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Redskins vs. Eagles checklist: Getting it done in a must-win

This, in my opinion, was the first must-win game of the season for the Redskins. It was very nice to see that this team played with the sense of urgency that was needed to go into Philadelphia and get a much-needed win. Let's look at how successful the Redskins were in the game's key areas, starting with the offense:

Establish the running game: Yes. It was imperative for the running attack to be a large part of this game, and it was. For the first time this season, Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain showed consistency running the ball. They finished runs and showed the ability to get through the line of scrimmage and eat up yardage. They combined for more than 100 yards and effectively kept drives alive with their legs.

Involve multiple receivers in the passing game: Yes. It's safe to say that everyone in Lincoln Financial Field knew that Donovan McNabb's favorite target is Santana Moss, so the Eagles' defense would be keying on Moss all game. McNabb took advantage of the favorable match ups he had with Chris Cooley and Anthony Armstrong. He completed just eight of 19 attempts, but he made them count, one a 57-yard connection with Armstrong and a TD pass to Cooley early in the game.

Open up running lanes and protect in the passing game: Yes. Although it wasn't pretty and Stephon Heyer is a one-man penalty, they kept McNabb upright and created running lanes for Portis and Torain. They must improve going forward as this team has a unforgiving schedule.

Now let's look at the defense:

Win the battle upfront: Yes. The Redskins held LaSean McCoy to 64 rushing yards and knocked Mike Vick out of the game on one of his rush attempts.

Stay in lanes to limit escapability and running holes: Yes. Again Vick was knocked out of the game early, McCoy was kept in check and Kevin Kolb had a couple good runs but the run was largely ineffective. As far as the pass rush, the defense did a good, not great, job of pressuring the quarterback. They need to continue to figure out how to be more consistent in this area. Holding calls are okay, but hits on the quarterback have more of an impact in the game.

Cover DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin: Yes. The secondary came under intense scrutiny after a poor performance against the Rams. Boy, did they bounce back in a big way, holding Jackson and Macklin to a combined 34 receiving yards.

Finally, we'll look at special teams:

Solid returns: Yes. Brandon Banks provided a nice spark in the return game. His first punt return set up the first touchdown of the game and maintained consistency in the kick return game.

Kicking game: Yes. Punt average was not outstanding at 37.9 yards but it will do. Graham Gano was perfect on the day.

This was the biggest game so far this season, and the Redskins were able to win in every phase. Good job.

By LaVar Arrington  | October 4, 2010; 10:01 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hard Hits Live: LaVar previews Redskins-Eagles
Next: Is it time for JoePa to go?


Vick's hurt? He can't fight to make money for his team's owners?

Maybe they should electrocute him.


Posted by: MichieMich | October 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

excellent analysis. Haynesworth also had his best game of the season and the defense looked a lot like the D under Greg Blache with preventing the big play and conceding the underneath stuff.

Posted by: PGtoAndover | October 4, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Get over it MichieMich. It's clear you haven't fogiven.

Also, what about McNabb running out of bounds in the 4th with about 3mins left after gaining the 1st down? Could have been costly.

Posted by: clydet42 | October 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Can someone like LaVar please comment on why any possible reason that McNabb would run out of bounds with 3:45 left in the game instead of sliding? I know he knows how to slide, he did it earlier in the game! He should be a saavy enough veteran to know what to do in that situation.

Posted by: smm4c2000 | October 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree he should have stayed in bound. The only reason I could think of is that he didn't want to risk the fumble on contact...but then again he could have slided down. Who cares? We won that game...time to improve the second half offense because we are surely going to need it.

Posted by: buddiee22 | October 4, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree with most of your analysis but not that the punting game "will do". He only averaged that many yards because of a punt or two with a good roll. He has become a liability if the Skins really want to stay in the hunt for the NFC East. Time to bring someone in...not necessarily Hunter the Punter, but someone more consistent.

Posted by: svxcountry1 | October 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Is it me or has the Redksins offense been pathetic on all 2nd halves so far this season?

0 poinst yesterday
3 points last week
7 points (and 20 unanswered) vs Houston
3 points vs Dallas

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 4, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Lavar: Monday morning QB is a good thing because your analysis on friday was that we were going to loose. Lets not be hypocritical and pretend that you all redskin fan after the victory.

Also, please accept that Big Daddy Haynesworth played a great game . Can iask why your former friend Brian O does not come on your show anymore? was he also tired of your hypocrcy as some of us are?

Posted by: maz3 | October 4, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Agree with SVXCountry. Bidwell's punts were carrying maybe 20 yards and were not spiraling up so he is not technically sound and has little leg strength...bad combo that will indeed cost us. What was LaVar watching- very amateur analysis- basing his view on solely the punt average.

Posted by: chopper1 | October 4, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Do not understand how you think our defensive line played at all well. There was no pressure on the QB the entire second half. He had all day. Thank God he had few reps during the week because he was terrible. Philley--you deserve him. Also, credit our defensive backfield. And Portis hurt again??? Get someone young who can last a game. Portis did the first acceptable job for a RB all year and then, boom, he's out of there. Talk about someone out of shape--Portis. And I saw Haynesworth do one thing the entire game. Let's not get all excited about him. I watched him. He was one-on-one most of the game and easily handled. We were lucky to get out of there alive. We really did not deserve to win. So don't get all excited, the Skins played poorly the entire second half. And, that includes our o-line. First half pretty good, then wacko. The team is either too old to be considered respectable or in terrible shape. I think it will be a long year. It's a shame. It all starts with the line--on both sides--very poor marks. Need to play the entire game guys!

Posted by: sbrick | October 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


Does C Rogers get a bonus each time he drops a pick, and is the bonus based on importance and reverse degree of difficulty? Crazy man. I know you and Chad have said he needs to get his eyes checked, but I think you may need to physically escort him. Avant had the game won and he dropped it. If Rogers makes that routine pick, then no drama, everyone is fine.

People need to get off of Big Al and Portis (and Vick for that matter). 92 has been lighing people up, shame that Portis and Vick got hurt. Nice game to win, makes it hurt though as we had Houston in the same position and let that one slip.

Posted by: anolecrab24 | October 4, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Need to find a punter who has a leg, Bidwell is a joke comes up lame against the Rams and then kicks like my wife yesterday trust me he is going to cost us a game.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 4, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Lets Get it Skins!! Way to go up there and silence that Philly crowd..was'nt pretty but we got the "W"...Now lets melt some cheese to go /w Dirty 30's "meat and potatoes" when the Packers come to town on Sunday....Lets Go Skins!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dspower33 | October 4, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The good thing about Vick getting hurt is, as with dogs, the pain will make him come back harder and fight more viciously next time, right? If not, drown him or tie him to the 'rape stand' for breeding.

Posted by: spauldij1 | October 4, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't start celebrating just yet. The Skins collapsed with command of this game just like they did against Houston.

The only difference is Andre Johnson wasn't the receiver in the end zone on that last play.

Just getting one win in the next three games is gonna be a tall order.

Posted by: skins91r | October 4, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

excellent analysis. Haynesworth also had his best game of the season and the defense looked a lot like the D under Greg Blache with preventing the big play and conceding the underneath stuff.

Posted by: PGtoAndover | October 4, 2010 11:01 AM

is it just me, or do comments like these remind you of the fluff comments left on iphone app reviews?

Posted by: notthecrochunter | October 4, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Good win. I just wish Vick had been paralyzed from the neck down, the sadistic piece of trash.

Posted by: pooftah2 | October 4, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

good points lavar...please tell me y their trading devin thomas they take brandon banks off the practice squad and play him but cnt put a package in for thomas...put him in a couple of games see how he does then trade him...hes better than any other reciever we got besides moss..and i guarantee whatever team we trade him to hes gonna light it up and skins will look like dumbasses once again!!

Posted by: ChadPerry07 | October 4, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Can LaVar punt?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | October 4, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

hey lavar when will be mitch be taking over for chad so that he can go back to talking about x box games and fast food? he has no clue about sports.

Posted by: chico643 | October 4, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

MichieMich: Touche! "Maybe they should electrocute him. FORGIVE, but never FORGET"
I was hoping for a good game and of course Skins-win, not to see anyone hurt. Just can't help thinkn bout them dawgs :(

Posted by: aginsburg | October 4, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

You Vick haters are disgusting!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bluesbrother | October 5, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Us Vick Haters are representitive of folks who do not support, acts of cowardice. Hanging dogs because they dont perform falls in to this category. I hope they break his sorry butt in two when he comes to fedex

Posted by: mountainking | October 5, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Redskins 1-3 over the next 4 games, probably.

Posted by: supattapone | October 5, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse


Great analysis! And as far as Vick goes, you never like to see a guy get hurt but it was a clean hit and you can't help but think as he hobbled off the field, "You shouldn't of killed those puppies Michael, you shouldn't of done it"

Posted by: tomgill21 | October 5, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse


Nice read, but I think you're giving them a little too much credit. Yea, they came out with the W ... but not because of anything they did in the 2nd half. Philly had a dozen chances to beat us and just kept shooting themselves in the foot.

I really hope the small strides we've made are a sign of the good things to come. But the truth of the matter is that this team still has pretty big issues at almost every single position ... including some of the bizzare choices the coaches keep making.

Gotta keep the faith though ...

Hail to the Redskins!

Posted by: FootballCardSnatcher | October 5, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

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