The Redskins struggled to get their passing attack going for much of the game, and players said that part of the problem was that the Eagles seemed to know what plays they were going to run, and how to stop them.
The Redskins’ defensive players also credited Philadelphia for coming up with ideal ways to exploit their weaknesses.
“They did a good job of scheming us up,” quarterback Robert Griffin said. “They kind of knew what was coming before it was coming and that was disheartening. But like I told the guys, regardless of what’s going on out there, we’re the players and we have to make the plays work, and we just weren’t doing that in the first half.”
A number of times early in the game, Griffin performed his handoff fakes and looked to make a throw but then had to pull the ball down and either look for another receiver or run the ball.
Other times, Griffin looked for downfield throws, but the Eagles had taken away his deep reads as well.
The Redskins went with a run-heavy attack as a result, rushing the ball 28 times in the first half and only throwing the ball seven times.
“Obviously, we ran the ball well, but in the passing game a lot of times, they were tit for tat. They were there, where they needed to be and a lot of times they were taking the routes that needed to be run and that’s disheartening, but we have to come up with something for that.”
Griffin said he didn’t take the Eagles’ success on defense as a sign that Washington’s attack has become predictable as a whole.
“I don’t think it has become predictable,” he said. “DeMeco Ryans is a good linebacker and they do good things with him and the other guy – Najee Goode. They allowed DeMeco to play the pass first. A lot of times, we were trying to hit those [play-action] holes behind him and he can run to those holes. I think on the back, they did a good job of running to those holes as well – kind of scheming stuff and knowing what type of hole we’re trying to hit on those three level holes, or whatever you might want to call it. I don’t think we’ve become predictable. I just think they had the right call in the right situation and they lucked into some pretty good recoveries.”
When Washington was on defense, Philadelphia took advantage of the Redskins’ aggression and then found ways to use that against them.
“They did what they wanted to do, and we did not, and that’s why they won,” safety Brandon Meriweather said.
Linebacker London Fletcher said the Eagles didn’t change their offense significantly from the Week 1 meeting, and that they didn’t see anything that surprised them. But he credited the Eagles for knowing how to beat Washington’s schemes.
“For the most part, when we look at what they did on film, the plays they hit us with, they had already shown,” Fletcher said. “They believe in their offense and their system and just try to adjust to what we were doing. Defensively, we played a lot of man-to-man, so they ran a lot of man-beaters and crossing routes and things like that to try to free up their guys, so that was part of their game-plan. Tight end delay, tight end screen, running back screen – a lot of things to beat man coverage.”