Instant Observations: Eagles-Washington
The Eagles playoff hopes expired late Saturday night following a sloppy 38-24 loss to Washington. Chip Kelly‘s team will sit out the postseason for the second straight year and can finish no better than 7-9.
*Drops, drops and more drops. A recurring theme in 2015.
Nelson Agholor let a would-be touchdown slip through his fingers late in the first half. Zach Ertz had a pair. Josh Huff, Riley Cooper, Kenjon Barner and DeMarco Murray got in on the action, too.
*Murray showed brief signs of life until things unraveled late in the third quarter. One play after having a swing pass bounce off his hands on a play that was doomed from the start (Sam Bradford bobbled the snap and recovered), Murray fumbled a pitch that was recovered and returned for a touchdown by DeAngelo Hall to extend Washington’s lead to 30-17.
*Murray found the end zone with 4:47 left in the third quarter to pull the Eagles within six before giving the momentum right back with the fumble. He ended with 15 yards on six carries . The Eagles managed just 45 rushing yards on the night.
*Sam Bradford went 37-of-56 for 380 yards with a touchdown in defeat.
*Jason Peters yielded a pair of sacks to Preston Smith and also committed a false start penalty. He left briefly and had his left arm looked at on the sideline but returned.
*Josh Huff drew a key pass interference penalty in the end Will Blackmon in the end zone to set up Ryan Mathews‘ one-yard TD run.
*The inconsistencies at wide receiver continue to burn this team, though. Agholor had a would-be touchdown go in and out of his hands with six-and-change left in the first half. Braford’s pass made it just over the fingers of Bashaud Breeland before being dropped by the rookie receiver.
— Patrick Causey (@InsdeTheHuddle) December 27, 2015
Cooper nearly made a big catch downfield early in the third quarter but couldn’t hold on and the Eagles eventually had to punt. Cooper fumed on the sidelines after the series, hitting the bench with a pair of elbows and a series of punches and screamed as he paced the sideline. *The Eagles were close to connecting on a big play in the first half down the left sideline to Ertz, who was left wide open thanks to blown coverage by Quinton Dunbar, but Bradford appeared to be affected by pressure up the gut and misfired.
*Ertz fumbled later in the half to set up a Washington field goal.
*Strange sequence on Bradford’s intentional grounding call. Matt Tobin essentially let his man go by and Allen Barbre was also nonchalant as Washington’s d-line shot into the backfield. Washington might have been early there and the refs missed it.
*The Eagles were charged with six fumbles on the night, losing two.
The defense yielded 418 total yards, including 351 through the air.
*Total breakdown on the first Jordan Reed touchdown. DeMeco Ryans appeared to bite hard on play-action, taking him out of the picture. Reed was granted free release had nothing but green in front of him en route to the 22-yard score. Ed Reynolds was the closest defensive back and may have been partially responsible as well.
*A little skirmish after the TD as a fired-up Malcolm Jenkins walked over to DeSean Jackson and gave him a little head butt. Pierre Garcon returned the favor, and both Jenkins and Garcon were hit with offsetting penalties.
*Reed smoked Mychal Kendricks on his second TD on the night. Kendricks, who predicted “the Redskins got something coming to them” was fooled by an outside juke and had no chance when Reed broke the route in.
*Kiko Alonso was on Chris Thompson when the back caught a 12-yard touchdown. Looked like he was playing outside leverage and perhaps was expecting help (Jenkins?) that never came. The middle of the field was wide open to Washington for much of the night.
*E.J. Biggers got the start on the outside for the injured Byron Maxwell and moved into the slot in some nickel situations. Nice flash of athleticism to push Jamison Crowder out of bounds short of the sticks. Broke up a slant pass intended for Garcon late in the first and had another third-down break-up on Garcon in the third. Also got beat by Reed on a 28-yard skinny post, and allowed Jackson to tiptoe his way down the sideline for a first-down pick-up.
*Fletcher Cox continues to be a force for the Eagles. Registered a sack on 2nd-and-7 midway through the second when he beat tackle Morgan Moses off the edge. Shed a tackle to bottle up Alfred Morris for a short gain on Washington’s first drive. He had seven tackles (two for a loss), two sacks and three QB hits.
*Poor decision by Walter Thurmond in the final moments of the half, as he knocked the ball out of Reed’s hands as the clock ran down and was whistled for delay of game.
*Fortunately for Thurmond, he was playing an NFC East opponent. Kirk Cousins, for no sound reason whatsoever, took a knee with six seconds remaining and his team on the Eagles six yard line, allowing the clock to run out.