Game Blog

Redskins vs. Eagles: Play-by-play analysis from the press box

Pregame

A Landover, Maryland Chamber of Commerce type of day, sunny, mid-50's, can't beat it.

Marcus Washington is inactive; he can't quite seem to get over that hamstring pull. All week long it seems like he's going to be able to go, but he winds up not suiting up.

I'm not sure what to expect today. If the Redskins can get some big plays offensively and trust the defense to get its job done if they turn the ball over once or twice, they can win and maybe even win easily. If the tight, scared Redskins show up, it's going to be up to whether or not McNabb is sharp. If he's sharp and effective, they Skins will have to score in the high 20's to win.

I heard a flyover by some fighter jets, but no prayer of seeing them in the press box. Yeah, I know, you feel really bad for me.

First Quarter

15:00—Redskins kicking off, the Eagles haven't done much on returns this year. They tried a reverse, but Leigh Torrence made a shoestring tackle that saved a good 20 yards.

12:09—A penalty almost killed an Eagle drive, but an illegal-contact wipes out a third-down incompletion.

12:03—The illegal contact was questionable, the pass interference just called on London Fletcher was even more so. It pushed the Eagles into Washington territory.

11:19—McNabb had all kinds of room to run, it seemed like a first down was easily in reach, but he threw it away.

9:21—The Eagles are running and passing at will; the sharp McNabb is the one who has appeared today.

Westbrook 4 pass from McNabb (Acers kick)

Eagles 7, Redskins 0

There was a moment of levity after the TD. The press box announcer mistakenly said that "Brian Mitchell" scored the touchdown. Mitchell is sitting behind me and he has received congratulations from all around. Of course, Mitchell played for both the Redskins and the Eagles.

8:12—Lorenzo Alexander reports eligible and Portis picks up five.

7:22—Two carries for Portis, 11 yards and a first down. A good start for the running game.

6:25—Good pass, good catch by Randle El for another firs down.

5:17—The Eagles came with the blitz and Campbell took off. He got seven, but he needed 10 for the first down. That was a six and out series, slightly productive as the Eagles will have poor field position at their 14, but it looks like the Redskins can't afford to come up empty on too many series.

4:36—Westbrook is running well, picking up about five yards a crack. That's OK if the Skins are getting pressure on McNabb, but they're not.

2:27—An emphatic signal from the official indicates that the Redskins recovered Smith's fumble achieving the dual benefit of stopping a drive and having a good scoring opportunity themselves.

1:07—I love that quick toss to Portis that just converted a third and shot with an 11-yard gain. I'm not sure why that one tends to stay buried in that 700-page playbook. It seems like it works every time, but the Skins will go for weeks on end without calling it.

End of first quarter

Eagles 7, Redskins 0

Second quarter

15:00—Wide open spaces for Campbell as he ran to the three. He did a good job of getting all the yardage he could without exposing himself to a crunching hit.

13:16—A wide receiver caught a touchdown for the Redskins!

Thrash 4 pass from Campbell (kick failed)

Eagles 7, Redskins 6

That was a flat-out miss on the extra point by Suisham, wide left. Following a great week in New York, that's not the way to get going here. I hate to say it, but the missed extra point always comes back to haunt you. The damage will be minimized if Gibbs doesn't try to chase after it all afternoon with a bunch of two-point tries. He probably won't and just treat it as though the Skins got two field goals.

That was an excellent throw by Campbell for the TD, he tossed it over coverage and to the corner to Thrash.

13:01—The defense looked liked it contained Westbrook on a sweep and he still got four yards.

11:34—Now McNabb has run twice for two first downs. He's not as dangerous as he used to be, but a first down is a first down.

9:58—They had Westbrook dead on third and one, but he found an opening and got two.

7:53—Finally, a third-down stop for the Redskins. McNabb appeared to have a receiver, but he overthrew him.

7:01—For a little guy, Portis sure can move the pile, or, more accurately, move through the pile.

6:05—James Thrash has now done two things that Santana Moss hasn't this year. He caught a TD and a pass for more than 30 yards.

5:10—A no-huddle for the Redskins. Maybe Gibbs saw that Clemens could handle it last week, maybe Campbell can pull it off for the Skins.

4:03—Another 31-yarder for Thrash. Three catches, 66 yards, and a touchdown.

3:05—Revision—Four catches, 78 yards, two touchdowns.

Thrash 12 pass from Campbell (pass failed)

Redskins 12, Eagles 7

I don't like going for two there, as you may have caught from what I wrote earlier. You just need to pretend like you got two field goals in the first quarter and move on. Now what do you do after the next touchdown, go for three?

I do, however, like a 10-play, 92-yard drive for a touchdown. Campbell is firing deep and Thrash is hauling them in. That's not just good for this game, it's a good sign for the rest of the year.

2:08—That was a good time for the Eagles' first three and out.

2:00—No catches for Cooley yet. Send him down the seam.

1:04—Portis was just short of the first down, or so it appears. The measurement confirms it. Now the Eagles will get the ball back with two timeouts and about a minute left. That was not a good two-minute effort by the offense

0:56—Thrash isn't leaving his special teams duties aside to star at WR. He made the tackle for no return on a nice Frost punt. The Skins get the second-half kickoff, they should be happy to go in up by five.

0:35—Philly is nearing field goal range on some basic garbage plays against a loose Redskins defense.

0:28—That's why they play loose. Springs had excellent coverage on a deep ball to Curtis, even though Springs has nowhere near the speed of Curtis.

0:19—It looks like Landry has learned how to hit the QB. He rattled McNabb in the rib cage on an incompletion.

0:04—A 54-yard field goal try too short to be good but too long for Taylor to try to return.

Halftime

Redskins 12, Eagles 7

That was a good first 30 minutes for the Redskins. A score of any kind of this opening drive here will put them in the driver's seat.

14:55—They will have good field position to try to get that score. Cartwright busted the kickoff out to the 41.

10:35—The Washington rushing game is just slicing up the Eagles.

9:30—A good call to kick it on fourth and short. The Redskins need to take an eight-point lead after missing that PAT.

FG Suisham 23

Redskins 15, Eagles 7

The Redskins had a second and two at about the seven and ended up kicking a field goal. That may end up haunting them more than the missed PAT.

Here's why Gibbs should have taken the one after the second TD. A touchdown and two-pointer now tie the game. If they'd kicked it after the TD they have a nine-point lead.

8:29—The Redskins got a coverage sack. I'm not sure why McNabb didn't get rid of it.

7:43—The Eagles are going for it on fourth and about a foot. McNabb gets it on a sneak. A good conversion from third and 20.

3:38—Here's another big third down play. It's the difference between a five-point lead and possibly a tie game.

Smith 8 pass from McNabb (pass failed)

Redskins 15, Eagles 13

A very sharp pass by McNabb to Smith for the TD.

Not to keep harping on the try for two after the second TD, but now a field goal puts the Eagles into the lead. With that one point, a field goal would just tie it. The way things are unfolding here, it looks like the try for two will haunt the Redskins more than the missed kick will.

End of third quarter

Redskins 15, Eagles 13

Fourth Quarter

15:00--Will the people who thought that Portis was done earlier this year please step forward? The guy is running tough, moving the pile, and showing some burst on the rare occasions when he gets into the open field. We'll see how he looks in Week 14, but for now he's getting it done.

14:19—Portis over 100 yards after a gain of six. Then they go to the well again and he loses a couple.

13:29—The Eagles had to grab Thrash's jersey to keep him for getting TD number three. The pass interference call gives the Redskins first and goal.

McCardell 6 pass from Campbell (Suisham kick)

Redskins 22, Eagles 13

A perfect pass to McCardell gets Campbell his third TD pass of the day. It's far, far from time to breathe easy, but it is a two-score lead for the Redskins. A defensive stop or two will move the Skins from being in control to being in command.

A couple of the guys from the Philly contingent covering the game were asking if McCardell's age matched his jersey number.

11:47—McNabb to Smith for 26 yards gets the Eagles into Redskins territory.

11:15—A crackback block puts the Eagles in second and 25. That hasn't bothered them a couple of times earlier, let's see if the defense can make this one hurt.

11:01—The Eagles get bailed out with an illegal contact flag way after the play was over. The still are out of field goal range.

Brown 45 pass from McNabb (Acers kick)

Redskins 22, Eagles 20

Too quick and too easy for the Eagles there. Five plays, 72 yards, 2:01. The Redskins will have to get into the high 20's to win.

10:29—This is the drive of the game coming up for the Redskins. It looks like they're going to need a TD every time to keep the Eagles at bay.

9:55—The Redskins burn their second timeout on a first and ten play. Hopefully, they won't need it later on.

9:30—More no-huddle for the Redskins. It's working well so far. The offense has a rhythm it hasn't had all year.

8:09—They had a rhythm going until Betts fumbled on his first carry of the day. The Redskins will challenge. Both offenses are on the field.

8:09—The ruling is upheld. There was nothing there to overturn it. Big stand for the defense here.

8:04—Andre Carter does it again. The Redskins get the ball right back on a sack and strip, recovery by Montgomery. It's time to put this one away (but not too quickly)

6:32—It was fine not to score on first down. It would be good to milk some more clock before doing so.

5:39—Third and goal, it's Cooley time.

5:02—Yoder came up just short of the goal line, but a holding call gets the Redskins a fresh set of downs.

4:31—A booble by Portis stopped some 90,000 hearts, but Portis snatches it out of the air. Second and goal, the Eagles burn a timeout. 4:27—A false start penalty could be a good thing. It gives them a little more room to work with on third down.

4:20—The Redskins will kick a field goal. A lot of tries inside the 10 to come up empty—seven to be exact.

FG Suisham 21

Redskins 25, Eagles 20

We're finally to a point where the one point on the second TD doesn't matter. Now it's back to the first one, which made Gibbs go for the two.

4:10—It's time for the defense to step up and end this in a hurry. The Eagles have no timeouts.

3:30—Twelve men on the field for the Redskins. They didn't have a timeout to do anything about it had they caught it.

3:16—A simple screen gets the Eagles a TD. Westbrook is too damn good.

Westbrook 58 pass from McNabb (pass failed)

Eagles 26, Redskins 25

That was too easy again for the Eagles, although the Eagles got a couple of crunching blocks on the play. At least a field goal wins it for the Redskins.

3:10—This is a huge moment for Jason Campbell. The Redskins need about 50 yards to get into comfortable field goal range and plenty of time to get there.

3:10—Thrash is shaken up on the kickoff, Lloyd might have to make a play here.

2:24—Ballgame. On fourth and 13, the Eagles get the fumble and recovery.

2:18—Interesting strategy for the Redskins. They let Westbrook score on the first play so they can get the ball back trailing by eight. A TD and a two-pointer will send it into OT.

Westbrook 8 run (Acers kick)

Eagles 33, Redskins 25

2:00—A pass to McCardell gets the Redskins out to their 45. A couple more like that and they're in striking range. They haven't sent Cooley down the seam in a while, this would be a good time for it.

1:55—Cooley on an out, for a gain of two. At t least he got out of bounds.

1:29—A fumbled snap puts the Redskins in desperate straits, fourth and 15.

1:22—Last gasp to Brandon Lloyd, who ran out of room

Final score

Eagles 33, Redskins 25


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories