Following a long touchdown pass to Roy Helu–the first receiving score of his career–the Redskins were right back in the game. However, if they want to stay in it for the fourth quarter, they have to eliminate the big 15-yard penalties that are consistently pushing them backward. So far, they have three of them on the afternoon.
The first was a penalty on Santana Moss for taking his helmet off after a play. He was understandably frustrated, but that’s a long-standing rule–on the field, helmets stay on.
The second penalty was on Donte’ Stallworth on the Roy Helu touchdown catch and run. It’s unclear what exactly was going on, but Stallworth took a knee in the end zone and was flagged for excessive celebration, going to the ground in the end zone.
The third penalty was for a hit on a defenseless receiver, on the defense.
You can say what you want about the legitimacy of the rules, the interpretation of said rules, and whether or not the Redskins players violated those rules. I certainly have my own thoughts on all three facets. But no amount of angst or debate on the topic will change the fact that the Redskins put themselves in a position to be flagged for three flagrant fouls in a game that they’re losing.
This is a game for pride alone, and this isn’t the type of focused football that’s going to win this afternoon.
On a very positive note, running back Evan Royster is over 100 yards from scrimmage again this week, piling up 73 on the ground and 37 through the air. It’s hard to project how Royster and Helu will pan out to a 16-game season, but the experience that they’ve gained in their respective rookie campaigns have laid the groundwork for an informed, focused offseason.
Although the Redskins haven’t found their top guy in the passing game today, Grossman has spread the ball around, finding nine different receivers, including Brandon Banks for the time this season. Receiver Jabar Gaffney was a non-factor in the third quarter and still needs 53 yards to reach 1,000 on the season.
After three quarters in Philadelphia, it’s still in reach for the Burgundy and Gold: Redskins 7, Eagles 13.