Keys to the game: Redskins vs. Eagles checklist
This in my opinion was a must-win game for the Redskins. The Eagles dominated in every aspect: They out-coached and out-played the Redskins. This was a very sobering game for Washington and hopefully a much-needed wake-up call to do some things differently.
Let's look at how the Redskins fared in the keys I identified last week, starting with the offense.
Establish the running game: Yes and No. It was imperative for the running attack to be a large part of this game to take pressure off McNabb. I say yes because Keiland Williams was able to run for just under 90 yards, but I say no because it had little to no impact on the game. No first downs in the first quarter means there was no running game early in the game.
Revitalize the passing game: No. It's safe to say that Donovan McNabb and the receivers are to blame for the lack of success. Even though McNabb threw for just under 300 yards, it clearly did not mean he had a good game. Receivers dropped balls all night in some very critical points in the game. McNabb threw interceptions at critical points in the game. It certainly was not a pretty sight for Redskins fans.
Open up running lanes and protect the passer: No. The offensive continues to be the weakest part of this team. I can't figure out why this line is so consistently bad. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins can find a way to protect McNabb the rest of the way.
Now let's look at how the defense fared.
Win the battle upfront: No. LeSean McCoy, Mike Vick and some other guy I never heard of until Monday night had good success running the ball.
Stay in rush lanes to limit escapability: No. Again Vick was effective early, and so was McCoy. The Eagles seemed to have the right run call all game long> Poor tackling helped.
Rush the passer: No. The defense had its chance to shine and failed horribly; there was very little to no pressure all night. I thought that Albert Haynesworth would do something out there -- wrong! I believed that Brian Orakpo would get in the backfield and be disruptive; he did a few times but not so much. The defense gave Vick entirely to much time to pass, and he made them pay for it dearly.
Cover DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin: No. The secondary held this pair to laughable numbers in the first meeting. This time around, both got their redemption. The Redskins had no answer for their speed, and to make matters worse, on the few occasions they were covered, Vick found someone else open.
Finally, let's look at special teams
Solid return game: Yes. Fresh off knee surgery, Brandon Banks provided a nice spark in the return game, but was not as effective returning punts and kicks. Punt and kickoff coverage was solid didn't win or lose the game.
Kicking: N/A. Graham Gano really didn't matter because field goals were clearly not going to be good enough.
This was a very important game for the morale of this team. Beyond just the impact on the team's playoff hopes, it also offered a chance to erase the bad week that was following the benching of McNabb. These things did not happen, but the season is not over. They can still push through and make a run at the playoffs, but the hole they have to climb out of is getting deeper by the game.
| November 16, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
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