Week 9 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 10, Washington Redskins 17
What you need to know
The Philadelphia Eagles were without Terrell Owens in this game, who was suspended by coach Andy Reid for “conduct detrimental to the team.” Although the Eagles scored only one touchdown in the game, McNabb proved to be effective without his star wide receiver. McNabb threw for over 304 yards and a touchdown, spreading the ball among seven different receivers. Notably, he appeared loose and mobile in the pocket, seemingly unhindered by his numerous injuries.
Reggie Brown made his first career start at wide receiver, filling in for Terrell Owens. Brown made the most of the opportunity, gaining 94 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. No other Philadelphia wide receiver stood out in the game, although Billy McMullen and Greg Lewis also finished with over 50 receiving yards. After a quiet first half, tight end L.J. Smith left the game with a concussion early in the third quarter and did not return.
Eagles’ Coach Andy Reid seemed determined to run the football in this game, even though running back Brian Westbrook was repeatedly stopped for little or no gain by the Washington defense. Westbrook finished with just 24 rushing yards on 17 attempts. He was much more effective in the passing game, where he compiled 55 yards on four catches. He was held out of the end zone.
The Redskins rebounded from their abysmal game against the Giants last week with a solid winning effort against the Eagles. This was a very good team performance, as the Redskins played well in all three phases of the game.
Mark Brunell did not find the end zone, but showed good play-making ability and pocket presence throughout the game. He finished with 224 yards passing on 21 completions. Santana Moss had a fine day, with seven catches for 79 yards. Most of his yards came after the catch. With 85 yards receiving, Chris Cooley is also proving to be a favorite and versatile weapon of the Redskins’ offense.
Clinton Portis was held to just 67 yards on 21 carries, but he did find the end zone on a six yard burst up the middle of the Eagles’ defense. Portis also made some big plays in the passing game. Mike Sellers scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on a one yard carry on an inside handoff.
What you ought to know
|QB Donovan McNabb, Pass: 22 - 35 - 304 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 12 - 0|
McNabb played reasonably well in this game despite the Eagles’ losing effort. With Terrell Owens out of the game, McNabb effectively distributed the ball among seven different receivers for 304 yards passing. Notably, McNabb showed strength and agility in the pocket throughout the game, and did not seem to be limited by his various injuries. His lone touchdown throw was on a post pattern to Reggie Brown that went 56 yards to the end zone. McNabb did throw a critical red zone interception on fourth down with the Eagles trying to tie the game at the end of the fourth quarter, but replays suggested that he did not have any open receivers anyway. He also made a costly mental error at the end of the first half – instead of grounding the ball to stop the clock and set up a David Akers field goal, McNabb faked the spike but also faked out his own teammates. With his offensive line unprepared for the fake spike, Redskins’ defenders rushed by and drilled McNabb for a sack, allowing time to expire.
Westbrook played in this game just hours after agreeing to a long term contract extension with the Eagles. Perhaps signaling a departure from convention and an inclination to stick with the run game, the pass happy Eagles began the game with successive running plays. Westbrook continued to get opportunities in the run game – 17 in total – but was bottled up all afternoon by the Washington defense. He finished with just 24 yards on 17 attempts. Westbrook enjoyed more success in the passing game, where he notched 55 yards on four catches. Westbrook did not find the end zone.
Gordon was used to spell Westbrook during the game, but was not a major factor. He dropped a short pass on a crossing route that would have resulted in a large gain on a critical Eagles’ drive in the fourth quarter.
Parry got an Eagles’ first down with his first catch of the game, but was relatively quiet thereafter.
Brown, a rookie from Georgia, made his first career start at wide receiver in place of the suspended Terrell Owens. Brown took immediate advantage of the opportunity, taking a short pass in the middle of the field 56 yards to the end zone. It was the first touchdown of his career on just his tenth career reception. Brown made several other athletic catches in the game, including a short hitch where he forced the defender to miss then broke it upfield for big gain. Brown was also targeted on a deep pass to the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter, but the ball was overthrown.
Lewis strung together 57 yards on five catches but did not find the end zone. He made a nice catch in the fourth quarter on a play where he was absolutely drilled in the middle of the field. Lewis did have a costly bobble and drop on a target inside the Washington five yard line early in the third quarter. Lewis was targeted on a short hitch inside the Washington ten yard line late in the fourth quarter, but had no chance to take it to the end zone.
McMullen made a great catch for 39 yards in between two Washington defenders on a strike from McNabb in the middle of the field. He caught all three of the balls thrown in his direction.
Owens was suspended by the Eagles for “conduct detrimental to the team” and did not travel with the team to Washington.
Spach saw his role increase slightly after L.J. Smith left the game early in the third quarter. He had just two catches for 14 yards, both in the second half.
Smith had a quiet first half, and then left the game early in the second half with an apparent concussion. The injury occurred after he delivered a huge blow while blocking at the line of scrimmage. Smith did not return to the game.
After missing four weeks due to a torn hamstring, Akers connected on his first and only field goal try – a 34 yard attempt. Jose Cortez continued to handle kickoffs for the Eagles.
The Eagles’ defense did a good job of containing Portis most of the day, but had some difficulty getting off of the field in the second half. They did allow Portis to score on a six yard run right up the gut, but allowed just 78 total yards on the ground.
The Eagles’ pass defense had a good game, allowing 224 passing yards and no touchdowns. They did struggle in some third and long situations, and also had difficulty getting pressure on Brunell in key situations. They finished the game with two sacks, one fumble recovery, and zero interceptions.
|QB Mark Brunell, Pass: 21 - 29 - 224 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 4 - 0|
Brunell had a strong performance in the game, despite having no touchdown passes. He moved around well in the pocket, buying time to find open receivers. He made smart accurate throws, and avoided throwing any interceptions. He showed excellent touch on several passes and then a strong arm when it was needed.
Portis had limited running room early in the game, as he started out with just 18 yards on his first eight carries. True to form, Washington stuck with the ground game, and Portis eventually found a little bit of running room. He finished with 67 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. The touchdown came on a six yard run up the middle. In the passing game, Portis made a great diving catch by the sideline at the end of the first half on which he was able to drag both elbows before landing out of bounds. Portis limped off the field on two separate occasions, but returned both times after taking off a play or two.
|RB Ladell Betts, Rush: 2 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 26 - 0 (1 targets)|
Betts had a 41 yard kickoff return in the third quarter that set up Washington’s second touchdown drive. On that same drive, Betts had a nice 26 yard reception in the middle of the field.
|WR Santana Moss, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 7 - 79 - 0 (10 targets)|
Moss was Brunell’s favorite target in the game, with seven catches for 79 yards on ten targets. Throughout the game Moss continued to showcase the skills that have made him one of the elite receivers in the NFL. Using speed and elusiveness, he made large gains time and again after the catch. On one such play, Moss converted a third and 17 on a flanker screen. Moss did not find the end zone.
Patten had no catches in the game, but he was targeted on a deep sideline throw that led to a pass interference penalty on Lito Sheppard at the Eagles’ one yard line. The play set up the Redskins’ first touchdown.
Cooley was targeted early and often throughout the game, and was continuously open for big gains all over the field. He finished with 85 yards on seven catches. Cooley was targeted in the first half from the Philadelphia eight yard line on a short screen pass, but he was absolutely buried by Eagles’ defenders and had no chance to make it into the end zone. Cooley had a nice catch and run in the third quarter, but coughed the ball up following a Brian Dawkins hit at the Philadelphia six yard line. The ball was recovered by Washington. Cooley also had a 15+ yard pass play negated by a holding penalty.
|TE Mike Sellers, Rush: 1 - 1 - 1, Rec: 3 - 26 - 0 (3 targets)|
Sellers made the most of his first carry of the season, scoring a touchdown on an inside handoff from the one yard line. As Sellers extended the ball across the goal line, the ball was knocked loose and Philadelphia recovered. However, the play was called a touchdown on the field and the call was upheld following review by instant replay. Sellers also made several big receptions for Washington in the fourth quarter that helped sustain clock-killing drives.
Hall hit a 24 yard field goal and two extra points in his first game back from a quad injury. He did yank a kickoff out of bounds on what would have otherwise been a perfect afternoon.
The Redskins’ run defense came up big in this game, allowing just 45 yards on the ground on 23 attempts. The Eagles’ long run of the day was just seven yards on a scramble by McNabb.
The Redskins’ pass defense played well in this contest, despite allowing 304 yards in the air. They got just enough pressure on McNabb, forcing two sacks and one interception. On several occasions a heavy Redskins’ blitz forced McNabb to quickly throw the ball away on third down.