Five Reasons Why the Washington Redskins Beat the Philadelphia Eagles
Robert Griffin III gets Redskins back in the win column
The Washington Redskins’ 31-6 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles was a well needed victory. Leading up to the game, all that was talked about was the need for the Eagles to win this game. Philadelphia not only needed to win this game to resuscitate their faint playoff hopes, but they needed to win to possibly save head coach Andy Reid’s job.
Reid is one of the NFL’s most tenured head coaches. However, his team has not been playing well as of late. Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles, starting in place of the injured Michael Vick, gave a gallant effort. Unfortunately, his performance was indicative of an unheralded NFL rookie quarterback making his first NFL start.
Philadelphia would not receive pity from the Redskins for their current plight. Washington was mired in a three game losing streak before their Week Eleven victory. Their defense was generous, as usual, giving up chunks of yardage in the passing game. Uncharacteristically, it’s been the offense that had regressed. The offensive unit averaged 16 points per game during the three game losing streak. That total was well under their 25 points per game average for the season.
The victory has given Washington some much needed momentum heading into a short week. The Redskins will face the Dallas Cowboys for the Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys’ Stadium. Considering that the Eagles, Cowboys, and New York Giants have been underwhelming at times, maybe there should be a little more talk about Washington’s playoff possibilities.
But it’s way too early to consider that possibility for Washington. They need to build on the positive things they accomplished against a talented by struggling Philadelphia Eagles’ team. With that said, here are five reasons why the Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles:
The Washington Redskins’ defense finally looked like an NFL defense.
Some Washington Redskins’ fans never thought they would read the following: the Washington Redskins’ defense actually showed up and played well. Of course, they were facing Foles, making his first NFL start due to the concussion suffered by starting Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick Week Ten against the Dallas Cowboys.
But it’s all relative. The Redskins’ defense forced three turnovers, and allowed Philadelphia to gain less than 300 yards in total offense. Seemingly, the Redskins allow that many yards in total offense in one quarter. Nevertheless, the Redskins’ defense kept the highly talented Philadelphia offense out of the end zone. When a team does that to the Eagles’ offense, they have a great chance to win the game.
Robert Griffin III, who else?
As Griffin III goes, the Washington Redskins go. The man affectionately nicknamed “RG3” was extremely efficient, completing all but one of his passes on the day. Oh, and for good measure, Griffin III threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers. For those still not thoroughly convinced of his offensive prowess, Griffin III was also Washington’s leading rusher. How’s that for efficiency?
Griffin III’s performance solidifies the belief that the Redskins finally have their franchise quarterback after many years of failure at the position. He has been everything Washington has hoped for at the position, and more. His performance is one of the main reasons Washington achieved victory against the Eagles.
The return of safety Brandon Meriweather.
The return of wide receiver Pierre Garcon was very much appreciated and welcomed by the Washington Redskins. But considering the team’s offensive prowess without Garcon, it can be argued that Garcon’s return to the lineup would not be critical to the unit’s success.
However, the return of safety Brandon Meriweather from a left knee injury was crucial to solidify a Washington secondary that has been virtually nonexistent. Meriweather responded with an interception, as well as several hard, legal hits on Philadelphia receivers. When was the last time anyone could say a member of the Redskins’ secondary hit anyone hard?
Meriweather eventually left the game after injuring his right knee against Philadelphia. Nevertheless, his presence meant more to the Washington defense than anyone could imagine, and it’s one of the reasons Washington was victorious against Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Eagles hurting themselves.
Usually, the Washington Redskins hurt themselves with penalties on both sides of the ball. Washington commits the types of penalties that either negate a first down gain, or worse, negate touchdowns. Those are the types of mistakes that are the reason why the Redskins have a losing record.
On this day, it was the Eagles’ turn to allow penalties to cause their self-destruction. Make no mistake, Philadelphia was able to move the ball against the Redskins’ defense at times with screen passes to running back LeSean McCoy. There were also holding and false start penalties against Philadelphia’s much maligned offensive line that put the team in position to need to convert long yardage situations for first downs. That’s asking a lot of a rookie quarterback like Foles to accomplish.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s game plan.
Washington Redskins’ defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has not received a lot of heat for the poor performance of his unit. Against the Eagles, Haslett employed a few blitzes in an effort to confuse Foles. Most notably, Haslett sent cornerback DeAngelo Hall on a few blitzes. That’s a risky proposition, considering that increases the opportunities for Philadelphia’s talented receivers, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, to make plays
Nevertheless, Haslett’s defense executed his game plan to perfection, recording three turnovers, four sacks, and keeping Philadelphia out of the end zone. Washington Redskins’ fans hope this victory will be the impetus of great things to come in 2012.