Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman takes a closer look at Sunday afternoon’s Week 11 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField:
The Redskins backed into the bye week with three-straight losses, on the brink of elimination from the playoffs. The team benefitted from a week off to rest and recover, while most of the rest of the division struggled to take advantage. Going into Week 11, the Redskins adopted a playoff atmosphere and the Redskins fans responded by bringing a home field advantage to FedExField.
After kicking off to start the game, the Redskins defense responded with a quick takeaway off the normally sure hands of Eagles tight end Brent Celek. Two plays later, Redskins quarterback
The Redskins seized the early momentum thanks to a tipped pass interception by cornerback
PLAY OF THE GAME
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It would be difficult not to give safety
WHAT WENT RIGHT
--Griffin III had one of his smartest days in the NFL today, expertly picking his times to run and throw the football. In the first half, he threw eight-for-nine for 99 yards and two touchdowns. On the ground, his 7.0 yards per carry was his highest average since Week 7, and his 23-yard run on third-and-long caught the defense off guard. The Redskins used the read option package minimally and got better offensive production all around.
--Getting Brandon Meriweather back on the field breathed life into the Redskins’ secondary, and he made an immediate impact with his first quarter interception. Whether it was good instincts or just by chance, the pass was thrown right to him, and Meriweather weaved his way back 25 yards to put the offense back on the field. His presence elevated the play of his teammates in the secondary, as
--It was a good day for the Redskins receiving corps, as the bye week provided focus and sure hands. Top receiver
--Redskins receiver Santana Moss deserves to be singled out for his performance today, as he made a spectacular 61-yard catch in double coverage before spinning his way into the end zone. This was a 3rd-and-10 play, and Moss was the only receiver deep downfield. Griffin III stood in the pocket and took a shot on the play, but Moss’s effort on the back end made the sacrifice worth it. With his sixth touchdown of the season, Moss extends his team lead and has the most since scoring nine in his first season in Washington.
--Redskins running back Alfred Morris had a reduced role on offense this week, but earned his game check in the fourth quarter to seal a big Redskins’ victory. He finished the day with 20 rushes for 76 yards, including two long runs on fourth quarter scoring drives.
--The Redskins’ defense had their best performance of the season today, forcing four Eagles fumbles and picking off two Nick Foles passes. The plus-three turnover margin is the best all season, and played a major factor in the game. The Redskins scored 10 points off turnovers today, adding to the 52 already this season. The Redskins had only 43 points off turnovers in 16 games last season.
--The Redskins limited LeSean McCoy to only 45 yards, forcing the Eagles to be one-dimensional behind rookie quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles managed only 80 rushing yards in the game, one of the defense’s best performances of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG
--Despite turning in a dominant performance, the Redskins still gave away yards via penalty, being flagged 12 times for 75 yards. It didn’t hurt the Redskins as it has in other games this season, but it’s still an area of concern as the Redskins continue the stretch of difficult division games.
--Even as the Eagles struggled to move the ball, the defense still struggled to force three-and-outs, allowing the Eagles to convert seven-of-19 third downs on the day. The Redskins face a much more competent Cowboys offense next week and will need to get off the field in third-and-long scenarioes.
With his first quarter touchdown pass to fullback Darrel Young, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III took over the franchise record for passes completed by a rookie quarterback. Coming into the game, he was tied with former Redskin-turned-Eagle Norm Snead, who completed 172 passes in his 1961 rookie season. Griffin III accomplished this feat just two snaps into his tenth NFL game.
The Redskins have a short week this week, traveling to Dallas on Wednesday for a Thanksgiving contest against the Cowboys. The Redskins lost in the final moments of last year’s contest in Dallas, with
The Redskins talked the talk of a must-win game, and finally backed it up on the field. The Redskins executed the game plan on offense, defense and special teams, and relied on the entire 46-man active roster to win the game.
Robert Griffin III made good on his promise to play better football after the bye week, turning in a statistically perfect day: 14-for-15, 200 yards, four touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. The team responded to his leadership, piling on 362 yards of offense and limiting the Eagles to just 257.
If the Redskins are indeed a playoff-caliber team, then this is a game that the Redskins were supposed to win. The Eagles are floundering in all aspects of the game, and the Redskins may have dealt a death blow to their season. The Cowboys entered Week 11 one game in front of the Redskins for second place and went to overtime against the Browns on Sunday. The Redskins have a chance to move into second place with a win on Thursday, another must-win on the road to the postseason.