Any NFL team with a struggling, low ranked defense, should only hope the Philadelphia Eagles are coming up on the schedule. Because this season the Eagles’ offense has had a knack of being an instant cure for what’s been ailing some of the league’s most impotent defensive units.
Sunday was another example as the Eagles, led by Nick Foles, who made his first NFL start, in place of the concussed, Michael Vick, were totally inept against a porous Washington Redskins defense and fell to 3-7 at FedEx Field. Foles threw interceptions on both of his first two drives and could only muster two field goal drives. He dropped back 46 times, completing 21 for 204 yards, sacked four times and hurried all day. Foles day looked very reminiscent to Vick’s this season, as the offensive line once again was overmatched by a ferocious Redskins pass rush. He took numerous hits just after releasing his passes and looked skittish as he was clearly aware of the constant pressure.
If things weren’t already a disaster, the Eagles’ best offensive player, LeSean McCoy suffered a concussion late in the 4th quarter after the game was completely out of reach. McCoy was fairly ineffective running the ball, averaging just 3 yards on 15 carries. But the screen game made a long-awaited return to the playbook with McCoy gaining 67 yards on 6 receptions. Otherwise the starting receivers managed a meager 5 yards by DeSean Jackson on 2 catches. Jeremy Maclin was shutout. Riley Cooper got a lot of action with 5 catches for 61 yards. But it all didn’t materialize into a touchdown drive against the 31st ranked defense.
Defensively, the Eagles were unable to make any big plays as Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes and completed 14 of 15 for 200 yards. He also scrambled for 84 yards on 12 carries. The secondary mistakes continued when a miscommunication led to Griffin connecting on a 49 yard pass to a wide open Aldrick Anderson, as safety, Nate Allen, bit on a play-fake. Later, Santana Moss beat double coverage and poor tacking by Kurt Coleman, for a 61 yard TD pass from Griffin. The Eagles could only corral RG3 twice for sacks, but was elusive all afternoon as he avoided many would-be tacklers.
The Eagles, now losers of six straight for the first time since 1994, are in sole possession of last place in the NFC East. And at his post game press conference, Andy Reid was searching for an explanation as his eyes said “No Mas“, but Jeffrey Lurie is in too deep to throw-in-the-towel until after the season.