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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 10/18/2011

London Fletcher expects Redskins’ defense to rebound from disappointing outing

Washington Redskins inside linebacker and defensive captain London Fletcher expects his team to rebound from Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and put together a strong performance against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

In the past, Fletcher has been a part of Redskins teams that suffer losses such as Sunday’s defeat and never manage to recover. But that shouldn’t be the case this year, Fletcher says.

“That was the past,” Fletcher said. “Different football team, different players, different coaching staff, different locker room character.”

Fletcher – in his fifth season with the Redskins – cited the defense’s second-half recovery on Sunday as evidence of change within the organization.

After giving up 20 points in the first half, Fletcher and the defense regrouped at halftime and prevented Philadelphia from scoring – twice stopping Eagle drives with interceptions.

“We always talk about playing for 60 minutes. … Play for 60 minutes and see what happens at that juncture,” said Fletcher, who along with Washington’s defense gave up 422 yards of offense to the Eagles, including 126 rushing yards to LeSean McCoy. “And even [Sunday’s] game, that game could’ve been over with very early in the first half, but we kept fighting, kept hanging in there and gave ourselves a chance to possibly give our offense a chance for a tying score at the end, but we didn’t come up with the stop.”

Fletcher referenced the last Philadelphia series of the game. Washington had scored, cutting the lead to 20-13 with 2:48 left, and needed the defense to hold the Michael Vick-led Eagles to a three-and-out so the offense could have a chance for a last-minute scoring drive to force overtime.

But McCoy ripped off an 11-yard run on first down, a seven-yard run on the following play, picked up two more yards on that second down, and then Vick picked up a yard for the second first down. The Eagles then ran out the clock with three-straight kneel-downs.

Coach Mike Shanahan expressed disappointment in the defense’s inability to stop the Eagles even thought they knew Philadelphia planned to run the ball each time. Fletcher said that he and his teammates were just as disappointed in themselves.

“We beat ourselves up with it a lot. You think about it all night. I know I did, just constantly thinking about those plays,” said Fletcher, who on the day led Washington with 12 tackles and two pass deflections. “What you would’ve liked to do was give yourself an opportunity, give your team an opportunity, give your offense the opportunity to see what they could do. That’s what you want to do. That’s what we work on … so it’s very disappointing that we weren’t able to get that stop.”

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 10/18/2011

 
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