“c0″>DeSean Jackson and the Washington Redskins came to town with visions of winning an NFC East showdown. The only issue is the Eagles had something else in mind as they continued their winning ways improving to a 3-0 start to the season. It was a long, tough battle throughout the afternoon that was full of emotion which is always expected when going against a division rival.
“c0″>The Eagles had an early scare when running back LeSean McCoy went down early with what appeared to be a head injury from a head to head contact collision. McCoy came out of the game and briefly went to the locker room which put a scare into Eagle fans across the Delaware Valley. McCoy did end up returning but had little effect on the outcome of the game. McCoy finished with a dreadful 20 carries and 22 yards rushing with 1.1 yards per carry. In most cases when your starting running back puts up numbers like that you’re almost destined to lose. Darren Sproles, who was nothing short of remarkable in the first two games, followed suite with McCoy and finished with only 2 carries for 20 yards. It was pretty clear from the get go the Redskins defense was going to focus on stopping the Eagles running game and they did a great job doing that all afternoon.
“c0″>For the Eagles to win this game they were going to have to depend on Nick Foles and his arm to get the job done. Foles was inconsistent the first two games of the season in my opinion. He looked sharp at times but also looked completely lost when throwing the ball on occasion. Against the Redskins though, I have to say he displayed his toughest performance as an Eagle. Foles was continuously knocked down and pressured throughout the day by a dominant Redskins pass rush. During the 4th quarter an all out brawl almost erupted when Foles was knocked over by Redskins dlineman Chris Baker. Jason Peters immediately came to the defense of Foles and went right after Baker when both benches almost cleared on the sideline. Fortunately, Foles was able to pop back up and continue. If anyone ever questioned Foles toughness prior to the Redskin game it’s pretty apparent now that Foles is as tough as they come in the NFL.
“c0″>Chris Polk returned a 102 yard kickoff in the first quarter to answer a TD by Washington on the opening drive of the game. Polk is an intriguing player because he can’t seem to stay healthy or find any sort of consistent role on the team but when he is healthy and gets his number called he seems to always find ways to make a play when needed.
“c0″>The wide receivers finally showed up on Sunday in a big way. Jeremy Maclin had a career game with 154 yards receiving on 8 catches and a late touchdown to seal the victory. Maclin now has a TD in every game this season and is showing how clutch he is for this team. Rookie 2nd round draft pick Jordan Matthews also finally erupted on Sunday. He didn’t receive a great number of targets in the first two games but Sunday Foles found him for 8 receptions and 59 yards with two touchdowns. Matthews received rave reviews all throughout training camp but never really showed much during the preseason and the first two games of the regular season. It was great to see him emerge today as another weapon for this Eagles offense. The great part about the Eagles receivers stepping up is the fact that now defenses will hopefully take them more seriously and game plan a little different against the Eagles offense. It’s clear the Redskins defense solely focused on stopping McCoy and Sproles and it worked as they continuously had 8 men in the box all afternoon. But the fact that Foles and the receivers worked so well today will required future defenses to focus on the outside receivers as well which may pay dividends and open up some room for the running game as the season goes on.
“c0″>The defense looked shaky at times throughout the afternoon. The secondary looks to be a mess at the moment as Bradley Fletcher and Carrey Williams were smoked all afternoon. I honestly didn’t think DeSean would be a factor in this game but he had a huge late game TD to tie it up when he beat the secondary deep. For the Eagles secondary to let DeSean beat them is inexcusable because they clearly have familiarity with DeSean and his game, plus the fact they knew he was playing with an injury, but it didn’t stop him. DeSean finished with 5 receptions for 117 yards and 1 touchdown. For the second week in a row Malcolm Jenkins made a huge interception which impacted the game. Jenkins is showing us he can be a big time presence in the secondary so far this season. Brandon Boykin is another individual who is making plays when called upon. The issue is that Boykin isn’t on the field that much and it’s pretty clear he should be because Boykin is just a playmaker.
“c0″>The lack of a pass rush right now is the scariest part of this Eagles defense. Kirk Cousins had all kinds of time throughout the game which was really alarming. The Eagles now have 3 sacks in 3 games, one each by Trent Cole, Kendricks, and Nate Allen on a blitz. Somehow the Eagles will need to generate pressure from the front defensive lineman otherwise this defense will continue to struggle as the season progresses.
“c0″>The offensive line is completely in shambles now after this game. Center Jason Kelce went down with an abdominal injury and at the time of me writing this article we aren’t aware of how serious it is. Kelce is probably the one player on the O-line you really can’t afford to lose. Evan Mathis is still months away from returning, and Lane Johnson still has one game to go on his suspension. Jason Peters, we would hope, can play next week but after the fight that ensued it’s possible Peters could be suspended.
“c0″>Next week the Eagles will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers in what will be a huge test for the team. San Fran has a potent offense and a solid defense. The niners have been legit contenders year in and year out for the past few seasons. As tough as the Redskins game was today I feel the Eagles will need to find a way to take it up another level against the Niners if they hope to win. I have to say the 3-0 start is surely an accomplishment. The last time the Eagles started 3-0 was 10 years ago in 2004 when the team made a run all the way to the Superbowl. But not so fast folks, that team started 3-0 and was dominating opponents on the way to the Superbowl. This Eagles team clearly could have lost any one of these games to start the season. The Eagles are such an awful first quarter team and eventually these bad starts are going to catch up to them. It’s very possible this team can find itself on the wrong end of a blowout next week in San Fran if they get off to a slow start again. The intriguing part of this is that they are 3-0 without looking sharp for a full 60 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how dominant this Eagles team can be once the o-line is healthy and the entire team is clicking on all cylinders. For now enjoy the 3-0 start and get ready for a huge test next week against San Fran.