Eagles at Redskins, Sunday, October 16, 2011
Stud of the week: Kurt Coleman, I'm looking at you! Kurt had a huge day, particularly given the fact that he wasn't even a starter until, I think, this week, replacing the truly awful Jarrad Page. Kurt hauled in three of Sexy Rexy's four picks, batted down some additional passes, and was in on about a million tackles. Way to ensure that starting position STAYS yours. Gotta give a shout-out to Brent Celek, too. Nice circus catch, buddy.
First, I have to get one thing off my chest:
WHY CAN'T THE EAGLES PLAY FOUR FREAKIN' QUARTERS OF COMPLETE FOOTBALL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL?
A win's a win, and the Eagles desperately needed this one, but the fact that the offense scored all their points before the half and almost let the Redskins and their backup (new starting?) QB John Beck back in does not make me happy.
You know how, for the past four weeks, it's felt like the Eagles couldn't catch a break no matter what? Every batted pass resulted in a pick, guys who normally protect the rock gave it up, if the first level of the D missed a tackle there was NO ONE to clean it up, even the kicker was missing short field goals?
I guess someone paid a curandera to come smudge the locker room with sage or something, because damn, did the team's luck turn.
Of course, it also helped that Rex Grossman remembered that he's, well, Rex Grossman. You aren't going to turn the ball over that much and still win. Trust me - after the last four weeks, I know. Oh God, do I know.
Other things that helped:
The defense showed up ready to ball. I called the Skins to win this game in part because I wasn't seeing much in the way of results from all the defensive tweaking. I figured the team needed the two weeks of the upcoming bye in order to, oh, I don't know, scrap the entire defensive coaching staff and scheme and start over. Silly me. I still don't think Juan Castillo is going to work out long term as the DC, but at least the players seem to have remembered how to tackle and get to the ball and stop drives in the red zone and get the hell off the field on 3rd down. Maybe they were all threatened with being traded to the Rams. Whatever it was, it worked.
Shady McCoy had another huge game. Mike Shanahan's right: he IS the best back in the NFL.
Brent Celek remembered how to play football (see above).
Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant remembered how to HOLD ON TO THE BALL.
To quote Bleeding Green Nation, Nnamdi Asomugha channeled Sheldon Brown, laid the wood we're used to seeing from a midnight green #24, and broke Chris Cooley's hand in the process. Not that I'm ever happy about injuries, but Cooley does run his mouth. A lot. A LOT.
The coaches actually planned the game relatively well. Yes, we all know Andy Reid is addicted to the big play. But this week, he must've been wearing some kind of patch or chewing some special gum, because he and Marty dialed up running plays and short drops with quick passes to keep Mike Vick from getting killed. And thank goodness, because Vince Young did not impress with his two plays from scrimmage. (Oh, and by the way? Andy was right to challenge that spot at the end of the game, and the zebras were BLIND in calling Shady short. BLIND.) And they didn't get cute in the red zone, and look what happened: two TDs and two field goals.
Mike Vick didn't have a huge day, and you know what? That's fine by me. Last year's MNF show aside, if he throws for a jillion yards, it generally means that the Eagles are in BIG trouble.
A lot of the DC sports press today has been all about, "if only a few plays had gone the other way..." Yeah, tell me about it. In case you haven't noticed, the Eagles weren't blown out once in those four losses. So I feel you, Redskins fans, I do, but I'm glad YOU'RE the ones wailing about "if only!" this Monday.
In the end, the guys finally played like they cared. And, at least yesterday, that was enough.
Get the rest of the recaps at Snarkin' the NFL.