Sunday, November 06, 2005

Final Score: Redskins 17, Eagles 10

LANDOVER, Md. -- I hate to be the one to question the playcalling by the Eagles when they had first and 10 on the Redskins 13-yard line. But what the heck was that? Brian Westbrook wasn't even on the field for the last two plays of the series. I repeat - Brian Westbrook wasn't even on the field for the last two plays of the series. Your best offensive weapon wasn't even given a chance to make a play. And then the plays the Eagles did come up with were less than desirable. The Redskins defense is good, but can't you at least get your main guy the ball once in those four downs?

Job Accomplished

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Eagles defense did their job, forcing the Redskins on a three and out. With 2:55 left, it's up to McNabb and company to fulfill their end of the deal. How confident do you feel in their ability to come through here in the clutch? Maybe in years past, but this season? I don't think so.

This Is Go Time

LANDOVER, Md. -- Seven minutes, 17 seconds remaining. First and ten on the Eagles 9-yard line.

McNabb has been fairly accurate tonight - 16 of 25 passing - now is the time to get moving. We're not saying the Eagles need to score here (although it would be nice), but they need to get some first downs to alter the field position to their favor. That timeout they burned on a failed challenge would have come in handy down the stretch.

Redskins 17, Eagles 10

LANDOVER, Md. -- When it rains it pours. The bounces just aren't going to Eagles way this season and tonight's game is no different.

First the Redskins muffed a punt and recovered the fumble. Then as they were driving towards the eventual go-ahead TD, Chris Cooley reeled in his seven catch of the game, but was popped by Brian Dawkins. The ball popped out and laid on the grass until a hustling Derrick Dockery came up from his guard position and pounced on the pigskin.

The Redskins' Clinton Portis ran in from 6 yards out on the next play.

Eagles 10, Redskins 10

LANDOVER, Md. -- Akers is back with a 34-yard field goal. I think I shed a tear.

Halftime Score: Redskins 10, Eagles 7

LANDOVER, Md. -- Donovan McNabb, repeat after us: "You are not Dan Marino. Spike the ball."

This after Trent Cole took a sure three points off the board for the Redskins with a forced fumble sack. McNabb did a great job moving the Eagles into sure-fire field goal range for David Akers, but the quarterback for the second time in three weeks made a fatal error with clock management.

He pretended to spike to the ball as the clock would down ... 10, 9, 8 ... but it looked like his teammates had no clue he was trying to pull a fast one by the Skins, and the Redskins sacked a virtually defenseless McNabb.

And once again, the clock ticked down as McNabb tried to kill the clock with time left for a field goal attempt. It's going to be interesting to hear Andy Reid put the blame on himself for that snafu at tomorrow's day-after press conference.

Redskins 10, Eagles 7

LANDOVER, Md. -- Quick, name all the great Irish halfbacks in NFL history. OK, take your time. We don't know the answer to that bit of trivia ourselves. But we sure like this Chris Cooley fella. The second-year tight end (he's listed as a halfback, but really he's a tight end) from Utah State has been the highlight of the first half for the Redskins. He has 6 catches for 72 yards and is burning the Eagles' coverage at the linebacker position.

How Do You Spell Baaaahhh? L-I-T-O

LANDOVER, Md. -- We know Lito Sheppard is hobbled with a groin injury, but he's been downright awful the last two games. Either you sit or you play hurt, but using your head. He's missed two tackles so far and that pass interference penalty he took that led to a Redskins' TD was putrid. There was no need for him to hold David Patten on a up-for-grabs pass from Mark Brunell. Both Patten and Sheppard are listed at 5-foot-10, and Sheppard had decent position on the jump ball.

Worth Every Penny

LANDOVER, Md. -- Is there any dispute that Brian Westbrook has earned the new contract he inked today. If you missed the details of his deal, look here.

There was little doubt going into the game that Westbrook was going to get his fair share of touches with Eagle Ego out, running and receiving. Westbrook has handled both chores admirably here in the early going, with 8 carries for 5 yards (those rushes were necessary to open the air game) and 3 receptions for 28 yards. His 18-yard jaunt off a tipped pass from Donovan McNabb was a thing a beauty and just a reminder that Westbrook is the man for this offense.

First Quarter: Eagles 7, Redskins 0

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Eagles finally take an early game lead. How long can this last? Apparently, not that long, the Redskins are driving.

Terrell Who?

LANDOVER, Md. -- I could be wrong (probably not), but that TD pass that Donovan McNabb threw to Terrell Owens replacement Reggie Brown couldn't have happened unless the Birds put the effort in to establish the run early. The run-pass ratio thus far: 6-8. Coincidence? I think not.

Brown, meanwhile, ran a perfect route and showed game-breaking speed on the 56-yard TD. Maybe the second round draft pick really can play and maybe he can make Eagles fans forget you-know-who.

An aside: we preferred Brown's TD celebrations to his predecessor's. He simply raised his arms in a "V" in the direction of Redskins' fans. Enough said ... acted. We like receivers who let their actions speak for themselves.

To Dirk Or Not To Dirk

LANDOVER, Md. -- We don't know who the new punter is yet, but we like his style. He pinned the Redskins on their own 3-yard line with a 43-yard boot.

No T.O, But No Excuses

LANDOVER, Md. -- Oh well, it looks like the Eagles didn't take the advice of your favorite blogger. As the entire world knows by now, the Eagles have suspended Terrell Owens for conduct detrimental to the team.
While this reporter suggested that since they had to put up with Owens antics off the field, they might as well take advantage of his skills on it.
Yet Andy Reid didn't consult me. It's not the first time he hasn't asked my humble opinion. Now that he has made the decision, it's time for the Eagles to move on. And for their playoff hopes, the best place to move would be the Redskins' end zone.
No excuses if the Eagles get blown out tonight by the Redskins. And we don't want to hear how the team was distracted all week by this fiasco.
T.O. isn't here and Reggie Brown is. The Redskins would make that trade in a heartbeat. It doesn't matter.
All that matters is that the Eagles play much better than they did a week ago. And they should have nobody to blame or credit for thei rprformance but the players on the field. And last time we checked, T.O. isn't one of those players.

Eagles at Redskins: Pregame Show

LANDOVER, Md. -- We're here at FedEx Field for tonight's tilt between the Eagles and Redskins and with all the extra cirricular nonsense surrounding the game, it's easy to forget this is a pivotal meeting between two NFL East rivals.

The Eagles and Redskins are both at the bottom of the standings, but hold winning records (4-3) and are a game and a half behind the Giants, who won today over the 49ers, 24-6, and a half game behind the Cowboys, who were idle this week.

The Redskins pose a challenge to the floundering Eagles with their formidable defense and their improving offense. Quarterback Mark Brunell hasn't played this well since his Jacksonville days and his top target, Santana Moss has been brilliant. Moss may be the best receiver this season in the NFL, save for one malcontent that shall remain nameless from this point onward.

But it's become increasingly difficult to talk about this Eagles team without talking about His Hineyness. But we will try our best tonight. More to come ...