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Likes, dislikes, and more from the 34-24 loss to the Eagles.

Good:

  1. Carson Wentz. He was the best player on the field and won the game almost by himself.  The 3rd down escape at 24-17 was the play of the game.  What should’ve been a sack and momentum turned into a touchdown a few plays later and a 31-17 lead.  His 64-yd touchdown pass to Hollins was a perfect throw….one of several on the night.  He is a star.

  1. Ryan Kerrigan. He’s a different player this year because he’s healthy.  I loved when they used him inside on an early pressure/sack.
  1. Run defense. Wentz scrambled and read-optioned his way to 63 yards, but the backs went 25 for 64 yards on the night.  Zach Brown’s speed was evident all-night long.
  1. Pass rush. Wentz is so good but the Skins were able to sack him three times and pressure him repeatedly on 25 pass attempts.  Of course, the one sack they didn’t get was the back-breaking play of the game.  They got interior rush on several occasions using Kerrigan inside on a few plays.  Ioannidis, Smith, Galette, Foster, Brown all provided push and pressure.

Bad:

  1. 3rd and short offense.  The Skins were stopped on two straight 3rd and 1s in the first half on throws.  They also missed a 3rd and 2 in the first half on a dropback/sack.  I’m not sure running the ball would’ve worked because they haven’t been a good short-yardage run team but missing on those makeable 3rd-downs had a major impact on the game.  The 3rd and 1 completion to Jordan Reed short of the sticks at their own 40 holding a 10-3 lead was a massive missed opportunity to keep a drive alive that could’ve resulted in a late 2nd quarter two-score lead.   

  1.  Injuries. The season-long run of injuries continues.  Departures included Scherff, Long, and Moses making the offensive line a shell of itself all night long.  Against Philly, that was a major issue because throwing the ball wasn’t easy with the quarterback under siege much of the night. Reed and Williams weren’t healthy to start with and seemed compromised. 

  1. Terrelle Pryor. He’s not good enough.  He can’t catch the ball….period.  Doctson started the game and was clearly the pregame preference.  That’s telling.

  1. Game-situation coaching. There were another few questionable calls from the bench and upstairs.  First, Gruden should’ve declined the ‘illegal man downfield’ penalty towards the end of the first half and opted for 3rd and 6 vs 2nd and 11 especially considering the ball was in the red zone.  With 22 seconds left in the first half with 2 timeouts and the ball at the 25, the better offensive teams attempt to get in FG range, especially when they’ve allowed two touchdowns in 3 minutes, lost momentum, and have to kickoff to start the 2nd  half.  There was a challenge opportunity on the Corey Clement 3rd and 6 run in the 4th quarter but it never came.  At 34-24, Gruden should’ve used his final 2 timeouts before the 2 min warning saving time.  It was still a 2-score game.  After the missed FG, the Skins should’ve had 2:00 left instead of 1:44.
  1. Choppy first half because of officiating/penalties. The game had no rhythm in the first half because flags were flying.  There were 12 accepted penalties in the first half of the game.  The Eagles started the game on offense with 4 straight penalties!  I thought there were some missed calls too including a late hit on Agholor by Nicholson on a 3rd down stop early.  Also, the 3rd and 3 PI on Dunbar in the end zone was debatable.
  1. Returns.  Crowder fumbled again on a punt return.  He got bailed out by a great recovery by Josh Holsey.  The Skins came into the game 28th in punt return avg and 30th in kickoff return avg.  It didn’t get better with tonight’s results.  They’re getting nothing out of their special teams.

More:

  1. Kirk Cousins. For starters, his interception was caused by contact to his arm while he was throwing the ball.  This apparently became an issue on social media for those that didn’t see the contact that affected the throw.  Cousins had a decent night.  Considering the offensive line injuries, no real running game or attempt at a running game, Cousins’ arm was the pretty much the only chance they had to move the ball and score.

  1. First drive ends in FG. On a night where they needed touchdowns, Ryan Grant failed to make a move after a catch short of the sticks.  I know he’s not a YAC receiver, but he needs to get the first down on that throw with an available move upfield away from the defender.
  1. Nick Rose’s debut went well.  He made his only FG attempt and did a nice job on an extra point that was impacted by a rough snap/hold that threw off his timing.  His kickoffs were deep all night too.
  1. DJ Swearinger got beat more than he’s gotten beat all year long. Ertz is a tough cover and he lost Hollins over the top on the touchdown.
  1. Breeland and Dunbar were decent much of the night.

  1. I thought Kirk Cousins 3rd down run for a first down late in the 3rd quarter got a generous spot.
  2. Jason Peters was injured for the Eagles….that’s a big loss if he’s out.
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