YEAH. So uhhhh, the Eagles went down to Washington yesterday…
We asked the Redskins “What you got on our playoff hunt?”, and they were nice enough to hand over a “W”. When their QB saw that it was almost time for us to go, he placed that “W” gently in our hands, so that we wouldn’t forget it.
Such nice boys. It almost seems mean to beat them with this again.
For the third year in a row. Chumps.
These gritty, grind them out games are EXACTLY what I said was needed by QB Carson Wentz (30/43 – 69.7% – 266 – 3 – 0). He needs to be tested and put through the wringer, emotionally. It likely will not result in a Super Bowl win this season, but like building an addition onto a house, the added experience will increase his value for as long as his career stands.
Yesterday, rookie RB Miles Sanders (19 – 122 – 6.4 – 1 – 0 / 6 – 50 – 8.3 – 1) killed more Redskins than smallpox. He piled up 172 yards from scrimmage, while doing anything he wanted. TE Zach Ertz (5 – 61 – 12.2 – 1) and TE Dallas Goedert (5 – 55 – 11.0 – 0) kept us afloat in the first half. The second half however, belonged to Sanders and WR Greg Ward (7 – 61 – 8.7 – 1) whose stat line hardly tells you how clutch he was.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
1) Throw for Miles: Did you see that touchdown catch by Miles Sanders?
Carson fired a pass that trailed smoke, as it tore through the air, past a pair of helpless Redskin defenders. (Victims pictured above.) On the day, Sanders caught five passes, and even lined up in the Slot a couple of times. The threat of him as a receiver was made very real. (DONE)
2) Take the run away early: We actually did this early on. However, the Redskins surged back in the third quarter, with a 10 play 6 minute touchdown drive, that featured 57 rushing yards (23 on one carry by their QB). After we came back with a run heavy drive of our own, they seemed to lose interest in running the ball, only handing it off twice for the rest of the game. (DONE)
3) Play a lot of Cover Two: Didn’t do it and got spanked on a 75 yard TD pass that left LB Nate Gerry (3 – 0 – 0 – 0) trailing a WR in coverage after a missed tackle by CB Avonte Maddox (3 – 0 – 0 – 0), who’d “Rock and Rolled” from Nickle CB to FS. Weirdly enough, we were also in Cover One, on the 5 yard TD pass that we gave up later.
This game will go down as the statistically best of Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins (19/28 – 67.8 – 261 – 2 – 0) rookie season. If you look at his game logs for this season, no stat line of any game he’s played, even vaguely resembled the numbers he posted today. Yards, completion percentage, yards per pass, touchdown to interception ratio, rating, ALL OF IT.
We made him look like an All-Pro. Even with this game, his rating for the year is 70.2. That tells you how low he was before this game. That tells you how bad this Cover One is. (NOT DONE)
4) Bombs away: We did this. We did it in a way that I wasn’t expecting, but we did this.
What I said was in Four Things was: “he [Carson] has to learn to use his weapons as weapons, not as security blankets. He needs to be more aggressive with the football, and throw that thing down the field more.”
While he was 1 of 5 on deep passes (two to Ertz, two to Goedert (20 yards), and one to #19), Carson kept putting the ball out there for his receivers to make the play. His 15 yard touchdown to Sanders, and 4 yard touchdown to Ward weren’t deep passes, but they weren’t just “taking what the defense gives you” either. They were extremely aggressive plays.
Carson threw two absolute DIMES in situations where he was imposing his will, instead of living to fight another down. It’s throws like that which win playoff games. We’re used to Carson being defined by the kind of pass that Ertz scored on. Playoff winning Wentz is going to have to look a lot more like the other two scores. And he showed us that today. (DONE)
That brings our Four Things score for the week to 3 of 4, and puts us on the season at 30 of 56 (.535). The hope is that this week’s lessons carry over to next week, as we play for all the marbles, vs the Dallas Cowboys.
The last time we faced to Cowboys we came out emotionally flat for some reason, and our play reflected that. This time, even if playing a division rival doesn’t excite us, the notion of playing for our season, should.
On The Whole:
I won’t judge this game as harshly as most fans. We won it with all of our typical deficiencies, but fewer tools to dig out of any hole that we dug ourselves. This was, and had to be, a game of will. This was a game of “How bad do you want it?”And the Eagles found a way to answer the bell.
As I said in Four Things, the “W” is all that matters. Whether the final was 64 – 0, or 9 – 8.
I do however, need to bring up two points that we can’t have a repeat of next week.
First, our Defense has to play more man, and far less zone on the Corners. Our zones do nothing to slow down passing attacks, and allows for first reads to become targets. That needs to stop. We have to make QB’s go through their progressions, so that unlike today, we can get sacks and end drives.
Second, when WR JJ Arcega-Whitseside (nothing) is out there, we are essentially playing 10 on 11 ball. It’s getting to where teams may stop covering him altogether, and just let him run around. He runs poor routes, ends up in other receiver’s areas, drops passes, and draws penalties. As long as he is allowed to dress for games, any message of accountability is FARCE.