The Philadelphia Eagles chose the wrong time to expose all of their flaws, as a 27-24 loss to the Washington Redskins which means Robert Griffin III has won a game for the first time this season, is probably going to cost them a spot in the NFL Playoffs, lamenting the fact that it was Mark Sanchez playing quarterback for them and not anyone else.
The Eagles had the game tied at 24-24 and heading into Washington territory with just under two minutes left, but some excellent blitzing completely threw Sanchez off his game, resulting in an interception by Bashaud Breeland on the Washington 42. The Redskins had 1:31 to make something happen, and one big pass from Griffin combined with a penalty that put the Eagles in big trouble put them in field goal range. A few more short gains from Alfred Morris gave Kai Forbath an easy 26-yarder to hit, winning the game with five seconds to go.
The Eagles led the NFC East only a week ago, but a three-game losing streak starting with the Seahawks, followed with the Cowboys and now to the lowly Redskins has put them outside of the playoff picture with six losses and a very slim chance of actually finding themselves back in the game. In the blink of an eye, all the talk of progress and success in the Chip Kelly era turns into something completely different, although they have been playing with Sanchez and not Nick Foles for half the season if not more.
The happiest man on the field after the game was DeSean Jackson, who was cut by the Eagles before joining the Redskins. He had a big game against his former team in the previous loss, and once again produced a fantastic one, catching the ball four times for 126 yards. The Redskins didn’t score any passing touchdowns – Robert Griffin III throwing just one interception and not falling apart on the field is good enough these days. The scoring was done by Alfred Morris with a touchdown and two more by Darrell Young on goal-line stands.
While Griffin completed two huge passes to Jackson for gains of over 30 yards twice, his last attempt for a huge play ended up in an interception and the Eagles tying the game. Despite the win and the Redskins actually improving on last season’s win total, this wasn’t a very good game for Griffin. Not the one that will restore Jay Gruden’s faith in him, or make him any less likely to get traded at the end of this season.
The Redskins won this game with defense. They held the Eagles to only 32 rushing yards in the second half, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry. That came after going for over 100 yards in the first half and averaging 5.4 yards per carry. LeSean McCoy, who has disappeared since his big performance in Dallas, finished with 88 yards and scored a touchdown, but the Eagles struggled moving the chains in the second half and were once again leaving Bradley Fletcher in one on one situations, something they were criticized for in the loss to the Cowboys.
The Redskins have nothing left to play for but ruin the season for the Cowboys as well, but a lot of it depends on their result against the Colts. A win for the Cowboys in Indianapolis and they win the NFC East regardless of what happens in Washington on the final week. The Eagles need a lot of things to go their way but considering their ability over the last three weeks and the fact that it’s still Mark Sanchez and not the Nick Foles from last year, even winning their final game of the season against the Giants in New York doesn’t sound all that likely.