The good, bad, and more from the Redskins’ 37-34 loss in Philly.
1. Kirk Cousins. Good performance but not great. Great would’ve meant finishing the deal. Down 37-34 at the Eagle 41, a great performance would’ve ended in either a lead or an attempt at a tying FG. With that said, it was one of the best statistical days for Skins’ QB in franchise history. He went 30-48 for 427 yards with 3 TD’s, one pick. He was near-perfect in the first half leading the team to four scores on four drives. He was inaccurate at times in the 2nd half and some of that seemed to be a result of ironically, being too quick with throws. Seemed like he could’ve extended a few plays longer than he did. I’d like to see him run occasionally. The upside of getting rid of it is that he didn’t get sacked on 48 throws but it just seemed like there were more chances in the 2nd half. He also looked jumpy on a few throws….specifically the 3rd and 3 on their first drive of the 3rd qtr on a throw to Jackson. It looked like he had other places to go. In his defense, he had some balls dropped too. Grant, Paul and Roberts had opportunties but couldn’t bring in catches on throws that weren’t perfect but catchable. Also thought as the game went on that Philly started to jump some routes and another deep shot or two on double moves or stop-and-gos would’ve worked.
2. Pass protection. Part of pass protection was Cousins getting the ball out early but he was never really hit except once in the first half and that one was late. That play specifically nearly got Morris hurt. The O-line and backs did a pretty decent job.
3. Pierre Garcon. An outstanding overall performance from Garcon. 11 catches for 138 yards and several of them were spectacular. The catch early in the 4th quarter on the sideline when he took a huge hit was big-time. He had the catch on a throw behind him on the first play of the day. He also had a huge Morris fumble recovery that kept a touchdown drive alive in the 1st quarter.
4. 2nd-half defense. Philly is really good so to force 2 FGs and 3 punts on the Eagles’ first 5 drives of the 2nd half was a major improvment from the first half. On the Eagles’ 6th drive the Skins nearly had them off the field but Keenan Robinson was called for a very questionable pass interference penalty which ultimately led to a go-ahead touchdown pass to Maclin. If you had told me that the defense would hold LeSean McCoy to 22 yds on 20 carries and one catch for zero yards I would’ve said the Skins won the game. The only big criticism of the defense in the 2nd half was their inability to get to Foles against an O-line in tatters. They hit Foles several times but they couldn’t get to him. The defense gave the team a chance to win in the 2nd half.
1. 1st-half defense. On it’s heels against one of the best schemes in the NFL. They made the proper choice throughout the entire game to make Foles beat them and he did. Foles’ performance was spectacular but it was made too easy for him in the first half. Pressure wasn’t there and receivers were open. Haz played a ton of people in the first half to try and keep things fresh but it didn’t work. Philly didn’t touch the ball until 1:36pm but when they did, they were unstoppable. 3 touchdowns on 4 drives and the only possession that didn’t end in touchdown was the drive that ended with the Sproles fumble after an 18-yard gain.
2. Special Teams. Too many back-breaking plays. A 102-yd kickoff return and a missed 33-yd field goal is hard to overcome on the road against a good team. They also gave up a 35 yard kickoff return, an 18 yard punt return, and committed an offsides penalty (Merriweather) on a kickoff. I thought Andre Roberts did a nice job especially fielding a short punt early in the 4th quarter that saved a ton of yards.
3. Penalties. For the 2nd straight week, too many penalties. Some were questionable but 10 for 131 yards is a bad day.
4. Penalty on Baker. Ridiculous. If the QB can’t be hit on an INT or fumble return then he shouldn’t be an eligible tackler. That block was legal and it happened as Foles moved towards Breeland as a potential tackler. The play wasn’t over and Foles was an active player on the play. A rule to make the QB a “dead” player on a change of possession should be implemented if they’re not going to let that QB be blocked.
5. Injuries. This one loss felt like 3. The injuries to Hall, Hatcher, and others combined with a short week makes it a devastating missed opportunity. Bottom line, at 1-2, the Giant game is a must if they intend on being a legit competitive team this year.
1. The complaints about Gruden using his first timeout before the 4th down with under 2 minutes left versus saving it for his defense is nit-picking. The right play-call in that spot is equally important especially given the field position. From your own 20, you know you’re going to punt so don’t use the timeout. At the opponent’s 41, you’re going for it so make sure you don’t rush a bad play in order to keep a 3rd timeout. Would’ve been interesting if Gruden had decided to punt….maybe after a move to try and draw Philly offsides for 5 yards (and FG range). Wouldn’t have been popular but they would’ve had all 3 timeouts and could’ve put Philly in a hole. That’s true 2nd guessing and I think going for it was the right move.
2. I don’t like taking a knee at the end of a half from your own 41. Why not throw it to into the end zone? Nothing to lose.
3. Baker had a huge opportunity to pick off a pass on a Kerrigan pressure at 27-27.
4. D. Jackson should’ve been hit with a 15-yarder on the first drive of the game. Ref caught the reaction, not the instigator although truth is, Jenkins went after Jackson’t shoulder on the ground which is what made Jackson react. I also thought that Amerson should’ve been penalized during the brawl for a punch.
5. Morris fumbled again.
6. Jackson and Garcon made some great sideline catches while taking big hits.
7. Maclin’s early bubble screen for big yardage would’ve been played better by Kerrigan than the way Orakpo played it. Kerrigan sniffs those plays out and would’ve altered the throw. Maybe that’s why Philly went to the other side on that play.
8. Skins had another bad challenge on the Cooper catch. Have they won a challenge yet?
9. Foles was great.
10. Morris had one of the best 7-yard runs ever on the last play of the 3rd qtr. That should’ve been no gain or minus 1.
11. The reversal on the Maclin catch in the 4th was the right call. The knee was down before the elbow hit out of bounds.
12. The holding penalty on Philly on their last punt was the difference of roughly 40 yards of field position. Skins had a perfect set up for a go-ahead score late and couldn’t get it done.