Offense a Wash - Redskins 20, Eagles 12

The Eagles are now 0 - 2 on the season, after a 20 - 12 defeat to the Washington Redskins. What was supposed to be the easy part of their schedule; what was once a promising season has turned into a nightmare.

The Eagles are truly offensive, but not in a good way. The Eagles came into last night’s game as the clear favorite. They were coming off of a disastrous 16 - 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, and were playing their home opener on Monday Night Football; it seemed like the best kind of redemption. But it just wasn’t their night, falling to the Washington Redskins, 20 – 12.

The Eagles start the season 0 – 2 and the Redskins are now a surprising 2 – 0, tied for the division lead with the Dallas Cowboys.

This game was all about the ineffectiveness of the Eagles offense. Donovan McNabb had another shaky performance on Monday night completing 28-of-46 passes for 248 yards and no touchdowns. McNabb struggled to find his rhythm all night long and over threw receivers in key situations. The Eagles offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in their last 22 possessions.

McNabb has lost six of his last seven starts, and is 9-12 since the Eagles lost the Super Bowl to New England in January 2005.

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook was a bright spot for the Philadelphia offense. Westbrook had 162 all-purpose yards (96 yards rushing and 66 yards receiving) in the loss. He’s the one playmaker on a team searching for an identity.

All twelve of the Eagles points came off the leg of David Akers. Akers was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts; his longest being a 39-yard field goal which gave the Eagles their only lead of the game at 6 – 3 halfway through the second quarter.

Washington’s starting quarterback Jason Campbell played well and showed a lot of athleticism in certain situations. He completed 16-of-29 for 209 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Redskins running game, which features Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, kept the Eagles defense scrambling. Portis had 17 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Betts wasn’t much of a factor only receiving 6 carries for 14 yards.

Philadelphia’s defense played well in the first quarter causing the Washington offense a lot of problems in the pass and run game. But as the quarter progressed, the Redskins were able to get themselves into scoring position. They got on the board first when Shaun Suisham booted a 35-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter to give the ‘Skins an early 3 – 0 lead.

In the second quarter, the Eagles countered Suisham’s field goal with two Akers field goals that gave the Eagles a 6 – 3 lead with 7:05 remaining in the first half. Just before halftime, with nine-seconds remaining, Campbell found tight end Chris Cooley in the endzone for a 16-yard touchdown giving Washington a 10 – 6 advantage at the half.

The only scoring for both teams in the third frame came off the foot of Suisham and Akers; ending the third quarter with the Redskins still holding a four-point advantage, leading 13 – 9.

In the fourth and final quarter, Philadelphia had its chances. There were a lot of opportunities they could have taken advantage of, but were unable to capitalize. The Redskins were opportunistic and struck first in the quarter when Portis got into the endzone from six-yards out giving the Redskins a 20 – 9 lead. Halfway through the quarter, Akers netted his fourth field goal of the evening, narrowing Washington’s lead to 20 – 12. But that was all the scoring Philadelphia could manage the rest of the way.

McNabb had an opportunity late in the game but missed wide receiver Kevin Curtis in the redzone. Curtis had a nice break off the line of scrimmage; he made an inside cut and then went outside and McNabb threw the ball wide and halted any chance the Eagles had at a victory.

 

Bird Watch

The Eagles had a few injuries occur in the game against the Redskins. William Thomas suffered lower back spasms, Brian Dawkins left with a neck stinger and Sean Considine suffered a knee contusion.



A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber is the Editor in Chief of WarNest.com and an NFL Analyst for Scout.com. Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. If you have any questions for Chris, email him at: csteuber@scout.com.

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