Happened across a pretty interesting stat this week: During the Colts' 18-game winning streak in the regular season, they trailed in the fourth quarter and won 12 times.
The preconcieved notion would be that the Colts were up big in many of those games and played from ahead, but that is actually not the case ... Which brings us to the Eagles and their struggles in close games and finally earning a fourth-quarter comeback victory against the Bears.
So, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked this week about the value of winning a close game: "I thought there have been some games where it was a tight, physical, close game and our fellows punched one more in to make it a two-score game in the fourth quarter. I think we’ve been through some of those. You can’t go back and play the game and then see what happens, but I think you get a little momentum, a little mojo from those types of things. I think those things are always good, especially with the new and younger guys that we have. I think that’s a real positive for them.”
Among the biggest challenges this week will be the fact that the Eagles are facing the top red-zone defense in the NFL. Washington has allowed 21 drives in the red zone and only seven touchdowns.
Entering last week's win against Chicago, the Eagles were 22nd when it came to converting trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line into touchdowns (11-for-23). They had been 7-for-10 in the red zone in their five wins, but a wretched 4-for-13 in their four losses, including 2-for-5.
But against the Bears, the Eagles were 2-for-3 in the red zone, putting up a pair of TDs after an early trip led to a David Akers field goal.
With cornerback DeAngelo Hall sidelined by a knee injury, Washington will turn to Carlos Rogers against the Eagles. Rogers was recently benched after getting burned on a double move be Denver's Brandon Marshall. He also was was burned by DeSean Jackson on a double move in the first meeting between the two teams.
Rogers was replaced in the lineup by Fred Smoot, but has worked with the first team this week with Hall hurting.
"This ain't nothing new," Rogers told reporters, according to the Washington Post. "I'm not going into the game with an attitude to show you. I know I can play. Obviously, they know it, too. . . . I just got to take advantage of my opportunity. You never know what's going to happen once you get back. All I got to do is just put something good on the film right now."
The Redskins also will be relying on Rock Cartwright as their starting running back. Cartwright, a former seventh-round pick from Kansas State, will be making his first NFL start since 2003 with Clinton Portis out with a concussion and Ladell Betts having suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Dallas.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (ankle) has not practiced all week and is listed as doubtful.
“I think they’re in a similar situation to what we’re in," Eagles coach Andy Reid said Friday. "I don’t know how many guys they’re getting back. I don’t know that. I don’t know who practiced today, whether their defensive tackle practiced or their cornerback, I don’t know that. We’re getting a little help here at this point and I’m not sure exactly where they’re at, but they’ve been banged up just a little bit.”
BEARS LINEMAN FINED
Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije was hit with a $5,000 fine for his facemask penalty on Donovan McNabb in the first quarter last Sunday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
McNabb ran for a 6-yard gain on the third-and-7 play, but the penalty continued the Eagles' drive that eventually led to a 10-0 lead. Idonije grabbed the facemask and let go, but he got caught by the officials.