Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This One Was For The Streak

Heading in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed

Takeaway Drill: A flop in all three phases of the game; no time for the quarterback to throw, no room to run; asleep at the wheel on defense; time for a new punt returner and I mean like now. The Redskins fell off a cliff last night.

Quick jump to

Monday Walkthrough :: Soapbox :: Chattering Class :: Omnibus Spotlights :: Recaps and Stats


Monday Tuesday Walkthrough: Through thick and thin The Streak continues as lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery and I sit through a miserable game, our 20th of the past 21 Redskins-Eagles games played anywhere and my 18th straight as the Eagles exploit the laughably bad Redskins 27-17 to drop the Redskins to 2-5 heading into the bye week; the only people in the stadium shouting Bingo! were DeSean Jackson and Will Witherspoon.

The Redskins won the toss and elected to defer, the Eagles took the opening kickoff to start the first quarter, Philadelphia's first possession starts with a Wildcat play, four plays later DeSean Jackson takes the end around left side for 78 yards for a touchdown and the Eagles take a very early 7-0 lead. Washington's first possession starts with two catches by Chris Cooley, two plays later Jason Campbell fumbles for the ninth time this season but recovers and the Redskins are punting. The Eagles second possession is moving right along, on the sixth play of this drive London Fletcher's knee comes in contact with Brian Westbrook's head and the game is suspended for nearly ten minutes as they look at him, Brian eventually gets up and walks off on his own power, that drive ends three plays later as the Eagles punt. The Redskins get the ball for the second time, the Eagles give Washington a penalty first down and the Redskins return the favor with three incomplete passes and the Redskins are punting. Philadelphia gets the ball for the third time, it is a four and out and the Eagles punt. Redskins get the ball for the third time, on second and eight deep in their own territory, Eagles safety Quentin Mikell blitzes and gets a hand on the ball, it bops up in the air, linebacker Will Witherspoon comes down with it and waltzes ten yards for the defensive score, Eagles take a 14-0 lead. Washington gets the ball right back, their fourth possession, two Clinton Portis runs and the quarter is over with the Eagles leading 14-0. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post :: Washington Times :: Official Redskins Blog]

The Redskins continue their fourth possession to start the second quarter, on the first play, a Redskins first down, linebacker Will Witherspoon sacks Jason Campbell who loses the ball, Will's big play teammate from the pick six safety Quentin Mikell recovers it, Eagles ball. Philadelphia takes the ball for the fourth time in Washington territory, the Eagles move eight yards in three plays before kicking a 47 yard field goal and now the Eagles are leading 17-0. Washington's fifth possession starts with an officiating mixup, and the Redskins mysteriously are able to move the ball, on three runs, a quarterback scramble and three passes and the Redskins are in second and goal, from the shotgun Jason Campbell finds Devin Thomas to the right for a touchdown and the Redskins cut the Eagles lead to 17-7. The Eagles get the ball for the fifth time, a three and out and, and, and Antwaan Randle El muffs the punt catch and the Eagles recover. Philadelphia moves straight from their fifth to their sixth drive deep in Redskins territory, the Washington defense holds Philadelphia to three plays and the Eagles are kicking a 44 yard field goal to push their lead to 20-7. Washington gets the ball for the sixth time, a miserable three and out capped by a six yard sack on third down and the Redskins are punting. The Eagles get the ball for the seventh time with under three minutes left in the half and are getting manhandled by the Washington defense, a false start, a negative passing yards catch and a four yard sack and the Eagles are in third and 22, just then Donovan McNabb cues up a 57 yard pass deep left to DeSean Jackson, totally abusing a Redskins coverage breakdown for a touchdown, and the Eagles are leading 27-7. The Redskins get the ball for the seventh time and manage to run eight plays a minute ten including a third and sixteen to Fred Davis before Shaun Suisham is kicking a 47 yard field goal to bring the Redskins to within 27-10 Eagles. The Redskins kick the ball off but time runs out before the offense can take the field and the half ends with the Eagles leading 27-10. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post :: Washington Times :: Official Redskins Blog]

The Redskins get the ball to start the third quarter, Washington's eight possession, there is a Santana Moss sighting but this drive ends with a five yard route to Mike Sellers on third and sixteen and the Redskins are punting. The Eagles get the ball for the eighth time, Andre Carter sacks Donovan McNabb on second down, Leshon McCoy almost gets it all back and the Eagles are punting. Washington's ninth possession starts with Santana Moss taking the punt but it does not matter as a thirteen yard sack puts the Redskins behind the curve and the Redskins are punting. The Eagles get the ball for the ninth time, they move 42 yards on seven hard fought plays but punt. Washington gets the ball for the tenth time, a smorgasbord of teeny tiny plus one big helping of Fred Davis and p-p-p-punt. Philadelphia gets the ball for the tenth time, one run for no gain and the third quarter ends with the score unchanged at 27-10 Eagles. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post :: Washington Times :: No Official Redskins Blog entry]

The Eagles continue their tenth drive into the fourth quarter, a continuation of what would become a three and out. Washington gets the ball for the eleventh time in great field position... then Jason Campbell gets sacked for the sixth and final time, out of field goal range and punter Hunter the Punter Smith pooch punts for a whole ten yards net. Philadelphia gets the ball for the eleventh time, the Washington defense holds solid, featuring a ten yard sack by Albert Haynesworth on third and nine at midfield and the Eagles are punting, they still have scored no points in the second half. The Redskins get the ball for the twelfth time, with a new left tackle the Redskins drive all the way down to the Philadelphia four yard line before center Casey Rabach snaps the ball to no one which is also known as a fumble and the Eagles recover. Philadelphia's twelfth possession is mainly two holding calls on Eagles guard Todd Herremans who is terrified of Albert Haynesworth, combined with timeouts and only 33 seconds come off the clock. The Redskins get the ball for the thirteenth and final time with 3:56 left to score 17 points with one timeout left, Jason Campbell can barely keep his head on, the Eagles give a lot on defense and Fred Davis catches a one yard touchdown pass to bring the Redskins to within ten points, 27-17 Eagles. The Redskins line up for an onsides kick, the Eagles recover and it is victory formation, Eagles win 27-17. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post :: Washington Times :: Official Redskins Blog]


Soapbox: Well. What to say about this. Four turnovers. The Eagles defense scored no points in the second half. Neither did the Eagles offense. The Redskins offensive line was abused all game, there was no measurable ground component to the Redskins attack and only with the essence of desperation did Jason Campbell get anything done. And with a new playcaller the Redskins still scored about the same number of points they always do, so now we have seen a limited sample of different quarterback play when Jason Campbell was benched in the Chiefs game and not a whole game with Jim Zorn not calling plays and it all kind of looks the same.

To add injury to insult, tight end Chris Cooley, Jason Campbell's favoritest target, broke his ankle and is likely gone for the season.

For every great play there was a dud, Devin Thomas catching a touchdown and then letting an easy pass doink off his hands that could easily have been intercepted.

Tight end Fred Davis, taking on a heavy load replacing Chris Cooley on short notice and acquitting himself with eight catches for 78 yards and garbage touchdown, but getting blowed up at the line every time he was asked to block.

The offensive line, sadly overmatched and doing their best and still making things worse when center Casey Rabach snaps the ball to no one, resulting in a turnover.

And the five plays, the five plays we wish we could have back, see Omnibus below for the list, Carlos Rogers was directly implicated in two of them, so far his contract year is not going so hot.

The defensive box played a good game, the Eagles got no running game going and the wildcat and Michael Vick drawn up quarterback runs went nowhere. But the edges, the cornerbacks seemed once again to be playing soft and letting the Philadelphia receivers have their way.

The playcalling seemed to be more or less the same, in fairness it is hard to judge the freshness of the playcalling when a team not know for scoring in bunches gets down 27-7 in the second quarter. Does not take an offensive consultant to figure out passing will be the call of the day.

Despite the fumble, the botched snap and the tipped interception, Jason Campbell was not the problem today, a lesser quarterback would have withered under the relentless pass rush and the inferior offensive line. JASON CAMPBELL IS NOT THE PROBLEM ON THIS TEAM, PLEASE PEOPLE I AM GETTING TIRED OF SAYING IT.

And here is a little tidbit, after looking at the swiss cheese that the first five games of the season was supposed to be, shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato still looked at the Redskins team and thought they would be 3-3 and not 2-5. At this point everyone is trying to cover their ass.

And we hit the bye, will this mean a week off to rejuvenate and see the forest for the trees? Or will it mean bye, as in bye bye 2009 season?


Chattering Class: Mike Wise at the Washington Post thinks the Redskins have sunkl to the level of a bad reality TV show where the particiapants are all so pathetic they make us feel good about our own lives.

Michael Wilbon, also at the Washington Post, writes that this team just needs a break, to get the hell out of dodge. That will be good for everyone that gets paid to do this. Sadly though the problems will all still be here when they get back, and there are no easy answers.

David Elfin at the Washington Times grades the game gives the team two Cs, three Ds and a D+.

Bob Ford at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

In the burgundy and gold henhouse, the coach quacks, the fans boo and go home, and even struggling teams can leave feeling a little better about themselves.


Omnibus: Before the game we were treated to the Ring of Fame induction of former Redskins and Eagles kick returner and punt returner Brian Mitchell, who has cultivated a high media profile in Washington and is a vocal critic of the Redskins, how they have been managed and at times how today's players carry themselves. Brian played for the Redskins from 1990 to 1999 and for the Eagles from 2000 to 2002, Brian has more kick return yards than anyone in NFL history, has more punt return yards than anyone in NFL history and has more return touchdowns with thirteen than anyone in NFL history. His total NFL yardage is second only to Jerry Rice. Brian should be a lock for the NFL Hall of Fame. It was a bit disappointing that this ceremony was crammed into the pregame and not saved for halftime. I also attended the rain soaked game twelve last season against the Giants when Sean Taylor was inducted in to the Ring and they also did that one in the pregame so I guess that is how they do these things.

Broadcasters: This being Monday Night Football we get Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and putative next Redskins head coach Jon Gruden.

Uniform watch: The Redskins took the field in the preferred home uniform of white jersey and burgundy pants.

Five plays that we wish we could have back: The DeSean Jackson end around in the Eagles first drive, the Will Witherspoon pick six on the Redskins third drive, the Will Witherspoon sack fumble of Jason Campbell in the Redskins fourth drive, the Antwaan Randle El muffed punt fumble deep in Washington territory after the Eagles fifth possession and the DeSean Jackson 57 yard touchdown in the Eagles seventh drive, second quarter.

Eagles started in the wildcat and went to it four times for six yards. Folks I am telling you this is a gimmick, at least in the NFC Beast. This river don't go nowhere. There were two more direct snappish plays, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth, to Michael Vick who took the ball and ran around the end for a total of zero yards, those were not technically wildcat plays as there was not a quarterback lined up at another position.

On the DeSean Jackson end around touchdown on the Eagles first possession, safety LaRon Landry was playing too close to the line and was behind the play from the start, then downfield cornerback Carlos Rogers waled right into the block by receiver Jeremy Maclin. Poor.

Statflash: Andy Reid is the most throwinest head coach in NFL history, of all head coaches with 100 or more games coached, Andy's teams pass 58.8% of the time and run 41.2% of the time. That's just… wow.

The collision between London Fletcher's knee and Brian Westbrook's head in the Eagles' second possession did not look serious at the time, I was at the game and a hush came over the stadium, Brian was down for some time and at one point his brother, Redskins cornerback Byron Westbrook was on the field with a concerned disposition. Brian eventually got off the field on his own power but did not return per NFL concussion rules.

The NFL Game Rewind feed skipped over the Jason Campbell sack fumble in the Redskins fourth drive, second quarter, can anyone tell me if it was missed in the ESPN broadcast? Shame on them for missing a play. Also, at some point in the Redskins fourth possession, Chris Cooley injured his ankle running a route and banging on a defender, the NFL Game Rewind broadcast did not show them stopping the game to get Chris off the field and did not show footage of him being carted off the field until the next Redskins possession. There is also no mention of the Cooley injury in the NFL play by play. Sloppy.

To start the Redskins fifth possession, second quarter, Eagles rookie cornerback and former Virginia Tech Hokie Macho Harris committed a block in the back, the call initially went against the Redskins number 35, who is new tailback Quentin Ganther and was inactive, the teams lined up after the penalty call, then the officials blew the play dead and announced the penalty was actually on the Eagles and the game paused as they reset the down and distance, the result of the change was 45 yards of field position in favor of the Redskins. Washington wound up scoring a touchdown on this drive.

Antwaan Randle El was just awful on punt returns, as I measured it in this game he made no less than five errors: three fair catches inside the fifteen yard line, the muffed catch that was recovered by Philadelphia and fielding a punt cleanly inside the five yard line that led to his being tackled inside the twenty. The guy needs to be replaced on punt coverage.

Just as the Donovan McNabb was poised to toss a 57 yard pass to DeSean Jackson on third and 22 in the Eagles seventh drive, second quarter, Mike Tirico in the booth reminded us for the second time at the Eagles had not converted a third and ten or longer all season through six plus games. Needles to say, the very next play that stat was retired as the Eagles scored their decisive and final points of the game. They did not score at all in the second half.

That aforementioned 57 yard touchdown pass in the Eagles seventh drive to end the half by the way, was mostly on Carlos Rogers for letting DeSean Jackson get behind him in the zone, Chris Horton contributed to the play by not providing Carlos help over the top.

The Redskins somehow managed to put together a good hurry up drive at the end of the first half, Jason Campbell, Fred Davis, Antwaan Randle El and Ladell Betts made good plays, Stephon Heyer made a tough to get mad at hold on Trent Cole and Devin Thomas, well after catching a touchdown earlier in the half, lazily let a pass bounce off his hands and up into the air where it could have been intercepted. That drive ended with the Redskins closing to

In the third quarter, Eagles ninth possession, the camera cut to Albert Haynesworth on the sideline, taking his union mandated 20 minutes smoke break. Dude has a great agent.

In the Redskins eleventh drive, fourth quarter, replacement tight end Fred Davis was simply abused by Trent Cole for the sack, with Chris Cooley out the Eagles exposed Fred's blocking weakness. Two drives later the same thing happened with Chris Clemons, just abused Fred Davis as he was lined up next to right tackle Mike Williams. No chance of Fred surviving as a replacement to Chris Cooley without being able to block.

As the Redskins offense took the field for the twelfth time, fourth quarter, Stephon Heyer was out at left tackle and newly signed Levi Jones was in, the Redskins moved all the way to the Philadelphia four yard line before center Casey Rabach snapped the ball prematurely to no one, it is recovered by the Eagles.


Shooter: Quarterback Jason Campbell was battered and sacked six times behind a makeshift offensive line, albeit one that started with the same lineup for a second week in a row, Jason was a very respectable 29 of 43 for 284 yards, two touchdowns and an interception that was batted and returned for a touchdown really because of poor blocking. As the Redskins tried to dig themselves out of a 17-0, then 27-7 hole the Redskins went to the air, there were only fifteen rushing attempts all game, and Jason once again proved he was not the problem with a 91.6 passer rating for the game, above his 2009 and career averages. I am beginning to get melancholy about Jason because I am increasingly certain Jason will be gone after this season, either scapegoated directly or swept up in offseason upheaval.

Fat Contract Albert: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth played a solid game and was a factor at the end with a sack of Donovan McNabb and forcing Eagles left guard Todd Herremans into two fourth quarter holding penalties.

OH CRAPPO: A quiet game for rookie hybrid defensive endbacker Brian Orakpo, two tackles.


Washington Post recap, photo gallery. Philadelphia Inquirer recap, photo gallery. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos, video highlights.

Next up, the Redskins get a much needed week off to go to their rooms and think about what they have done through seven games, then they come back to visit the Atlanta Falcons, cornerback DeAngelo Hall's former team and a franchise that is improving with quarterback Matt Ryan and their own second year coach in Mike Smith. The Redskins will need to overachieve in a major way to win this game.

Jason Campbell being sacked by Trent Cole: AP photo from here. DeAngelo Hall with the Falcons in 2007 when he was fined for displaying a message of support for his former teammate Michal Vick: Agence France-Presse from here.