CRASHING the playoff party.
EAGLES 20– Redskins 16
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report (Rushing TD’s + 3rd and 4th downs converted:missed of 2 yards or less – sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
Passing: (S ) QB Jalen Hurts (17/26 – 65.3% – 214 – 0 – 0)
Rushing: (S ) RB Boston Scott (14 – 47 – 3.3 – 2 – 0)
Receiving: (S ) TE Dallas Goedert (7 – 6 – 71 – 11.8 – 0)
Offensive Line Report: (2 + 4:5 – 1)
Drive Killer: (S ) FS Rodney McLeod (1 – 0– 0 – 0 – 0)
Sack Leader: (S ) DE Josh Sweat (5 – 1.5 – 0 – 0)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Things articles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Redskins did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Don’t get cute: Run the ball. That was the edict. Come out running and use the running styles to compliment each other. We did both, running 34 times for 118 yards (3.4 ypc), and two scores. It wasn’t pretty or explosive, but as I said, Boston Scott isn’t a tip of the spear caliber RB. Still, we stuck to our identity and ground out yardage and scores. That was the ask. (DONE)
2) Blitz On Long Downs: There were some 5 man rushes throughout the game, but not consistently enough, as was evinced by QB Taylor Heinicke (27/36 – 75.0% – 247 – 0 – 1), starting off 11/11. We didn’t really turn up the heat on him until the second half. Even then we played such loose coverage, that Washington was a threat to win, until Heinicke’s final pass to FS Rodney McLeod. (NOT DONE)
3) Knock Taylor on his Heinicke: In the second half, we got all over this! After the half, the Defensive Front came out looking to hunt. The pressure went up, and Heinicke kept finding himself running for his life, before ending up horizontal.
While it wasn’t frequently the product of blitzing, we were definitely getting the ball out of his hand earlier, as he became decidedly aware of how much heat we were bringing. (DONE)
4) Mr. Smith goes to Washington: Running the ball would have been easier if we could have emptied the box more. That would have been easy to do if WR Devonta Smith (6 – 3 – 54 – 18.0 – 0) had seen 7 to 8 targets. However, between Smith getting merely 6 targets, WR Quez Watkins (4 – 2 – 15 – 7.5 – 0) being a non-factor, and WR Jalen Reagor (Nope!) being trash, it was hard to stretch the field horizontally to create gaps.
Also, the Eagles spent a lot of time in Bunch Formations, with the receivers close to the Tackles. That allowed defenses to pack in. (NOT DONE)
So this week we posted 2 of the Four Things and accordingly, we barely escaped with a win. BUT WE WON!!! Next week we play a practice game against the Cowboys. It has no meaning since both of us have already qualified for the playoffs.
On The Whole:
For the second week in a row, we bodied a division rival.
We made the rest of their season meaningless. We reduced next week to a chance for their starters to take a pointless injury; or sit and let a back-up destabilize their job security.
And it feels good.
What feels even better, was clinching a playoff spot, with a rookie head coach, who was being mocked (even by me) a few weeks ago, for talking about motherfucking FLOWERS. This Spring I’m planting goddamned daffodils.
Even better than that, was doing it doing it during a rebuild year. (Did you hear that New York?) With a QB who was essentially a rookie. (Did you hear that Washington?) And while it’s true that we haven’t beaten a 10 win team all year, neither has Dallas. So we’re at least as legit as our division winner.