Instant Observations: Eagles 33, Redskins 27

Here’s what we saw during Monday night’s 33-27 Eagles victory over the Redskins.

OFFENSE

* The Eagles went into halftime with a 26-7 lead, and really, it wasn’t that close. Michael Vick finished 15-for-25 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran seven times for 55 yards and a score. Vick was 13-for-21 for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Early on, he missed a few throws, going 4-for-9. But he completed nine of his next 11.

* The Eagles ran 53 plays to Washington’s 21 in the first half. It was 30 to 9 in the first quarter.

* DeSean Jackson was great in the first half, catching seven of eight balls thrown his way for 104 yards and a touchdown. On the score, the Eagles set up with Zach Ertz in the backfield and showed run. But it was play-action. Vick had all day and delivered to Jackson for a 25-yard score.

* LeSean McCoy was a workhorse. He finished with 184 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. McCoy had a spectacular 34-yard touchdown run in the third. After Week 1 (Texans-Chargers game notwithstanding), he’s the NFL’s leading rusher.

* The Eagles started off fast, driving down the field, but Vick’s pass to McCoy was ruled a lateral, and DeAngelo Hall returned it 75 yards for a touchdown. From the replays, it looked like the ball was going forward, but it was close. The officials reviewed it, but the call was upheld.

* The Eagles put together a five-play, 62-yard drive in the second. Vick delivered an absolute dart to Brent Celek for a 28-yard touchdown. It looked like the Eagles showed a WR screen to the left, drawing a defensive back up. That gave Vick a lane to hit Celek.

* The Eagles showed the double-stack inside run/screen option we saw in the preseason. They also unveiled a formation with both tackles splitting out wide and only three players on the line of scrimmage.

DEFENSE

* The offense had everyone buzzing in the first half, but the defense was the bigger surprise. The Eagles held the Redskins to three punts, a safety, a fumble and an interception on six possessions. Washington’s only score was on defense. Robert Griffin III looked extremely rusty, completing five of 11 passes for 53 yards. He was 30-for-49 for 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

* Trent Cole was a beast. After a shaky preseason, he forced a fumble, flying to Alfred Morris from the backside on Washington’s first possession. He also pounced on Morris in the end zone for a safety and had a sack to go along with three QB hits.

* Cary Williams played great too. He broke up a fourth-down pass over the middle in the fourth quarter. He was tested deep down the sideline, but had good coverage early. He came on a blitz and sacked Griffin in the second. Williams also had an interception in the third quarter.

* Mychal Kendricks made plays all night long. He led the team with 10 tackles (one for loss) and had a QB hit. DeMeco Ryans blitzed quite a bit too, and he sacked Griffin in the second half.

* Brandon Boykin had a nice interception in the first quarter. Griffin was picked off once every 78.6 attempts last year, but Boykin got his first career INT on the QB’s second attempt of the night. Boykin looked hobbled in the second half and was in and out of the game.

* Nate Allen started at safety, but Earl Wolff rotated in.

* The starting defensive line was Fletcher Cox, Isaac Sopoaga and Cedric Thornton. The second team that rotated in was Clifton Geathers, Bennie Logan and Damion Square. Brandon Graham also rotated in at outside linebacker.

* In the second half, the Eagles mixed in their backups. Jake Knott and Casey Matthews both saw action at inside linebacker. Jordan Poyer came in for Williams, who was banged-up, and Boykin moved outside. Then it looked like Boykin was injured, and Poyer played the slot.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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