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Knee-Jerk Reactions: Return TD’s Make It Look Better Than It Was

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It feels like the Eagles lost Sunday’s game by 100 points.

The final score reads Washington 27, Philadelphia 20, but if you watched the game the Eagles were dominated all day.

Of course, there’s going to be mass-hysteria and over reactionary analysis all day and probably all week, but the reality of the situation is…Washington is a solid football team. Going on the road, against the defending division champions is no easy task, and if you expected the Eagles to just waltz on in and win the game, than you don’t really understand the nature of the National Football League.

  • The Wendell Smallwood 86-yard kick return touchdown was followed up five plays later by a Malcolm Jenkins 64-yard pick six.
  • All the sudden it was 14-14, but the Redskins were dominating.
  • The Eagles had 12 first downs, 48 plays ran, 145 passing yards, 94 rushing yards, five sacks allowed, 13 penalties
  • The Redskins had 26 first downs, 67 plays ran, 263 passing yards, 230 rushing yards, zero sacks allowed, 9 penalties
  • ‘Hey Big V, please put that uniform on. Time to go start at right tackle in the NFL and block Ryan Kerrigan. Thanks.’
  • Unsurprisingly, Kerrigan ate: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and 4 QB hits.
  • On the flip side, when Kirk Cousins isn’t touched, he’s a pretty good quarterback. Yesterday, he only threw for 263 yards largely in part to the success Washington was having running the ball..
  • …33 carries for 230 yards (!!!). That’s 7.0 yards per carry. Matt Jones had 16 for 135 and a touchdown, the best game of his career.
  • Other than Rodney McLeod, who had a game-high 14, the Eagles struggled to tackle.
  • Fletcher Cox had arguably the worst game of his career — 0 tackles, 0 sacks, 2 QB hits, and a costly roughing the passer penalty that helped change a Redskins field-goal into a touchdown.
  • Connor Barwin stayed quiet. He has just 1.0 sack and 9 tackles this season.
  • Brandon Graham also was quiet, recording just two tackles, no sacks, and no hurries.
  • And the always reliable Malcolm Jenkins had his worst game that I can remember. Other than the pick-six, Jenkins was beaten badly multiple times for touchdowns, first against Jamison Crowder and then against NFL zombie Vernon Davis. 


  • So when Cox, Jenkins, and Graham all struggle together, bad things are going to happen for this defense.
  • Jalen Mills was getting consistently beaten in the first half by DeSean Jackson, but Mills kept waving his finger like Dikembe Mutombo for whatever reason.
  • Jackson — who caught just four of his nine targets — complained all day, because that’s what he does best. He also dropped a sure-fire touchdown.


  • Carson Wentz was as good as a rookie quarterback under duress in his fifth NFL game, on the road, could have been really.
  • 11-22, 179 yards, no turnovers and really never let the game get out of hand for the Eagles, who amazingly stayed competitive until the final play.
  • He made some beautiful throws and incredible plays — none better than one in the second half where Wentz scrambled for his life and found a receiver down the field, just to have it called by one of the Eagles’ 13 penalties.

  • Ryan Mathews quietly had another strong outing, just didn’t get enough touches with his team trailing and only running 48 plays. Mathews had nine carries for 60 yards (6.7 yards per carry).
  • Mathews played in just 11 snaps, which is absolutely ridiculous. I like Smallwood and Darren Sproles, but Mathews is a featured back who can run, catch, and block and needs 18-plus touches per game.
  • The Eagles were able to run on Washington, one of the league’s worst run defenses, but the game script got out of hand early and they weren’t able to stay committed to the run.
  • Jordan Matthews caught just three of seven targets for 75 yards and Zach Ertz caught just one of three targets. Nelson Agholor and DGB were quiet again, of course.
  • Doug Pederson had his worst game as an NFL coach. I’m not a play-caller second guesser, just not my style — play calling is incredibly subjective and results-oriented, so I’ll leave that to the “football guys.”
  • The decision to punt late in the game during the 4th-and-24 was certainly a difficult one, but it’s hard to justify expecting the defense to get a three-and-out with the game on the line yesterday. And they didn’t.
  • Pederson also said he helped out Big V as much as possible, but Celek played just 13 snaps.
  • Jim Schwartz’s defense obviously struggled, but Schwartz is not some God. After the 3-0 start the rhetoric was which team will he become the head coach of next season. Let’s pump the breaks a bit. Schwartz is fine and this Eagles defense has talent, but it’s not the best defense in the NFL.
  • Over the last two weeks the Eagles lost two games and a starting right-tackle.
  • The Eagles aren’t as bad as we thought entering the season, but they’re not nearly as good as we wanted them to be after a 3-0 start. And that’s OK. They’re 3-2, Wentz is continuing to progress and gain experience, and they’re growing with a first-year head coach and quarterback.
  • The NFC East is the winningest division in the NFL with a 15-8 cumulative record and the Eagles are in the hunt. That’s a good thing.
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