Yes, they moved the ball a little better -- but Philly's defense isn't all that good. But they didn't score touchdowns, a common problem all season. The defense can be patted on the back, but the offense deserves another kick in the rear. They tried hard and played hard, but that's not getting it done.
Ramsey's return: Patrick Ramsey was accurate, but it's hard not to be when most of your passes are screens, either to receivers or backs. The Redskins made it easier on him by eliminating many of the decisions and throwing short, quick passes. That also helped tame Philly's blitz. But Ramsey, like Mark Brunell, struggled to throw downfield, missing two receivers open deep. They weren't open by much, but they were open. And the bottom line is that Washington scored only six points.
Misplaced anger: Fred Smoot ripped the officiating after the game, upset about the pass interference call among other things. The officials wrongly told Smoot that he had pushed off the wideout. That wasn't the case as Smoot actually got his feet tangled up with Freddie Mitchell. Smoot is one of our favorites and is a standup guy, but when you're 3-7, it sounds bad to knock the refs.
Where's Portis?: Clinton Portis was supposed to be an all-around back when the Redskins traded for him. He hasn't been. Though he has 29 catches, he's still usually replaced by Ladell Betts on third down. If he's a playmaker, get him the ball every way possible.
Bad call: But the officials did blow a replay challenge early in the fourth quarter. With Washington trailing 14-6, an Eagles wideout was given a first down after a reception. But the replay showed that he had stepped out of bounds a couple yards shy of the marker. For some reason the Redskins lost the challenge and Philly drove for the decisive touchdown.
Ugly series: From a first and goal at the 10 to a fourth and goal at the 30. Crowd noise played a factor, forcing two false starts as neither tackle could hear Ramsey's cadence. So they went off movement by the defender and wound up flinching themselves. And Chris Samuels also had a holding penalty in that sequence, which ended in a missed field goal.
More misplaced anger: Samuels swatted away the ball from Ike Reese, who was holding it aloft after an interception. Very glad to see someone get ticked off. But the Redskins seemed to be angry at everything else other than themselves.
No running: One reason the Redskins didn't run the ball well, perhaps, was the noise. More than a few times the tight ends or the tackles, because it was hard to hear the QB, went off defensive movement. That enabled the defense to get penetration quicker and prevent the line from getting to the linebackers. When you can't get to the linebackers, you can't run the ball. Look for a different effort in the ground game when the Eagles visit in December.
Valiant effort: By right guard Lennie Friedman, who subbed for the injured Randy Thomas. Friedman got knocked back a few times, but wasn't a problem. However, at 280 pounds, he's not a solution at this position. He's small even for a center, let alone guard.
Dumb play: Sean Taylor foolishly elbowed receiver Terrell Owens in the head, drawing a 15-yard penalty to the Redskins' 15. Maybe Philly scores on that drive anyway. But Taylor made it easier on them. And for all the questions about Owens' behavior, notice how he didn't try to retaliate?
Great play: Taylor's diving interception was gorgeous. He made a few plays Sunday that few safeties can make because of his speed. Because of it, the Redskins could do different things in coverage.
Eagles 28, Redskins 6
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