Breaking down Sunday’s ugly 31-6 loss to the Redskins:
The Eagles once again had trouble getting off the field on third down. The Redskins converted 5 of 11 third-down opportunities. In the last four games, opponents have converted 22 of 46 third-down situations (47.8 percent).
The final two of Robert Griffin’s four touchdown passes Sunday came on third-down plays. His 61-yard bomb to Santana Moss came on a third-and-11. His 17-yard TD pass to Logan Paulsen came on a third and seven. All five of the Redskins’ third-down conversions were from six yards or more. Griffin was 3-for-3 for 85 yards and 2 TDs against the Eagles on third down. In the last four games, opposing QBs are 22-for-29 for 338 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs against the Eagles on third down. That’s a 153.4 passer rating. On third down.
What aspect of local sports are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
THE OFFENSIVE LINE
My individual grades for this unit:
LG Evan Mathis (B-plus): Mathis graded out the best of the five. Had a solid overall game.
RG Jake Scott (C ): Scott picked up two false start penalties on the Eagles’ second possession, which is to be expected for a guy who had signed with the Eagles just six days earlier. Also got flagged for a second-half hold that was declined. But both his run- and pass-blocking was decent, particularly for a guy who’s not in football shape.
RT Dennis Kelly (C ): Kelly, who made his first start at RT after starting the previous three games at RG, had his ups and downs, but held his own most of the time. He had a costly holding penalty on the Eagles’ second possession, which negated a 13-yard completion to Bryce Brown that would have given the Eagles a first down at the Washington 18 yard line. Three plays later, Foles threw an interception.
C Dallas Reynolds (C-minus): Reynolds had one of two key missed blocks that contributed to the aforementioned Foles interception. The Redskins ran a cross blitz through the A-gap with linebackers Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson. Reynolds blew the block on Riley and running back LeSean McCoy was unable to stop Robinson who ran right threw him. Both of them were in Foles’ face on his underthrown ball for DeSean Jackson that was picked off by Brandon Meriweather.
In the third quarter, Reynolds got manhandled by nose tackle Barry Cofield on a McCoy run that lost six yards. McCoy was trying to get to the edge, but Cofield pushed Reynolds four yards into the backfield and cut him off, allowing Ryan Kerrigan to make the play from the backside.
LT King Dunlap (D-minus): Dunlap gave up the final two of the four sacks of Foles. On a third-and-six in the third quarter at the Philadelphia 30, Marty Mornhinweg, who never learns, went with an empty backfield, lining up running back Bryce Brown wide left. The Redskins only rushed four people. But Riley stunted to the outside of teammate Ryan Kerrigan and never was touched. Dunlap should have picked him up, but was too slow to react. He claimed he was held by Kerrigan, but no flag was thrown. In the fourth quarter, Dunlap just got a one-on-one whooping from linebacker Rob Jackson.
Nick Foles’ passing numbers in his first NFL start weren’t very good. He completed just 21 of 46 passes, averaged 4.4 yards per attempt, threw two interceptions – one of which clanged off tight end Brent Celek’s hands – and failed to throw a touchdown pass against a team that had given up a league-high 20 of them in their first nine games. Finished with a 40.5 passer rating.
The Redskins blitzed Foles 20 times. He was 9-for-19 for 93 yards with one interception and one sack when they sent more than four rushers.
Mornhinweg and Andy Reid had Foles focus mainly on short and intermediate throws. Just 15 of his 46 attempts traveled more than 9 yards in the air. He was just 3-for-15 with two interceptions when he threw beyond 9 yards. They amped up the screen game for him, throwing nearly a dozen screens to McCoy and wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper.
Foles did a nice job of moving around in the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield on a 23-yard completion to Cooper on the Eagles’ first scoring drive. He showed patience in the pocket on a 21-yard completion to fellow rookie Damaris Johnson on a third-and-17 play in the second quarter.
But he had his share of poor throws. He threw the ball away on a third-and-8 at the Washington 23 early in the second quarter even though he wasn’t being pressured. He had tight end Clay Harbor open in the middle of the field with a lot of room to run on one play, but overshot him. He threw a slant pass behind Jeremy Maclin in the fourth quarter.
THIS AND THAT
--Brent Celek is tied with the Cowboys’ Jason Witten and the Packers’ Jermichael Finley for the second most drops by a tight end. Each have seven. The Saints’ Jimmy Graham has nine.
--On the Redskins’ first touchdown, a six-yard pass from Robert Griffin to fullback Darrel Young, safety Nate Allen bit on a play-fake and was late covering Young. The Eagles’ secondary was victimized by play-fakes several times Sunday.
--Opponents have scored 71 points off of the Eagles’ 24 turnovers. The league average is 45.
--McCoy had his most productive receiving day of the season. He had six catches for 67 yards. Four of his six receptions were screens, including two that went for 20 and 25 yards.
--Who knew when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie knocked away a pass for Leonard Hankerson in the second quarter that it would be the only incompletion Griffin would have all day.
--On the Eagles’ opening kickoff return, Cedric Thornton somehow managed to completely whiff on his attempted block of Lorenzo Alexander, who drilled the Eagles’ new kickoff returner, Bryce Brown. To Thornton’s credit, he learned his lesson and put an effective block on Alexander a little later on a 25-yard return by Brown.
--Running back Dion Lewis had a nice block on Darrel Young on Damaris Johnson’s 16-yard punt return. Lewis allowed Johnson to get to the outside.
--On McCoy’s two big first-quarter screens, you saw why Riley Cooper is the Eagles’ best blocking wide receiver.