. RG3 dropped back. Coverage was tight so he held the ball. The Skins tried to block Barwin with a RB. Connor beat the back and hit RG3, knocking the ball up into the air. Fletcher Cox caught it and took off upfield. He then got the ball to a teammate, but that was a forward pass so the extra yards didn’t count. Trent Cole got a hard rush from his side. That gave RG3 nowhere to run. Cole saw the ball in the air. It was hilarious to watch him try to catch it. He looked so awkward, squatting and waiting for the ball. Don’t think Trent will ever get snaps at TE.
* 1st/10. Thornton at LDE. Cox, Logan inside. Cole at RDE. Thornton stands up as a rusher. Comes off the edge and gets into the backfield. Logan drives the C back to RG3. Those guys force RG3 to move from the pocket, where Cole gets him for a sack. Great rush with no blitzing. Cole made sure to jam the TE at the release so Trent then had a strange rush angle. Made it easier for him to get to RG3.
* 2-pt Conv. The Skins ran a simple pick play and Nick Williams was wide open.
COX – Cox was darn near invisible in the first meeting between these teams. That wasn’t the case on Sunday. He was all over the field. He chased Griffin play after play. Cox recovered a fumble and almost had an interception. He made the tackle on a screen pass that he read perfectly on 3rd/long. Hustled out wide to get to the RB.
Called for roughing on the first play. Great hustle to get out wide, but should have pulled up instead of hitting RG3. Had a wild time on 2nd Qtr run. Got off the block of the LT and grabbed Morris. Had him solidly, but wasn’t able to make the tackle. Gave up another 5 yards. Morris is very strong. Good play vs the run in the late 2nd. Got into the LG and moved him back a step. Then flowed to the outside, where the play was going. Shed the block and tackled Morris. Only gave up a yard on that. Drove the RG back into RG3’s face on 3rd Qtr pass play and forced the throw to be high and off target. Made a terrific play on a screen in the late 3rd. Read the play and stayed near the RB. Actually got the ball. Originally ruled an INT, but replay showed that the ball hit the ground. Good job vs the run in the late 3rd. Got off the block of the LT and grabbed Morris as he started upfield. On the next play he moved over to LDE. Fought off the RT and limited Morris to just a yard on 3rd/2. Collapsed the pocket on pass play on the final drive. RG3 scrambled. Cox chased him and made the stop, limiting the gain to 1 yd. Great speed, hustle. Got pressure on the game-saving INT, but also got help. Lined up at LDE. Started rushing. Was battling the RT. The RG shoved Fletch in the side, which helped him to get around the RT and into RG3’s face. That’s when the gift, aka lob pass, went up. Credited with 5 total tackles, a pass deflection and a fumble recovery.
LOGAN - Another good game. Looped out wide on opening play. Had a chance to get to RG3, but took too inside of an angle and let RG3 outside. Can’t let him get wide. Hustled down the LOS to tackle Morris on 1st Qtr run play. Drove the RG into the backfield and flushed RG3. Tried to sack him, but couldn’t get close enough. Hustled out wide on Morris run and should have had a TFL when Morris stepped out of bounds, but the official missed the call since he got hit by a player. Ran a stunt in the early 2nd Qtr where Logan looped wide. RB was right there to be hit and Logan tackled him. Helped collapse the pocket on 2nd Qtr pass and flushed RG3 out. Got some pressure on 4th/1 pass play in the early 4th Qtr. Looped outside and got up the field. Saw RG3 going to pass so Logan jumped to try and affect the throw. Pass was off target, but not sure if it was due to Logan or just a sloppy throw. Drove the LG back toward RG3 on the final drive. 3 solo stops and a TFL.
THORNTON - Had 5 solo tackles and 2 TFLs. Great play on the opening drive. Controlled the RT and pushed him back. Guy hit the RB in the backfield and the RB fell down. Showed great hustle on the play where Morris wasn’t called out of bounds. It was Thornton who ran from LDE to the far sideline and made the tackle. Next play was a run to his side. Ced pushed the RG backward and blew up the play, getting a TFL. Showed good speed in the 2nd Qtr when he chased RG3 on scramble play. Impressive play vs run in the late 2nd. Slanted to the inside from LDE. Saw ball going to the outside. Shifted back that way and got Morris as he got to the LOS. No gain. Had perfect 2-gap play to open the 3rd Qtr. Fired into the RG and moved him back. Shed the block and grabbed Morris for short gain. Offside in the mid-4th. Played NT and DE on the final drive. Got one hit on RG3.
CURRY - Another good showing. Used hard inside move to get a bit of pressure on 3rd down pass play late in the 1st Qtr. Did terrific job vs the run on early 2nd Qtr run play. Got past the LG and into the backfield, but the RB cut inside of him. Curry turned around and was able to get in on the tackle of the RB. Made a great 2-gap play in the early 2nd Qtr. Skins were in the RZ. Curry fired into the LG and then looked for the ball. RG3 kept it on an option run. Curry shed the block and grabbed RG3. Limited him to a short gain. Crucial play since next up was Barwin’s strip sack. Used hard inside move in the 3rd Qtr to force RG3 to move and throw to checkdown receiver. Got some pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play. Flushed RG3 out of the pocket and forced him to throw the ball away. Helped blow up run play in the late 3rd. Drove OL into backfield, forcing RB to stay deep. Stood up on that play. Lined up at LDE on 3rd/long and drove the RT right back into RG3’s area. Shed the RT on late pass play and jumped at RG3, which affected the accuracy of a downfield pass. Only credited with 1 tackle, but was active and disruptive.
GEATHERS - Quiet game. Got some pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play. Was generally stout vs the run, but didn’t have standout moments.
SQUARE - Solid showing. Developing nicely as a backup NT. Uses his hands really well. Able to fight off blocks. Got some penetration on 2nd Qtr pass play, then hustled out wide after the pass was thrown. Very good motor. Works to get off blocks. Showed great hustle in the early 2nd Qtr. TE Reed caught a pass along the sideline and got downfield about 10 yds. Square was there with a DB and LB to knock him out of bounds. Got hit on RG3 on final drive. Was due to effort and good downfield coverage that forced him to hold the ball.
COLE - Bit of a breakout game. Had 2 sacks and a TFL. Has been generating pressure all year, but finally got the payoff. Got blocked by TE Paulsen on outside run by Morris early in the game. Can’t give up the edge like that. Used hard inside move to flush RG3 on pass play from his own end zone. Helped Goode come free for a sack. Slanted hard inside on pass play and occupied the OL so Goode could sneak around behind him. Good job on outside run in the late 1st. Fought off block of LT and stayed wide. Got to Morris in the backfield, but couldn’t quite make the tackle. Forced him to stay deep which should have led to TFL, but refs blew out of bounds call. Got first sack late in the half. Beat LT Williams cleanly. Trent used his hands to knock away Williams hands and then turned the corner. Williams held him as Trent got away, but Trent was still able to drag RG3 to the ground. Got good pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play. Helped that Curry was driving RG3 Cole’s way. Got TFL in the late 3rd. Morris ran to Trent’s side. Trent fired off the ball and pushed back 2 TEs, then made the tackle. That was great run defense. One huge error. Failed to cover the FB on the pass play that turned into a long TD. Was okay initially, but then got caught watching RG3 and Young went further down the field. Wide open. Trent hustled in pursuit, but got tangled up with Chung and took a big hit to the head. Lost contain a few times in the 4th Qtr. Trent has to know he can’t do that vs RG3. Got the initial pressure on the final play. Drove the LT into the backfield and that pushed RG3 over toward Cox’s area. Only had 3 tackles in the game, but all were impact plays (sack or TFL).
BARWIN - Good game. Had 5 solo tackles, a sack, FF and pass deflection. Also did a very good job of setting the edge on run plays. Batted down pass on the opening drive. Set the edge on a run play to the outside and helped create a TFL. Made a form tackle of Hankerson on pass play in the early 2nd Qtr. Hustled down the LOS on run away from his side. Curry forced cutback and Barwin was there to make the stop. Tackled Morris on 2nd Qtr run that came at him. Chased Morris to the other side of the field on a 3rd Qtr run and helped tackle him. Lined up over RG on 3rd Qtr pass play. Faked blitzing and dropped back. Helped stuff Morris on 3rd/2 to open the 4th Qtr. Unblocked on the play. Helped to break up a 4th Qtr pass to the TE. Bit on run fake on bootleg play where RG3 got wide and threw a long TD pass. Pressure from Barwin could have made a big difference on that play. Rushed off the edge on late pass play. Got by the RT and forced RG3 to scramble and throw on the move.
GRAHAM - Made a great defensive play in the 1st Qtr. Fired into the backfield and knocked the crap out of Morris for a TFL. Friggin beautiful play. Played ROLB in the 4th. Totally bit on a run fake and let RG3 get outside too easily. Fired into the backfield on 3rd/2. FB went by him. I think Graham was designed to go hard inside on this play. Used a hard inside move on the next play and got inside the LT and pressured RG3. Beat Williams again to the inside on the next play, but RG3 got rid of the ball quickly. Drove the LT back to RG3 on pass play on the final drive.
KENDRICKS - DNP
RYANS - Led the team with 7 total tackles. Didn’t have any impact plays. Good stop of Morris on run when WAS was backed up near their own end zone. Squared up and made a strong tackle. Did a good job on screen pass in the 1st Qtr. Read the play and flowed out wide. Fought through block to help Cox push the RB out of bounds. Hustled out wide to tackle RG3 on 4th Qtr run play. Moved to his right and got the FB on 3rd/2 run, but couldn’t stop him short of the sticks. Tackled Garcon after short catch over the middle in the mid-4th. Got him down smoothly. Garcon has great RAC skills so it isn’t always easy to do that. Missed tackle of Helu on cutback run in the 4th.
GOODE - Interesting player. Had 5 total tackles, a sack and a PD. Pretty good play vs option. Scraped to the outside by design. Took on the TE, who acted as a blocker for RG3. That was good. Couldn’t get off the block to tackle RG3 for a loss, though. Flew up the field on Morris run. Got into the backfield, but couldn’t make the tackle. Got hold of FB on 3rd/1 run, but could not stuff him for a loss. Gave up the yard. Hustled out wide in pursuit of RG3 on scramble and got him out of bounds. Got a sack in the 1st Qtr. Lined up tight to the line. Cole slanted inside and Goode scraped off his backside. Blockers never saw him and he was able to get a hand on RG3, then drag him to the ground. Failed to knock Reed out of bounds after catch near the sideline. Gave up another 5 RAC yards. Used a delay blitz in the 3rd Qtr to get pressure and force an off-target throw. Blitzed up the middle in the late 3rd and forced rushed throw by RG3. Cox almost picked it off. Blitzed on 3rd Qtr run. Hit the OL, but didn’t go so well. Got thrown to the ground. Came on a delay blitz on the final drive and deflected a pass. Fell incomplete. Had good coverage of TE on 4th Qtr pass play. Ball went elsewhere. Blitzed up the middle on final drive. RB tried to stop him, but Goode knocked him back a step. That helped to flush RG3. Called for holding on 3rd/10 on final drive. Crucial mistake. Forced Helu out of bounds on pass play on final drive.
MATTHEWS - Played OLB. Got in on a couple of tackles.
KNOTT - Inactive.
ALLEN - Quiet game. Was only in on a couple of tackles. Made good tackle of Garcon on end around on opening drive. Took good angle and made form tackle. Came up and made a big hit on Garcon after catch along the sideline in the early 2nd Qtr. Tough shot. Blitzed off the edge in the early 2nd Qtr and forced RG3 to make a tough throw over him. Nate jumped to try and get the ball but couldn’t quite reach it. Couldn’t get off block by Paulsen on run play in the late 2nd Qtr and Morris ran through that area for a good gain.
CHUNG - Active game, but not always good. Got burned on opening drive. Bit on fake and didn’t contain backside on end around. Had a chance to tackle RG3 on scramble near his own end zone, but was a step slow in getting there. Tackled Morris downfield on several runs. Was around the ball a lot. Made a horrible play in the early 4th. The FB caught a pass down the sideline. Chung hustled over to make the tackle, but took a poor angle at the end and missed. Even worse, he hit Cole (in the head) and forced him to miss some plays. Had good coverage of Garcon on play on final drive. Undercut the route and forced RG3 to throw the ball wide. Had pretty good coverage of Garcon on deep ball. Chung stuck with him and didn’t let Garcon have the freedom to adjust to the ball easily. Pass was off target by a couple of feet.
WOLFF - DNP
COLEMAN - Came into the game when Chung got banged up. Helped tackle RG3 on early option play.
FLETCHER - DNP
WILLIAMS - Not a strong showing. Lost track of Garcon on 3rd down play and gave up completion for 8 yds, 1st down. Failed to do anything good on 3rd/short. Covered his WR, but never noticed the RB had the ball. Cary could have made the play or at least kept Helu boxed in. Did neither. Beaten for good catch and run in the mid-3rd Qtr. Just looked a step slow on the play. Did make the tackle. Gave up 13-yd completion to Moss on 3rd/10. Was in off coverage. Slow break on the ball. Did make the tackle. Beaten by out ‘n up route on final drive, but the pass was off target. Drew a penalty while battling with Garcon in the 4th. Garcon was called for facemask. Shocking to get that called. Covered Garcon on 4th Qtr pass play, then let him go free down the field. Chung picked him up. I don’t know why Williams let him go. Didn’t see anyone else in that area. Gave up catch to Garcon on the final drive. Played off and was slow to break on the ball. Was in on 5 tackles and credited with a PD.
BOYKIN - Didn’t play a ton of snaps. WAS used 2 TE sets more than 3 WRs. When Boykin was in the game, he was pretty good. Was slow out of his break in the early 3rd and left Nick Williams wide open for easy catch on 3rd down. Moved the chains. Hit a RB after short catch in the early 3rd and knocked the ball loose. WAS got it back. Had tight coverage of Garcon on the final drive. Pass was thrown too wide and fell incomplete. Broke up 4th Qtr pass near the sideline. Had a chance for a pick-six, but wasn’t able to get both hands to the ball. Hustled downfield to push Garcon out of bounds after catch/run in the late 4th. Had good coverage of Robinson on pass play at the end of the game. Tried several moves, but Boykin stuck with him. Pass went into the end zone, but was incomplete. Was in zone coverage on the final play. Didn’t have anyone in his area, but kept his eyes active. Saw the lob throw and headed for the end zone. Jumped up and picked it off. Made sure his feet were down inbounds. Clutch play. Credited with 3 solo tackles, INT, FF and a PD. That’s excellent production.
CARMICHAEL - Mixed game. Too good to be bad, but still gave up catches, yards and a TD. Made terrific play on 3rd down in the late 1st Qtr. Skins used bunch formation. Eagles DBs lined up correctly and each took the right guy. RG3 tried to hit Roc’s guy over the middle, but Roc managed to get his hand in there and knock the ball away. Showed good anticipation in reading the play well and expecting the pass. Showed good body control in being able to reach and break it up without drawing a flag. Got in on tackle of Morris on run play to his side in the 3rd. Not bashful about contact. Threw Morris to the ground. Beaten to the inside by Moss on 3rd/long, but the pass was off target. Should have been a 1st down. Helped tackle RG3 on 4th Qtr run. Roc went low while Ryans went high. Gave up catch and run to Robinson in the 4th. Played off and got caught turning the wrong way. Gave up long TD to Robinson. Actually had good coverage on the play, but failed to make a play on the ball in the end zone. The WR located the ball and turned for it. Carmichael never saw it. Tackled Helu on run to his side in the late 4th. Beaten for 28 yds on 3rd/25. Moss went upfield and then cut hard to the inside. Carmichael just didn’t have the quickness to make that break and stay right on him. Excellent play design and execution by the Skins. Had good coverage of WR on final drive. Inside route. The WR tripped on Roc’s feet and the pass went flying by. Made a break on the ball on pass play late in the game. Missed the ball by inches. Led to a gain of 17 for Garcon. High risk. I have mixed feelings on that. Want players to be aggressive, but those 17 yards were almost very costly. Credited with 5 solo tackles.
JONES - Great game. Averaged 50.7 yards per punt. 4 of them were downed inside the 20. Had a 70-yd boomer late in the game that really backed up the Skins and helped the Eagles seal the win. NFC STs player of the week.
HENERY - 1 of 1 on FGs. 4 of his 5 KOs were touchbacks.
KOR – Boykin got the call as KOR. Had one go for 18 yards. Was hoping for better against such a poor STs unit.
PR – Damaris was inactive so DeSean was the PR. Made one odd catch, late in the 1st Qtr. Ball hopped and DJax caught it near a defender. Made me nervous. Why risk that? Honestly, DeSean made me nervous on a few punts. Doesn’t look smooth with some catches. Returned one punt for 6 yds.
– MISC –
* Chris Polk had good tackle on opening KO.
* Brandon Boykin downed a punt at the 2 in the 1st Qtr. Great hustle.
* Graham got pressure up the middle on punt late in the 1st Qtr.
* Nick Williams muffed a punt, but was able to recover. 3rd Qtr play.