Redskins fullback Darrel Young spent four years of college only 17 miles from Lincoln Financial Field at Villanova University. Villanova Stadium holds only 12,500 people, each of whom cheered on his defensive prowess
Today, in front of five time as many people, he’s silencing the Philadelphia crowd with his offensive ability, piling up 32 yards from a non-traditional playmaker position. On top of that, he’s cleared the way for Evan Royster who continues his run of dominance as the Redskins tailback.
Averaging only 1.8 yards per carry in the first quarter, Royster has found his stride with 41 yards in the second quarter, including a 28-yard churn and burn scamper. On that 28-yard run, he broke four tackles, something that Redskins running backs have struggled to do this season. Forget the strategy of “one cut and go”– Royster cut four defenders nearly out of their shoes on one play.
At the half, Royster leads the team in both rushing and receiving yards. Young is second and fourth, respectively.
One player that we should be celebrating in the first half is receiver Anthony Armstrong. Armstrong has stretched the field deep today, but has been unable to sync up with quarterback Rex Grossman. On two plays, Grossman was pressured and either checked down or forced the ball deep. On the other play, he had time but it appeared that he waited half a beat too long, as the corner popped the ball in the air and the safety picked it off.
By trying the deep ball, the Redskins have opened up running plays and short passing routes underneath. But the offense really needs these plays to work if they expect to keep pace in this game.
The Redskins passed up their best opportunity at points in the second quarter, when a field goal attempt from Graham Gano was blocked up the middle. It’s been a frustrating year for blocked field goals, something that has been attributed in the past to the injuries and suspensions that the Redskins have weathered along the offensive line. Whatever it is, it’s something that will need to be addressed in the offseason.
Receiver Jabar Gaffney had a solid first half, surpassing his career high in receptions with 67 this season. His 25 yards put him within 56 yards of 1,000 on the season, for the first time in his career. The Redskins need someone to step up big in the passing game in the second half.
After 30 minutes in The Linc, the Redskins still trail: Washington 0, Philadelphia 10. Redskins will receive first in the second half.