After suffering week after week of miserable losses that turned the Redskins from a 6-2 possible playoff contender to a 7-7 squad that had fans wanting to pull off Lion and Bengal-like fans stunts (Like give your tickets to Eagle fans) we can take some solace as the Skins defeat the Eagles 10-3. It was another, close and ugly game that depended on the Defense and the Special Teams to carry the team. This game gave me a flashback to last year as the Eagles tried to make a final drive to tie/take the lead and Laron Landry nails a WR to end the game.
Despite the win however, the Redskins were officially eliminated from the playoffs. This overall doesn't bother me that much since the chances of us making the playoffs after the Bengals loss were slim-to-none. And frankly, I don't think this team deserves to be there. The 2008 Redskins are not ready for prime time. Now for the game breakdown Good, Bad and Ugly style.
Jason Taylor- After stating that he wasn't worth the 8 million and possibly didn't fit in the scheme of what the Skins do, JT has the best game as a Redskin with 2 sacks and a forced fumble (that led to the only TD of the game). It may be too little, too late however as I'm not convinced he's worth another 8 million in 2009. But if he'd be willing to take a pay cut...........who knows?
The D- Alot of kudos should be handed out for this game to the D as everybody for the most part made plays. Taylor, I already mentioned and Landry as well (I swear one play he nearly decapitated a Eagle WR). But again London Fletcher played inspired ball. DeAngelo Hall has earned a new contract in my mind and hopefully will be a Redskin for awhile; DC/VA/MD seems to be a good fit for him. Purple Heart award goes to Lorenzo Alexander for trying to keep up with Westbrook on the Eagles only big play. For some reason he was covering Westbrook (why?).
Jim Zorn- He will have at worst a .500 season and possibly a winning season after next week. Not bad for a guy who was never a HC before (or a O-coordinator for that matter) and was taking the over the reigns from a HOF Legend (Joe Gibbs) that went 9-7 in 2007. Zorn also made a key challenge in the game that forced the Eagles to punt (turning a 1st down to 4th and inches on the Eagles 30), killing another drive. There may be times when he's felt like the "Worst Coach in America" and there will be times people will try to make him feel that way, but he's not.
Chris Cooley- Add 4 more catches to his total. It's been a quiet year but catch-wise it's been his best as a Redskin.
The O-Line- No Jansen, no Samuels and they didn't look that bad. Yes, Campbell got sacked and hit, but there were times when Campbell actually had time to throw and had a pocket. I plan on going back through the game and focusing on Heyer to see where he stands. O-line still needs work and I'm hoping that Heyer and Rinehart and who we draft (Vinny, we need a 1st rounder OL this year, thanks) this year will be key to the Redskins youth movement on the lines.
Ryan Plackemeier- Can a punter be the player of the game for two weeks straight? Last week, he boomed kicks in Cincy. This week he punted 5 of 8 punts inside the Eagles 20. His special teams performance (that and a nice return by Randle-El) forced the Eagles to go long distances to score and our D shut them down.
We Still Can't Score!!!!!- I'll give the Eagles D some credit on this b/c they also have a great defense and can stop alot of good teams, but we can't score. We have a few very long drives and yet they die b/c we can't recover from A) a sack, B) a loss of yards on 1st down, C) a penalty. The team still doesn't have alot of "go-to" guys at WR. Moss gets double covered and then everybody else has problems getting open. Jason Campbell struggles with consistency (the wind didn't help) and the O-line still has issues. Plus, no big plays (20+ or more yards) and some of the plays are predictable and thus no points.
Bring out the Brooms- The Redskins sweep the Eagles with this win and end the season with a 3-3 record against the NFCE. Not bad overall since the Giants are the best team in the NFC and current NFL champion and the Cowboys were again this years "paper champion" (ie. the pundits pick to win it all). Despite beating the Eagles twice, Donovan McNabb thinks the Eagles were the better team. If the Eagles didn't drop so many passes and a possible Samuels INT...then maybe he'd be right.
Home Field Advantage?- The win finishes up a home record of 4-4 this year at FedEx. If the Skins beat the 49ers on Sunday, they will have a road record of 5-3. That's pretty sad. Add to the Steeler fans invasion and then two weeks of "rally rags" after the fans wanted it for the Steelers game. Even Vinny Cerrato said on his radio show today that they needed to improve upon that record. 6-2 should be the home goal every year. The reason I mention this? I got a call from the Redskins today with a recorded Larry Michael message asking me to "upgrade" my season tickets (upgrade means buy club level seats). The irony to this is that after 5 years of being a season ticket holder, I'm think about giving them up and going through Stub Hub. I'm still debating this and I guess I'll make up my mind by the time invoices come out.
Bang's Take on the Season: Bang, has a great take on the Redskin's season in his new cartoon. You have to laugh no matter how bitter the season has made you. Check out his new cartoon here: http://www.bangcartoon.com/2008/drops.htm
Updates: This blog is about two days old, so I plan to add links to some of the other sites I read and obviously have some more entries going. There will be a great blog about SnyderNomics coming by the end of the week.