Sunday’s game was no different.
Rex Grossman kept team and individual turnover streaks intact with his 20th interception of the season. Poor tackling and breakdowns in pass coverage led to big scoring plays for the Eagles (8-8). Ineffective red-zone play and penalties kept the Redskins f
At one point, the Redskins had both running backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster on trainer’s tables, receiving treatment from the medical staff. Linebacker Brian Orakpo missed the second half with a pectoral muscle injury. There was a 21-point fourth-quarter collapse. And of course, the package wouldn’t have been complete without a blocked field goal, so Washington allowed one of those as well.
The primary bright spots of the game for Washington were a 47-yard touchdown reception by Helu, a second straight 100-yard rushing outing by Royster (20 carries, 113 yards) and two sacks by Orakpo, who finished the season with nine, the third straight year he has led the team. It also made Orakpo the first Redskins player since Dexter Manley in the 1980s to record at least eight sacks in three consecutive seasons.
But beyond that, highlights were few for the Redskins. The Eagles, in contrast, racked up 390 yards of offense — 190 of them in the fourth quarter — and had three pass-catchers with at least 86 receiving yards apiece. Washington’s defense gave up at least 30 points for the fourth time in the last five games, and the 24-point loss was the Redskins’ largest margin of defeat this season.
So ended the worst year in Mike Shanahan’s 17 full seasons as a head coach.
The 5-11 finish was worse than a pair of 6-10 campaigns recorded by Shanahan last year and in 1999. It also gave Shanahan an 11-21 record in his first two seasons with the Redskins, who went 12-20 in the two seasons led by former coach Jim Zorn prior to Shanahan’s arrival.
It also marked a third consecutive losing season for one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, and the eighth time in the last 10 seasons that the Redskins have failed to post a winning record.
The Redskins’ standing in the NFC East already had been determined prior to Sunday’s game. For the fourth consecutive year, they finished last in the division.
By virtue of their record and following strength-of-schedule determinations, the Redskins learned on Sunday that they will hold the sixth overall pick in April’s draft.
“Extremely frustrating to lose 11 ballgames, another game to a divisional opponent,” said linebacker London Fletcher. “Felt like we played good football in the first half, and then in the fourth quarter, it got away from us. . . . Not enough good football for 60 minutes.”
The Redskins trailed 10-0 at halftime and saw their best chance for an early touchdown slip through their hands midway through the first quarter. On third and nine from the Philadelphia 43, Grossman had Santana Moss open running down the center of the field. Grossman’s pass was slightly underthrown, and Moss had to slow up for it, but the ball slipped between Moss’s arms for an incompletion at the goal line.