The Philadelphia Eagles made a statement in this week’s victory against the Washington Redskins. The Eagles ended their 10 game home losing streak in a convincing 24-16 win over their NFC East rival.
You could see the confidence that the Eagles felt coming into this game just by observing the team during the minutes leading up to kickoff. Lesean McCoy stole an opposing fan’s Redskins banner as he was greeting people on the sidelines at Lincoln Financial Field. This sent a signal to the Eagles phaithful that the Birds were focused for today’s game and that they meant business.
And it was McCoy and Foles of the Eagles offense that would strike first during this contest. After hitting Shady for 49 yards on a wheel route to the right, Nick Foles would run the ball up the middle into the end zone for Philadelphia’s first score.
Nick Foles was very efficient with the ball during the first half, throwing 9 of 15 for 204 yards. He almost had a passing touchdown during a screen play to Brent Celek, but the 42 yard run after the catch would be short of a touchdown by a half a yard. Shady would make quick work however, cleaning up this drive with an easy rush through the middle.
It wasn’t just the Eagles offense that came out swinging in the first half, but their defensive unit was shutting down every Redskin attempt in the early going. Although they had trouble tackling Alfred Morris at times, the Eagle’s defense kept Washington scoreless with only 164 total yards after two quarters of play.
Demeco Ryans and Connor Barwin would be the standout defensive players, each executing 5 tackles before halftime. Barwin would also record one of the Birds three first half sacks. The sack forced a fumble that was recovered by Fletcher Cox.
Shady left the game during the second quarter with an apparent hamstring injury, but would return in the third quarter after halftime. His hamstring didn’t seem to bother him at all, as he would cap off the Eagles 73 yard drive with yet another 1-yard rush. He would finish the day with 77 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Riley Cooper was not a standout part of the passing attack like he was the past two weeks, only coming down with 3 receptions and 37 yards. Although he received the most targets of all recievers with 7, it was the tight ends and the running backs that would make the plays for big yardage. Desean Jackson would lead the team in receiving with 82 yards on four receptions.
The defense was the real key to the Eagles victory today. The team recorded 4 sacks and 8 tackles for a loss. Their ability to infiltrate the line of scrimmage put the pressure on a struggling RGIII early. Alfred Morris was the only menace for the Philly D, but the team made a great effort to quickly get many men to the ball.
Of course Nick Foles lead the offense perfectly yet again, recording 276 yards and completing 17 of 26 attempts. But it was the defense led by Fletcher Cox, Demeco Ryans and Connor Barwin that would prove to be the greatest difference in this contest.
RGIII was not able to get any offensive flow going, as he was only able to generate 218 yards of total offense through the first three quarters. Griffin III would be able to generate some chemistry in the fourth, but it was far too late to make a difference in the game’s outcome.
The Skins managed to score on two consecutive drives of 62 and 85 yards respectively and Mike Shanahan was able to draw something up to make sure his offense added two-point conversions to each end zone visit. This only made the Redskins down by eight points, something that the team received on their past two strikes up the field.
Griffin III, the sophomore quarterback, couldn’t complete the upset as he was picked off by Brandon Boykin in the end zone on the Skins last drive of the game.
This victory is a giant boost for the Eagles confidence as they enter their bye week. The remaining 5 games of the Eagles are not that difficult. Apart from the Lions and Cowboys, the Eagles have a great chance to win the remainder of their schedule taking them into the playoffs.
Although it’s not guaranteed nor will it be easy for the Birds to accomplish, it is something for the fans to look forward to in the coming weeks.