Eagles Morning After Silver Lining

AP Image

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

0 thoughts on “Eagles Morning After Silver Lining

  1. Kyle Shannahan and his game plan/play calling have not gotten any better in year two. While I understand the offense doesn’t have a lot of weapons at the WR spot they “had” two tight ends and a competent running game. If New England can get by with old ass Deion Branch and Wes Welker using two tight ends all over the field the skins should be able to do the same.

    They play where Cooley was injured after two Ryan Torain rushes got you to 3rd and 2 why not impose your will physically on the Eagles and run the ball a 3rd time? They have been getting gashed by the run, instead Baby Shanny calls a TE swing pass which not only doesn’t convert resulting in a three and out, but gets your “starting” TE knocked out of the game. Baby Shanny needs to be on the hot seat.


  2. My first question is — How do you not run the ball effectively on a team that’s been run on all season long? A strong running game takes the onus off Rex to make plays — we don’t want him to have to make plays, but to just manage the game.

    My other question alludes to the fact that we had two weeks to prepare for Philly. Why was Mike Vick’s broken plays and scrambling still a problem? Shouldn’t a “spy” have been assigned to Vick all game? Wasn’t anything at all learned from last season’s 59-28 debacle?

    This is a case of very poor coaching — there’s no other explanation to it. We have a badly-limping team coming in and have the opportunity to put one of the final nails in its coffin. Instead, Philly leaves D.C. with a much-needed victory and a possible Resurrection of its season.

    The most glaring stat aside from the four INTs by Bad Rex is the rushing yards — 200 for Philly and 42 for the Skins. If a non-physical team like Philly can run like that on our defense, what happens when we play more physical teams like the Jets and Giants???


  3. Chris Cooley is becoming the new Clinton Portis, only without the disguises. Wasn’t Cooley the guy who blasted Tony Romo a few weeks ago for the Lions loss?

    Chris seems more interested in being a Monday morning radio personality than football player. The Redskins should cut him this offseason — he’s become the same kind of “garbage” Donovan, Portis and Fat Albert were last season.


  4. Where is our sense of urgency at the QUARTERBACK POSITON…WHY dont we TRADE a SECOND ROUND pick to the PATRIOTS with sum type of incentives for RYAN MALLETT..HELLO the trade deadline is this week


  5. I have to admit, I agree with all of these comments. Coaching definitely seems very suspect at this point. When you stake your reputation on a QB and then bench him, how can anyone believe anything you say.


  6. All I got to say is we had 2 weeks to prepare for this Eagle’s team and that was the best we could do on Sunday??? Pathetic! We were outplayed AND outcoached! Carolina won’t be easy. They are a scrapping team that won’t quit. Hats off to the Panthers, but let’s get it together Skins!!


  7. Brian, isn’t that setting the bar a bit low??? I’ve been a Redskins fan since 1973, when George Allen was eating ice cream cones in practice and licking his fingers on the sidelines during games.

    I expect a little more than 8-8. When mediocrity becomes the goal, the battles been lost. If for nothing else, long-time fans like myself should have a little more to look forward to than 8-8.


    • @Carl007-

      I never said 8-8 was my expectation, you’re the one who set the bar there. It’s especially appropriate that you’ve been a fan for that long, because you should know the ups and downs and growing pains of building a team from the floor up. No one is giving-in and aiming for mediocrity, but the Redskins have only played five games this season. On top of that they have a winning record and sit in second place in the division. Pardon me for not calling the season over?


  8. Mediocrity is not the goal, carl. They don’t start the year planning to go 8-8. They want to win every game and make the post season and ultimately make the SB. But you can’t expect that to always happen, and it’s not easy.

    Shanahan is working to improve the team. We still need several more pieces to form a decent team. Until them, you play the best you can.


  9. Brian, the same things we saw last year, we saw yesterday — can’t blame this on Fat Albert, Sheriff Jenky or Donovan.

    A big part of winning in the NFL is game-planning. 42 yards rushing for and 200 against? Mike Vick still gashing us on busted plays? Bad Rex being left in to throw four picks?

    Last season, we had cancers in the locker room — this year, we don’t. Now, it points to coaching. Two weeks to prepare for a home game against a wounded team that beat us 59-28 a season ago, and we go in at the half trailing by 17?

    Time to take the rose-colored glasses off, fellas! I’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well.


    • @Carl007-

      Regrets are for the offseason. Until then, it’s just a game of adjustments, day-to-day, week-to-week. If you end up being right in 3 months, caps off to you, sir. But I’m excited to watch the next 11 weeks, and maybe catch something special. HTTR


  10. All I ever hear from the Redskins after losses is, “We apologize, we’ll get better.” So, they lost to a broken Cowboys team and an Eagles team that was on a 4-game losing streak. Next week, they’re gonna lose to a rookie QB. The best game they played was Week 1 against the Giants, and that’s probably the best they’ll play all season. I GUARANTEE they will NOT beat the Giants the 2nd time around, and they will lose (again) to the Eagles and Cowboys. Blame can be pointed everywhere (management, coaching, and players). The Skins look good one moment (Week 1), then ALWAYS find a way to disappoint us fans year in and year out. Many fans are being optimistic, but I’ve seen this all too much before. We have a roster filled w/millionaires, and we fans keep the seats filled up so they can stay that way. When do we get something from them? I predict a 5-11 record this season.


  11. Carl, you can’t go out and get a new qb every season. Good/Bad Rex and Beck both had experience in this system, and pretty much were the best options for this season without moving to draft a premium qb. Call it optimism or “foolery”, but I still have faith in the Skins this season.

    We knew and still know that this is not a championship team this year, but you can’t buy a champ overnight. Isn’t that exactly why everyone hates Snyder? For attempting to buy Championships by overpaying big names? We don’t have that going on now, contrary to Bernie’s opinion. We’ve been building a team for the last 2 seasons, and making decent progress to this point.

    It will be important to see how the Skins respond to this loss. If we are truly getting better, we should be able to come out next week and learn from our mistakes. Come out pumped up and make plays, coaching staff make good play calls, and players execute. Scam Newton is good, but Carolina is not very good yet. We should be able to do just what Philly did to us and come out pissed off at our own play of late.

    And Bernie, we will beat Dallas, Philly, and maybe the Giants next time. If we do that, I have a feeling we’ll win the division. Big key to that is giving the keys to Beck at this point though. I have been a fan since 73 myself, and while I’d love to win now, I understand how bad we have been and that it will take time to change the entire attitude of the organization. Beck makes better decisions, and has better mobility and accuracy. Rex had 5 weeks, and has not done anything with the offense since week 1. Really since the 2nd quarter of week 1. He barely beat the Rams. He threw 4 picks yesterday, 3 of which were definitely his fault, but really all 4 were horrible football decisions.


  12. Bernard, you have no idea how much I’ve suffered with this team since 1973. I can still remember how as a child, my older brother got a big kick out of that Hail Mary pass from Clint Longley to Drew Pearson on Thanksgiving day — he’s a staunch Cowboys fan I can still hear him cackling.

    At least back then, we had teams that were competitive and expected to win. Now, it’s always “We’ll get ’em next week” and “We’re sorry we let the fans down…”. The problem with all of that is the fact that at some point, you run out of “next weeks”. The two losses were winnable games. Dallas didn’t play great and neither did Philly. When you lose winnable games within the division, the margin for error later in the season shrinks considerably.

    Look at the 49ers. Look at how they’re coached. Look at their approach to each week. Look how they choke the life out of teams with similar talent levels(Lions, Bengals, Cardinals). This is all being done with a rookie coach who was on the sidelines for the Stanford Cardinal this time last year!


  13. You know, i have been a Skins fan since 82, not as long as 73, but nevertheless we have almost all suffered thru past 19 years of dismal performances watching them suck during the game, then as soon as the final whistle blows be all smiles and handshakes while us broke fans drive home or turn off our tv’s in utter disappointment again and again. I live in FL now, had season tix ’03 and ’04 after having waited years to get them and they sucked soooo bad those years, thanks Spurrier and Snyder, anyway, i am flying up to take my dad to the Cowboys Skins game in November and i really hope to see the Skins play well……

    But as far as Rex or Beck goes, this is all i can really say, 11 turnovers aside, our receivers and tight ends and rb’s rarely are getting passes hitting them in stride or leading them in the right direction, and i dont wanna hear about them not playing together long as being the issue, Cam Newton is brand new to the league and playing a hell of a lot better then REX, Beck may not be the answer, but i am pretty confident REX is not, lets lean towards hope and put in a guy with a bullet arm, good set of wheels under him, and a guy that really wants to prove he can play….as far as coaching etc, i love we are BUILDING a team, now if we can shut Hall up and make him understand actions speaks louder than words, and lets win some games already one last note we all would hate another 6-10 record but it would be a little less annoying if we were 6-0 in the division, we all have friends that are fans of division rivals and i for one am sick of hearing their hubris!


  14. What do I say to my nephew who is a 49ers fan??? Rookie head coach, Alex Smith at QB!!! The Niners have no QB and overrated WRs, yet, they are 5-1. It comes down to attitude and knowing you will win. The Redskins “hope” they can win, while a team like the Niners know they will.

    If nothing else, the 59-28 drubbing at home last season should have been enough to create laser-like focus in the Skins. Instead, we go in the halftime down 20-3. How does anyone explain that?


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