Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham scooped it up and outraced Chris Thompson to the end zone, much to the dismay of anyone who took the Redskins and the points. The last-second touchdown was a nice early Christmas present for anyone who started the Eagles’ defense in the fantasy football playoffs, too.
Fail: The pro-Eagles crowd
The scene was reminiscent of Week 17 last season, when chants of “Fly, Eagles, Fly” and “E-A-G-L-E-S” rang out throughout FedEx Field during and after Philadelphia’s 24-0 shutout to clinch a playoff spot. It’s becoming a familiar story, but Eagles fans wearing green and black accounted for most of the crowd on Sunday, and they were loud from the opening kickoff until Bradham’s game-sealing touchdown. Just look at the photo at the top of this post. If not for the burgundy wall beyond the end zone, you’d think it was taken at Lincoln Financial Field. How many of the Eagles fans in that shot do you think bet Philadelphia -4.5?
Hail: Redskins rookies
Fox play-by-play man Thom Brennaman mentioned this bit of trivia a couple of times during the broadcast: The Redskins became the first team since the 1999 Cleveland Browns, and only the third team since 1970, to start a rookie quarterback (Haskins) and three rookie wide receivers (Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims Jr. and Kelvin Harmon) in the same game. Haskins had his best outing as a pro, completing 19 of 28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yarder to McLaurin and a 4-yarder to Sims. Fourth-round pick Wes Martin, who made his first career start at guard, did just fine in place of the injured Brandon Scherff, while rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb had six tackles. For the record, the rookie-reliant ’99 Browns finished 2-14 with quarterback Tim Couch throwing to the likes of first-year wide receivers Darrin Chiaverini, Kevin Johnson and Zola Davis.
Fail: Philly’s dominance
The Redskins won five straight games against the Eagles from 2014 to 2016, marking their first five-game winning streak against any of their current NFC East rivals since they won six straight against the Eagles and Giants from 1981 through 1984. Beginning with their 2017 Super Bowl season, Philadelphia has won the last six games in the series.
Hail: Ryan Anderson
The third-year linebacker started in place of Ryan Kerrigan, who was placed on injured reserve earlier this week, and made the most of his opportunity. Anderson had two sacks and three forced fumbles, one of which was recovered by his former Alabama teammate, Jonathan Allen, to set up a Redskins field goal. Anderson has four sacks and four forced fumbles in his last four games after recording only two sacks over his first two seasons in the league.
Fail: Bill Callahan
By the fourth quarter, it was apparent that neither defense could make a crucial stop, so taking a lead while leaving as little time on the clock for the other team would be key. On fourth-and-1 from the Philadelphia 25 with 4:52 remaining and the game tied, the Redskins’ interim coach called upon his field goal unit rather than go for the first down. Adrian Peterson was running well and Washington’s read-option attack, which produced a 23-yard run by Haskins in the third quarter, had been effective. Beyond that, the Redskins were 3-10. Why not leave the offense on the field and let it try to finish the job?
Hail: Special teams
Pro Bowl candidate Tress Way had this third touchback of the season, but still averaged 49 yards on four punts, and placed two inside the 20. Meanwhile, Dustin Hopkins nailed both of his field goal attempts, including a 53-yarder that tied the game in the fourth quarter, and Sims averaged nearly 30 yards on three kickoff returns.
Fail: Montae Nicholson
The Redskins committed five penalties for 60 yards, and none were more foolish than the late hit Nicholson delivered to Eagles tight end Zach Ertz in the first half. After Carson Wentz’s overthrown pass landed incomplete, Nicholson took a couple additional steps and lowered his shoulder into Ertz, knocking him off his feet and drawing an obvious flag.
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