Well, that was unexpected.
Perhaps it’s my eternal optimism showing through, but here are a few ‘silver lining’ notes to bring up at the water cooler today:
- Good teams lose games. Great teams lose games. The very best teams of all-time lost games (with respect to the 1972 Dolphins, who lost the second game in ’73). It’s never about whether a team wins or loses, but how they respond to wins and losses. This team hasn’t lost back-to-back games yet [knock on wood], and after a Cowboys loss yesterday, remain in sole possession of second place in the NFC East. They have a better record than nine NFC teams, including four-of-six 2010 playoffs teams. After six weeks of football, it’s simply too soon to stress about playoff picture–although the Redskins are right in the thick of things.
- The Redskins lost some of their best players on offense, in guard Kory Lichtensteiger, tackle Trent Williams, and tight end Chris Cooley. No word on how long each of them will be out, but injuries happen in the National Football League. The situation at quarterback could dictate the solutions on the line, and the personnel groupings on the line could determine who plays quarterback.
- No matter how well the Redskins have played so far, the same questions remain in play, that made preseason prognostications so dreary. This is a young team that is learning its identity on the fly. Most of these players have known each other for no more than two months, and are still learning how to work together when it counts. Provided that they can stay healthy, this team is going to continue to improve throughout the season.
- The Redskins come out of yesterday’s game with a noticeable limp, and a lot of introspective questions to ask. The next opponent up for the Redskins are the Panthers on the road in Carolina. Had the Redskins won yesterday, the (1-5) Panthers would be considered a ‘trap game’ that overly-confident teams fall into. After yesterday, no Redskins player is punching his Week 8 ticket to Toronto, so look for a team that works hard all week and comes out much more focused in Week 7.
Here are some team stats worth mentioning from yesterday:
- The loss was the team’s first at FedExField this season. The Redskins are 2-1 at home.
- The Redskins held the Eagles scoreless in the second half. The last time the Redskins held an opponent scoreless in the second half was Oct. 24, 2010, when the Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears, 17-14, in Week 7.
- The Redskins recorded multiple interceptions in a game for the first time since Dec. 26, 2010 in a 20-17 win at Jacksonville.
- The interception held Philadelphia without points on the first drive of the second half. The Redskins are the only team in the NFL that has not surrendered any points on opponents’ first drive of the season half this season.
And here are some individual notes worth mentioning:
- DeAngelo Hall’s interception was his first of the 2011 season and the 33rd of his career. The interception ties him for seventh-most among active players with Cincinnati’s Nate Clements.
- Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe registered the 23rd interception of his career and his first as a member of the Redskins when he picked off Michael Vick in the third quarter. His 23 interceptions are now tied with Jacksonville’s Rashean Mathis and Chicago’s Charles Tillman for sixth-most amongst active players since Atogwe entered the league in 2005.
- The Redskins intercepted two different quarterbacks – Michael Vick and Vince Young. Sunday marked the first time the Redskins have intercepted multiple quarterbacks in a game since a 31-20 win at Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 2006, a span of 84 regular season games.
- Atogwe’s half-sack of Michael Vick in the third quarter was his first as a member of the Redskins and gives him 5.5 for his career.
- With a first-quarter catch, tight end Chris Cooley passed Mike Ditka (427) for sole possession of 18th all-time in career catches by a tight end.
- Quarterback John Beck appeared in a game for the first time as a member of the Redskins and saw his first regular season action since Dec. 30, 2007 against Cincinnati when he was a member of the Miami Dolphins.
- Punter Sav Rocca placed two punts inside the 20, giving him 14 for the season. Rocca leads the NFL in punts inside 20 following Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET games. He averaged 42.5 yards per punt and allowed zero return yards. The last time the Redskins allowed zero or fewer return yards was Jan. 3, 2010 at San Diego.
- Rocca’s net punting average for the season is now 41.2 net yards per punt. The Redskins’ single-season record is 39.2 net yards per punt, set by Matt Turk in both 1996 and 1997. He also has zero touchbacks through five games. His 25 punts are the second-most among punters with zero touchbacks Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET games (Atlanta’s Matt Bosher – 27).
- Kicker Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal in the second quarter tied his career long, set earlier this season at Dallas. Gano went 2-for-2 to improve to 9-of-12 for the season, including hitting all three attempts from 40-plus yards.
- Brandon Banks’ 47-yard kick return to open the second half was his longest of the season, besting his previous long of 31, set against Arizona in Week 2. As of the completion of Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET games, Banks leads the NFL in kickoff returns (18) and kickoff return yards (437).