Week 11: Redskins vs. Eagles

November 18, 2012
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And now it’s officially Dallas Week


Robert Griffin III had a nearly-perfect day. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

The Washington Redskins kick off their do-or-die, seven-game homestretch on Sunday, hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field on Nov. 18.

The Washington Redskins head for a Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys, with both teams coming in off victories Sunday.

For the Redskins, the win over the Philadelphia Eagles was a great tune-up, with only one serious injury, to Brandon Meriweather’s knee. Although Coach Mike Shanahan said that Meriweather is “sore,” Meriweather told Comcast SportsNet’s Tarik El-Bashir that he intends to play Thursday.

Thanks for joining us today; hope you’ll hang out with us here on Thanksgiving, too. And If you have any thoughts or suggestions for the new live blog format, be sure to let us know.

RGIII returns from bye “with a little more energy

Robert Griffin III completed all but one pass and finished with a 158.3 passer rating. Two of his biggest plays were touchdown passes to Aldrick Robinson (for 49 yards) and Santana Moss (61 yards).

“With the Aldrick [pass], he was so wide open, you just want to give him a good ball to where he can go run and get it. He’s a fast guy, so you’ve got to give him a chance to make the play and he made the play,” he said in a Comcast SportsNet interview. “When it comes to Santana, coach said I probably didn’t read coverage right, but you know I made the play. It’s plays like that where you don’t make the right read or you don’t make the perfect throw and receivers can make a play that you feel good about it.”

The 4-6 Redskins, who had a bye last week, now head to Dallas for a Thanksgiving game.

“When you have a bye week you get to re-assess things and I spent a little time just to get away from the familiar so I did come back with a little more energy. The one thing I told myself today is I had to trust the guys that are out there with me, trust the receivers, trust the offensive line, that they’re going to do their job. And I think a lot of the guys took that to heart — not only because I said it to myself, but I echoed it to them.”

NFC East update: Cowboys win in OT

Dan Bailey’s 38-yard field goal gave the Dallas Cowboys a 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns today in Dallas.

Moss on RGIII: “He ignites our fire.”

Santana Moss used the word “fire” a lot when talking about Robert Griffin III.

“I feel great for him. Robert just keep[s] doin’ what he’s doin’. I’m tired of talking about him,” Moss joked. “He’s not going to change. He’s going to go out there and be special and that’s the gift that he has. … He brings that kind of specialness — I don’t know if that’s a word — but he brings it to our offense. He really ignites our fire. When he’s going well and doing his thing and he’s in a groove and he’s on fire, he just rubs off on everybody else.”

As for his own second effort on a spectacular TD catch, Moss couldn’t stop smiling as he said:

“That was just being hungry and knowing that this opportunity might not come again. I’ve been a victim before of catching balls down there and not getting in the end zone some years back. I just saw it and I was hungry knowing that those kinds of plays are big for our team.”

Mike Shanahan on RGIII, Moss, Meriweather

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had a nearly perfect game, completing all but one of his passes and finishing with a 158.3 passer rating that is, in fact, perfect. Coach Mike Shanahan was asked if he felt the game was the “most statistically efficient for RGIII.”

“Well, except for that one incompletion, I thought he was okay,” Shanahan joked. (Shanahan joked!) “Yeah, I thought he played hard. That wasn’t easy, by any means. They’re a good football team, but we kept on persevering and made some plays in the second half and obviously that was the difference in the game.”

RGIII completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns; he ran the ball 11 times for 85 yards. One of his TD passes was a stunning completion to Santana Moss, who wrestled the ball away and fought his way into the end zone on a 61-yard play. Shanahan was asked what went through his mind as he watched the play unfold.

“It was ‘Oh, no … oh, yes,’” Shanahan said. “It was one of those things that Santana made a great play and Robert gave him a chance. For a guy to come down with that type of play and for Robert to have the ability to throw it that far to give him a chance, especially with the down and distance that it was, was a great play at a very needed time.”

Brandon Meriweather returned from a left knee injury today — and hurt the other knee in the game.

“I think everybody saw his impact. We saw in preseason that he gives a lot of energy back there. You can see the type of football player he is and he proved it today. His knee is a little bit sore. Right now, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s nothing serious, but we’ll get a chance to evaluate that tomorrow.”

Now, the Redskins must make the quick turnaround to play Thanksgiving afternoon in Dallas.

“You’ve got to play your best football in the second half of the season. Obviously, our backs are against the wall and you’ve got to to come out with a win, play your best football on offense, defense and special teams. No game is perfect. We’ll learn from our mistakes. We’ve got a short week of preparation. I told ‘em to enjoy the win for about 12 hours.” 

NFC East update: Cowboys, Browns in OT

Dan Bailey kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Dallas Cowboys, tying the score at 20-20 with 6 seconds left and sending the game against the Cleveland Browns into overtime.

Dallas won the coin toss to start OT.

 

NFC East update: Cleveland leads Dallas

Brandon Weeden hit Benjamin Watson on a 17-yard touchdown pass and the Cleveland Browns lead the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 with 1:10 left in Dallas.

Redskins end three-game slide, 31-6

The Redskins beat the Eagles, 31-6, to end a three-game losing streak, getting four touchdown passes and a perfect passer rating from Robert Griffin III in the largest victory margin for the Redskins under Coach Mike Shanahan. The Redskins, who beat a rookie quarterback for the first time in nine games, next go to Dallas on Thanksgiving for a critical division game.

NFC East update: Cowboys take lead

Tony Romo’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant has given the Dallas Cowboys a 17-13 lead with just under seven minutes left in the game in Dallas. Romo has completed 26 of 34 passes for 231 yards. All of Dallas’s scores have come in the second half.

Robert Griffin III throws fourth touchdown

Robert Griffin III completed his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this one to tight end Logan Paulsen for a 17-yard score, to give the Redskins a 31-6 lead with 10:35 to play. It’s the first game Griffin has thrown four touchdowns, and his passer rating remains perfect.

Robert Griffin III has perfect passer rating

Robert Griffin III has a perfect passer rating of 158.3, completing 12 of 13 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Of course there’s almost the entire fourth quarter to play, but still an impressive showing after consecutive games in which he struggled.

Is it Thursday yet?

Third quarter takeaway: Another big play

The big plays continue for the Washington Redskins offense. After a shaky first possession of the third quarter, the unit’s struggles seemed to continue on the second series, which featured a fumble committed – and recovered – by Alfred Morris, a false start by Morris.

But on third-and-10 from his own 39-yard line, Robert Griffin III completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to put his team up 24-6. The play had two impressive elements to it. For one, Griffin had defenders breathing down on him, and he had to step up into the pocket to avoid the blitzers. He gunned the ball downfield to Moss, who was double-covered at the 5-yard line. Moss out-leaped both, and caught the ball over top of Eagles safety Kurt Coleman, came down and flopped backwards into the end zone.

The Redskins suffered a scare early in the third quarter when Brandon Meriweather came down in a heap, grabbing his right knee on a play that saw him sustain no contact. Meriweather was helped off the field, but it wound up just being a sprain, and he appears to be moving fine on the sideline. The Redskins haven’t officially updated his status, however.

Redskins get another big play


Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin looks to throw against the Eagles. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss for a 24-6 lead with 5:02 to play in the third quarter. Moss caught the ball between two defenders on a pass that at least should have been knocked down, if not intercepted.

Eagles get another field goal

Alex Henery’s 42-yard field goal cuts the deficit to 17-6. The Eagles nearly committed a fourth turnover, but after Ryan Kerrigan knocked the ball from quarterback Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy recovered the fumble to save the field goal try.

Brandon Meriweather down

In his first game with the Washington Redskins, safety Brandon Meriweather is down on the field holding his right knee. Meriweather had been not played until today because an ailing left knee.

Redskins-Eagles halftime update

So here’s the breakdown of the statistical disparity at halftime between the Eagles and Redskins. The Eagles are leading in total yards, 169-138, total plays, 36-21, time of possession, 19:11-10:49, first downs, 9-5, and third-down efficiency, converting 4 of 9 to 1 of 4 for Washington. Yet the Redskins lead 17-3 because of three Eagles turnovers and Philadelphia committing 6 penalties for 45 yards to 3 penalties for 15 yards for the Redskins.

NFC East update: Cowboys trail 13-0

The Dallas Cowboys — the Redskins’ Thanksgiving Day opponent — managed all of 68 yards total offense in the first half in Dallas the trail the Cleveland Browns 13-0.

Meanwhile, owner Jerry Jones and Mike Holmgren are spotted talking to one another at the game. Let the rumors begin.

Second quarter takeaway: Big play on offense, third turnover lead to 17-3 advantage

The Redskins’ big-play capability on offense returned in the second quarter as Robert Griffin III connected with Aldrick Robinson for a 49-yard touchdown pass to put his squad up 14-3.

A well-designed play by the Redskins, Griffin threw the Eagles off first with a fake handoff to Alfred Morris, and then faked the end-around to Brandon Banks. That left Robinson wide open as he streaked into the end zone, where he caught the bomb from Griffin. Robinson was so open because he got a step on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, and Asomugha appeared to release Robinson to safety Nate Allen. But, Allen saw Niles Paul wide open on an intermediate route and had just stepped up to try to catch up to the tight end.

That left Robinson to race into the end zone uncovered, and then make the big catch.

The 49-yard grab was the longest of Robinson’s two-year career, and it was the second touchdown reception of his career as well.

The Redskins had the ball, but had to punt with less than a minute left. The Eagles elected to try to run a play with 36 seconds left, but LeSean McCoy fumbled, and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan recovered at the Philadelphia 13 with 27 seconds left. Washington scored on a 30-yard field to go up 17-3 at halftime.

With that field goal, Kai Forbath made his ninth straight as a Redskin, which sets a franchise record for the most made by a Washington kicker, surpassing Graham Gano’s mark of 8-for-8.

Redskins add to lead at halftime, 17-3


Fullback Darrel Young catches a six-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Place kicker Kai Forbath’s 25-yard field goal gives the Redskins a 17-3 lead at halftime. The Redskins have 99 yards passing and two touchdowns from Robert Griffin III and have intercepted rookie quarterback Nick Foles twice.

Eagles winning everywhere except scoreboard

At the two-minute warning, the Eagles have nine first downs to the Redskins’ four, have run 35 plays to 15 for Washington and own an 11-minute advantage in time of possession. Yet they trail 14-3 largely because of two interceptions from rookie quarterback Nick Foles.

Redskins drop big play on Eagles

The Redskins used misdirection to fool the Eagles’ secondary, and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson came open in the end zone for an easy 49-yard touchdown catch from Robert Griffin III. It was the second touchdown pass for Griffin.

Eagles get on scoreboard

Place kicker Alex Henery booted a 41-yard field goal, his 15th consecutive successful attempt, to trim the deficit to 7-3 early in the second quarter. The Eagles’ drive stalled when on third down and eight, Nick Foles completely missed an open DeSean Jackson and threw the ball to no on in particular.

First quarter takeaway: Defense sets early tone

The Redskins’ wasted little time getting on the board thanks to a strong game-opening defensive stand, and crisp execution on offense.

On the third play of the game, rookie Nick Foles attempted a pass to tight end Brent Celek, who was heavily covered by linebacker London Fletcher. Celek let the ball bounce off his hands and into the hands of cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who returned the ball 22 yards to the Philadelphia 9.

Two plays later, Robert Griffin III completed a six-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Darrel Young to put his team on the board.

With the pass, Griffin completed his 173rd pass of the season, and surpassed Norm Snead for first place on the franchise list for most completions by a rookie in one season. That mark had stood since 1961.

The Redskins’ secondary forced yet another turnover on their next time out. Facing third-and-21 from the Washington 42, Foles went downfield to DeSean Jackson, but was picked off by strong safety Brandon Meriweather, who made his Redskins’ debut. Meriweather returned the ball 25 yards to the 44, but Washington’s offense went three-and-out.

With Foles struggling on the deep ball, the Eagles appeared to make modifications as the first quarter wound down, going with screen passes with increased frequency. As the quarter ended, running back LeSean McCoy had three catches for 49 yards with a long of 25.

Eagles using screen pass effectively


Eagles running back Bryce Brown tries to break a tackle. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The best way to counter an aggressive, blitzing defense is with the screen, and that’s exactly what the Eagles are doing on this drive in getting the ball into the hands of top playmaker LeSean McCoy. The last screen was particularly effective, with Nick Foles faking a pass to his left and turning to make the throw to McCoy on the right side for 24 yards.

Redskins bringing the blitz

There’s no mistaking the Redskins’ defensive plan today against rookie quarterback Nick Foles: blitz often. The result has been two interceptions, including the last from safety Brandon Meriweather, who’s finally back in the lineup.

London Fletcher hurt

Linebacker London Fletcher is down on the field with an apparent ankle injury. Stay tuned for updates.

Redskins strike quickly

Robert Griffin III completed a six-yard touchdown pass to fullback Darrel Young two plays after DeAngelo Hall’s interception of NIck Foles. Young was wide open around the right side to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead at 13 minutes 13 seconds of the first quarter.


Robert Griffin III stakes Redskins to 7-0 lead early in the game. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Redskins intercept Nick Foles

So much for a fast start for Eagles rookie QB Nick Foles, who was intercepted on his second pass attempt. The ball was intended for tight end Brent Celek, but linebacker London Fletcher tipped the pass, and DeAngelo Hall caught the carom for the turnover.

Fantasy focus: Redskins vs. Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles is an intriguing fantasy play this afternoon considering how leaky the Redskins’ are against the pass. Washington is giving up nearly 302 yards per game, and its 20 passing touchdowns allowed are more than any other team. Of course you’re going to start LeSean McCoy, who could do a lot of damage in the short passing game. For the Redskins, Robert Griffin III will have back top wide receiver Pierre Garcon, but how close he’ll be to full speed remains uncertain. Despite consecutive shaky performances, Griffin still is a viable QB1, but Garcon is a weak flex play at best until he shows he has that big-play burst.

Nick Foles doesn’t look the part, which may be deceptive

The Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, Nike Foles, may not look like he’s ready, but the Eagles have no choice with Michael Vick out indefinitely. (Their backup, by the way, is Trent Edwards, with Jeremy Maclin or DeSean Jackson options after that.) Foles, a third-round pick (88th overall) out of Arizona, will be the sixth rookie to start this season, and he’s the lowest-picked of the six. CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher talked to an AFC scout who had high praise for Foles.

“I thought he was better than [the Miami Dolphins' Ryan] Tannehill,” said the scout, who is based in Arizona and has covered the West Coast for several years.

“What sold me on Nick Foles is watching the Stanford game,” he told Mosher. “I watched it live and then I watched it again on tape. At one point, the kid was 16 for 16 and he actually looked better than Luck. I look at a lot of different things [with quarterbacks]. I thought he stepped his game up because he was going against Luck, and that impressed me. For three quarters or whatever, he was the best quarterback on the field.”

Read the full story here.

Redskins vs. rookie quarterbacks

Based on recent history, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Foles could be in store for a big game given his opponent’s history against rookie quarterbacks. The Washington Redskins are 0-8 against rookie quarterbacks, and Foles will face a pass defense ranked 30th that has allowed more touchdowns (20) than any other team. Plus Foles has two capable playmakers on the outside in wide receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

Week 11: Redskins vs. Eagles

Welcome to the Week 11 Redskins live blog where we will break down this afternoon’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. Both the Redskins and Eagles are 3-6 and tied for last place in the NFC East. Philadelphia will be starting rookie Nick Foles at quarterback in place of the injured Michael Vick. Boxscore

And, the Redskins will have some of their injured starters back, as Wide receiver Pierre Garcon and strong safety Brandon Meriweather will start today against the Eagles.

Other reading material: How to defend RGIII | Wise: Back to reality | Foles gets the start for Eagles | Five story lines | Grade RGIII | Week 11 NFL scoreboard 

Welcome to FedEx and Week 11…

Welcome to the Week 11 discussion

Welcome to our new platform for the Redskins liveblog/discussion. The comment thread is right below this for you to discuss anything about today that you’d like. And, in this space, you can follow the game through the eyes of Gene Wang and Cindy Boren, who will update you here on everything from touchdown runs to postgame news conferences. 

Once the game starts, you’ll also be able to stay on top of each play through the stats above. Selecting the stats tab on the left will get you the live box (with team and individual game statistics), and by selecting the scoring tab you can see the descriptions of the game’s scoring plays.

Each time Gene or Cindy files an update, the list just below the “Week 11: Redskins vs. Eagles” headline will flash yellow and the latest headline will appear at the top of the list. Also, a small update box will appear in the right corner of your screen. You can read that new entry by selecting the headline for the new entry in either place. 
(Note: In some older browsers you might not get the yellow flash or the box, so you might want to refresh here and there to see if anything new has been posted.)

We hope you enjoy this new platform. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Mike Jones · November 18, 2012

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