Here are four takeaways from the Redskins’ 28-13 loss to the Eagles:
It’s Mark Sanchez’s team now: Two weeks after Alex Smith suffered a gruesome, season-ending leg injury in a loss to the Texans, another Redskins quarterback was lost for the year. Early in the second quarter, Colt McCoy injured his lower right leg on a sack by Malcolm Jenkins. McCoy would remain in the game and complete two passes to set up a field goal, but he was later taken to the locker room for X-rays, which revealed a fractured right fibula. Mark Sanchez, who was signed to serve as McCoy’s backup in the wake of Smith’s injury, entered the game for his first regular season action since 2016. The 32-year-old completed six of his first seven passes and led a successful two-minute drill to cut the Eagles’ lead to 14-13 before halftime, but his understandable lack of familiarity with the Redskins’ playbook was apparent. With Redskins Coach Jay Gruden primarily calling short passes, Sanchez completed 13 of 21 passes for 100 yards and one interception. It didn’t help that guards Jonathan Cooper and Tony Bergstrom were also injured in the game.
Eagles bottle up Redskins’ running backs: With the Redskins’ passing game limited, even against a secondary decimated by injuries, the Eagles were able to focus on shutting down Washington’s running game. They were successful, with the exception of one second-quarter carry. Adrian Peterson received the handoff on Sanchez’s first snap of the game and raced practically untouched up the middle for a 90-yard touchdown that gave the Redskins their only lead of the night. The touchdown run was the longest in Redskins history and a career long for Peterson, who tied Jim Brown for fifth-place on the NFL’s all-time rushing touchdowns list with his 106th on the play. It was the only highlight of the game for Peterson, who managed eight yards on his other eight carries. Chris Thompson, who was active for the first time since Week 8, was limited to three yards on three carries and three receptions for 18 yards.
Washington’s defense made plays: Despite all of the Redskins’ injuries and the Eagles owning a 13-minute advantage in time of possession through three quarters, Washington only trailed 14-13 entering the fourth quarter. Greg Manusky’s defense, which was gashed by Amari Cooper and the Cowboys in a Thanksgiving Day loss, made enough big plays to keep the Redskins in the game on Monday. In the second quarter, Zach Brown burst through the line to drop Eagles running back Josh Adams for a loss on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, preserving Washington’s 10-7 lead. In the third quarter, Josh Norman jumped a slant route intended for Alshon Jeffery in the end zone for his third interception of the season. Wentz completed 27 of 39 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, the second one coming against a tired defense early in the fourth quarter. The Redskins’ offense managed only 36 yards after halftime.
Woe, Monday night: The Redskins dropped to 5-23 on “Monday Night Football” since 1998, including a 1-6 mark against the Eagles during that span. Monday’s loss gives Washington its first three-game losing streak under Gruden since 2014, his first year with the team, when the Redskins had two separate losing streaks of at least four games. The Redskins have now lost three straight games against the Eagles and seven of their last eight games against defending Super Bowl champions.
The NFC East race just got tighter, as the Eagles moved into a tie with the Redskins for second-place in the division behind the Cowboys at 6-6.
Redskins punt the ball away: The Redskins have two timeouts remaining, but they need two touchdowns and they just gave the ball back to Philadelphia rather than go for it on fourth and 24. (Eagles 28, Redskins 13, 3:10 4th Quarter)
Eagles get three more: It’s still a two-score game, but Philadelphia’s lead is now 15 points after a 44-yard field goal by Jake Elliott. (Eagles 28, Redskins 13, 4:48 4th Quarter)
Redskins are pulling out all the stops: Why not? On third-and-14 from the Washington 21, Mark Sanchez threw a quick pass in the right flat to Jordan Reed, who immediately pivoted and threw a pass across the field to Chris Thompson. The running back had plenty of green space in front of him, but Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas made a shoestring tackle to limit Thompson to a four-yard gain and force the Redskins to punt. Reed, Washington’s emergency quarterback, probably knows the playbook about as well as Sanchez at this point. (Eagles 25, Redskins 13, 10:02 4th Quarter)
Eagles add to their lead: Jake Elliott booted a 46-yard field goal to extend the Eagles’ lead to 12 early in the fourth quarter. (Eagles 25, Redskins 13, 11:41 4th Quarter)
Mark Sanchez throws an interception: This game’s in danger of getting away from the Redskins after Mark Sanchez’s pass intended for Maurice Harris was intercepted by Eagles linebacker Nathan Gerry and returned to the Washington 35-yard line. (Eagles 22, Redskins 13, 12:37 4th Quarter)
Eagles take a two-score lead: Jordan Matthews capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive with a touchdown catch on a slant route in front of Redskins rookie Danny Johnson. After Matthews’ score gave the Eagles a 20-13 lead, Philadelphia went for two and Carson Wentz connected with Golden Tate to extend the lead to nine. (Eagles 22, Redskins 13, 14:10 4th Quarter)
Eagles are on the move: Philadelphia is facing second and 10 from the Washington 17-yard line when the fourth quarter begins. The Eagles have run 22 more plays and have a 13-minutes advantage in time of possession through three quarters, but thanks to the defensive efforts of Zach Brown and Josh Norman at the goal line, it’s a one-point game. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, Start of 4th Quarter)
Washington flips the field: The Redskins failed to turn Josh Norman’s interception into points, but after their drive stalled at midfield, Tress Way pinned Philadelphia inside its own 20-yard line. Given Mark Sanchez’s unfamiliarity with the playbook, it could take a strong second half from Adrian Peterson or another huge play by the Redskins defense for Washington to pull this off. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, 4:51 3rd Quarter)
Another injury for the Redskins: Washington can’t afford to lose any more offensive linemen, but guard Tony Bergstrom was helped off the field after Fletcher Cox rolled up on his ankle midway through the third quarter. The Redskins already lost guard Jonathan Cooper to an arm injury in the first half. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, 8:05 3rd Quarter)
Josh Norman intercepts Carson Wentz in the end zone: One play after Golden Tate made a 32-yard catch on third-and-nine to give the Eagles a first down inside the Redskins’ 5, Josh Norman jumped a slam route intended for Alshon Jeffery in the end zone and came down with his third interception of the season. Norman returned the timely pick to the Washington 40-yard line. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, 8:34 3rd Quarter)
Redskins go three-and-out: Washington couldn’t get anything going on its first possession of the second half, as Josh Doctson couldn’t get both feet down on a third-down catch along the ride sideline. According to ESPN’s Joe Tessitore, the Redskins haven’t scored on their first drive of the third quarter in 24 games, the longest streak in the NFL. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, 13:20 3rd Quarter)
Colt McCoy suffered a broken right fibula in the second quarter: ESPN’s Lisa Salters reported at the start of the third quarter that X-rays revealed Colt McCoy suffered a fractured right fibula, ending his season.
Halftime: Eagles 14, Redskins 13
Colt McCoy left Monday’s game in the second quarter with an injury to his lower right leg, forcing Redskins Coach Jay Gruden to call upon Mark Sanchez. Still learning the playbook after being signed two weeks ago following Alex Smith’s season-ending injury, Sanchez looked sharp for someone who hadn’t taken a snap since 2016. He completed 6 of 9 passes for 62 yards in the first half. Adrian Peterson’s 90-yard touchdown run, which was the longest of his career and a Redskins record, was the play of the half for Washington. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is 13 for 18 for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Redskins get a field goal before the half: Philadelphia left too much time for Mark Sanchez. The backup, playing in place of the injured Colt McCoy, completed five consecutive passes for 53 yards to move the Redskins into field goal range. After a pair of Sanchez incompletions, Dustin Hopkins drilled a 47-yarder to pull Washington within one. (Eagles 14, Redskins 13, 0:15 2nd Quarter)
Eagles retake the lead on Darren Sproles TD run: Philadelphia wasted little time taking advantage of its short field. Darren Sproles’s 14-yard touchdown run capped a three-play, 40-yard touchdown drive that lasted all of 35 seconds. The Eagles benefited from a roughing-the-passer penalty on Greg Stroman. (Eagles 14, Redskins 10, 1:46 2nd Quarter)
Tress Way punts from his own end zone: The Eagles forced a three-and-out after their turnover on downs, giving them excellent field position and plenty of time to tie or take the lead before halftime. After a 15-yard punt return by Darren Sproles, Philadelphia began its drive at the Washington 40-yard line. (Redskins 10, Eagles 7, 2:21 2nd Quarter)
Zach Brown stuffs Eagles on fourth and goal: Philadelphia was threatening to answer Adrian Peterson’s go-ahead score with a touchdown of its own, but Redskins linebacker Zach Brown had other ideas. After Greg Stroman and Norman combined to tackle Nelson Agholor just short of the goal line on third down, Eagles Coach Doug Pederson called a timeout. Pederson put his offense on the field out of the break and called a running play for Josh Adams, who was met in the backfield by Brown to preserve the Redskins’ lead. (Redskins 10, Eagles 7, 4:03 2nd Quarter)
Adrian Peterson touchdown run gives Redskins the lead: Mark Sanchez handed off to Adrian Peterson on first down for a simple run play up the middle. Peterson turned it into a whole lot more, breaking through the line and running untouched for a career-long 90-yard touchdown. That’s one way to help a quarterback taking his first snap since Week 17 of the 2016 season. The touchdown was the 106th of Peterson’s career, tying him with Jim Brown for fifth on the NFL’s all-time list. (Redskins 10, Eagles 7, 9:23 2nd Quarter)
Dustin Hopkins cuts into Eagles’ lead with field goal, Colt McCoy injured: Dustin Hopkins’ 44-yard field goal capped an eight-play, 45-yard drive early in the second quarter. Colt McCoy suffered an injury to his lower right leg on the drive and was shown heading to the locker room. His return is questionable. In the meantime, Mark Sanchez, who was signed two weeks ago after Alex Smith went down with a season-ending injury, will lead Washington’s offense. Should something happen to Sanchez, well . . . the Redskins had better hope it doesn’t come to that. (Eagles 7, Redskins 3, 13:46 2nd Quarter)
Washington’s defense gets a stop: The Redskins forced a three-and-out on Philadelphia’s second possession, as Fabian Moreau broke up a pass intended for tight end Dallas Goedert on second down and Mason Foster led a swarm of defenders who dropped Darren Sproles for no gain on third-and-four. (Eagles 7, Redskins 0, 3:44 1st Quarter)
Redskins go three-and-out: Talk about an inauspicious start. Redskins left tackle Trent Williams was flagged for holding on Washington’s first offensive play and Adrian Peterson ran for a loss of two yards on the next snap. Two plays later, Tress Way punted the ball back to the Eagles. (Eagles 7, Redskins 0, 5:15 1st Quarter)
Referees miss a clear false start: The play that ended in Golden Tate’s touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone should’ve been blown dead, but officials missed an obvious false start on Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson.
Eagles strike first on Golden Tate touchdown catch: The Redskins won the toss and elected to defer, giving the Eagles the ball first. Twelve plays, 75 yards and more than seven minutes later, Philadelphia found the end zone in the first quarter for the first time in six games. Carson Wentz was 5 for 5 for 48 yards on the drive, including a six-yard touchdown pass to former Lions wide receiver Golden Tate. The Eagles lost control of the ball three times during their scoring march, but the first time the football rolled out of bounds, the second time the runner was ruled down by contact and the third time Corey Clement pounced on the loose ball. In any event, it was an ugly start for the Washington defense. (Eagles 7, Redskins 0, 7:31 1st Quarter)
During “Monday Night Countdown,” ESPN’s Lisa Salters said she recently spoke with Redskins president Bruce Allen about the team’s controversial decision to claim Reuben Foster last week. The 49ers released Foster on Nov. 25, one day after the linebacker was arrested for the third time this year on a domestic violence charge in Tampa.
Salters said Allen, who hasn’t spoken to local reporters about the move, told her he knew the Redskins would get some criticism, but “they did their own investigation of sorts.” USA Today reported that the Redskins did not contact Tampa police for details about Foster’s arrest before claiming him on Tuesday. The lawyer for Foster’s accuser said neither he nor his client were contacted by the Redskins.
“They wanted to know what happened,” Salters said, recapping her conversation with Allen from Sunday night. “They talked to people in Tampa, and felt comfortable that they heard another side of the Reuben Foster story that is different, and perhaps to them, worth taking this risk.”
Salters said she asked Allen, “How great does Reuben Foster have to be on the field to outweigh the bad PR that you are getting right now and will forever be around your team?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.