The Philadelphia Eagles held on to a 24-16 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. It was the Redskins who made a late push with two touchdowns, but ultimately fell short. The Eagles jumped out to a 17-0 lead at halftime, and scored the first points of the second half to claim a 24-0 lead. From then on out the Eagles offense was held relatively stagnant by the Redskins, which is the reason Robert Griffin III was able to orchestrate two late touchdowns and nearly a third.
Although it’s concerning that the defense let Griffin drive down the field three consecutive times, it was the lack of a killer instinct from Chip Kelly and the Eagles offense that is most troubling. While at Oregon, Kelly was known for his past-paced offense that never relented. On Sunday, however, the Eagles were in conservative mode throughout most of the second half, which is something that cannot happen again if they hope to finish atop the NFC East.
The Eagles’ vertical offense was limited throughout most of the game. The longest play was a 49-yard pass to LeSean McCoy, on a throw that traveled a mere 10 yards in the air. Last week was a different story for the Eagles who completed three deep touchdown passes, opposed to the three short runs that resulted in points this week. While nothing is wrong with running the ball when inside the 5-yard line, shifting to a conservative offense when ahead by 24 points isn’t what championship teams do.
The Eagles are still very much a playoff threat as they sit at 6-5 after their victory Sunday, and are atop the NFC East standings, half a game ahead of the idle Dallas Cowboys. If the Eagles hope to finish out the season strong, and make an impact in the playoffs, their offense simply cannot become stagnant in the second half like it did this Sunday as their defense isn’t good enough to be trusted with any size lead.