Redskins-Eagles best and worst

November 18, 2012


Best and worst moments from Washington’s 31-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. 

Best Play: Robert Griffin III, as usual, did many amazing things on offense. But the most amazing play, by a long shot, was made by Santana Moss on his 61-yard scoring catch. The receiver was bracketed by two defenders. He reached over one to grab the ball, then fought through the other to get into the end zone. It was a total prayer of a throw, and it somehow became a touchdown because of an oft-overlooked, 189-pound, 33-year-old vet.

Best Quarterback Rating: Griffin was 14-for-15 for 200 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s good for a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Comcast SportsNet reported that RGIII became the first rookie QB to throw the ball at least 14 times and record a perfect rating in NFL history. He also ran 12 times for 84 yards. I mean, that’s an ok day. I guess.

Best Stat: Via ESPN, Griffin became the first Redskins quarterback to throw three touchdown passes of at least 60 yards in a season since Mark Rypien in the bandwagon year.

Best Stat, II: Via the NFL, Griffin became the first player in NFL history to throw three touchdown passes of at least 60 yards and also run for a touchdown of at least 60 yards in the same season.

Worst Everything: The Eagles had three turnovers — including one in the final 40 seconds of the first half — and 9 penalties and something like 11 moments of utter incompetence. Maybe the Redskins won’t finish last in the NFC East this season. That’d be cool.

Best Inactive List: Why? Because Pierre Garcon and Brandon Meriweather weren’t on it. Two of Washington’s primary offseason acquisitions played football on the same day for the first time this season. The former didn’t do much, and the latter got hurt, but still, the inactive list didn’t include their names.

Best Safety: How about the first quarter Meriweather turned in, by the way? He had a tackle for a loss, a vicious pass break-up, an interception, and several other plays around the ball. I’m no personnel expert, but not a lot of Redskins safeties have had quarters like that this season.

Best Forbath: Kai Forbath has now started his Redskins career with nine straight made field goals, the longest such streak in franchise history.

Worst Offensive Line: Philadelphia’s! Really! I think. The Eagles’ makeshift line committed four (4) penalties IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE GAME.

Worst 3rd-and-1: I’m no playcalling expert, but Alfred Morris has proven to be a running back who can break tackles and get hard-earned yards when you ask him to. When the Redskins asked him to take a deep pitch from the shotgun on 3rd-and-1, he lost five yards and the Redskins punted.

Worst 4th-and-1: Ok, ok, maybe I was wrong. Because when the Skins faced a 4th-and-1 later in the game, Morris got the ball, and ran into the line, and got squat. New plan on 3rd- or 4th- and short: throw the ball 60 yards into double coverage and hope for the best.

Best two-yard run: Early in the game, Griffin was pressured in the backfield by multiple Eagles defenders. He escaped them, then kept escaping them and running and escaping and faking, and ended up gaining two yards. Brian Billick said the play showed subtle athleticism. Seemed pretty non-subtle to me.

Best 10-yard run: Facing a 3rd-and-6 in the second quarter, Griffin was pressured by multiple Eagles defenders. Just escaping a sack would have been a feat. Somehow, he gained 10 yards and a first down without taking a major hit. Billick again suggested his athleticism was subtle. “ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE TO WATCH,” said Thom Brennaman, who apparently didn’t find it subtle.

Worst Coverage: I don’t know what exactly the Eagles were doing on Aldrick Robinson’s 49-yard touchdown catch, but they sure weren’t covering Aldrick Robinson. You rarely see a wide receiver catch the ball in the end zone with a 10-yard cushion from any defender. I mean, a 10-yard coverage would have been bothersome for Robinson. Look at that space. You could put like 10 food trucks in that space.

Worst Omen: Brandon Banks fumbles the ball out-of-bounds on about every sixth touch. Isn’t that going to be a problem at some point? It feels like that’s going to be a problem at some point.

Best Quote: Mike Shanahan on RGIII: “Well, except for that one incompletion, I thought he was ok.”

Worst Tackle: You know all that talk from the NFL about proper tackling technique? Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did not display proper tackling technique when he launched himself in the air, aimed at RGIII’s head. The quarterback ducked. The cornerback went flying. Watch it here.

Worst Drive: Heavens, but the Skins started the second half with an all-time stinker of a drive. Here’s how it went: illegal formation penalty, four-yard run, false start penalty, pass for loss of one, sack. When you talk about putting games away in the second half, well, that isn’t it.

Worst Debate: I can only hope that most of you are not addicted to Twitter during Redskins games. If you are, you’ve no doubt seen the constant back-and-forth between some media members about designed RGIII running plays. A few folks figure if you’re up 18 against an incompetent mess of a team, you can maybe take steps to avoid unnecessary contact for your franchise player. The other side then makes accusations about this being an argument for pansies. This is slowly driving me insane. Wanting to avoid unnecessary car crashes for the best athlete in D.C. does not make one a girly-man. Be better, media members.

Best Final Score: There was plenty to complain about, and it was sometimes tough to differentiate between good from the Redskins and putrid from the Eagles. Still, that was a 25-point win, the biggest in the NFL this week through Sunday’s early games. The Redskins haven’t won by such a big margin since topping the Lions, 34-3, early in the 2007 season. Mike Shanahan’s biggest win as Redskins coach was a 28-14 win over the Giants in the 2011 opener. And the Redskins hadn’t beaten the Eagles like that since a 28-3 win in 1998, before Andy Reid arrived.

Best Anticipation: I still say playoff talk is a bit much. It’s been years since the Redskins have put together the sort of streak they’d need to qualify for the postseason. But hey, the schedule lines up nice, and Thanksgiving against the Cowboys sure got a lot more compelling.

(Moss image by @recordsANDradio. Paper bag image by @dcborn61.)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | November 16, 2012