The first defensive series of the game pretty much summed up how Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles was going to go– we just didn’t know it at the time.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan introduced himself to Philadelphia’s impressive rookie signal caller on the first play of the game, beating Eagles rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (replacing the suspended Lane Johnson) and literally almost tearing Wentz’s jersey off in the process. Though not getting credit for the eventual sack, #91 would go on to rack up the first of two on the game later in the series, in leading the team to a five sack performance that would set the tone in Washington’s 27-20 victory at FedEx.
In their fourth straight win, the Redskins took it to the previously number two ranked defense in the league, to the tune of 493 yards. Of which an eye popping 230 came on the ground, thanks to big contributions from Matt Jones, Robert Kelly and Chris Thompson. Washington was able to ride a near perfect split of run-to-pass attempts (33 to 34) and TD tosses to Jamison Crowder and Vernon Davis, to the victory.
A great deal of Philadelphia’s early season success defensively, is attributed to their offense winning the time of possession battle in games. But a well called and executed offensive game plan drastically impacted that. With Wentz only being able to attempt eight passes at the half. And Washington winning the clock battle 34:13 to 25:47.
During the week, much of the conversation in Washington centered around an unhappy Desean Jackson and a maddeningly inconsistent Matt Jones. Jackson who admitted his frustration with missed connections in the pass game and sporadic opportunities, has played the role of good soldier. While Jones’ failure to maximize his carries, caused the chants for more Kelley (rookie FA out of Tulane) in-game reps, to crescendo among the team’s fanbase.
Both issues were addressed on Sunday, in a game played without star TE Jordan Reed (concussion). As Desean was involved in the gameplan early, finishing with 4 catches on 9 targets, just missing hauling in a big touchdown from Kirk on a nice throw in the second quarter. And Jones, possibly spurred on by talks of losing carries, amassed 135 yards and a touch on 16 attempts. The last of which, a 57 yard jaunt down the left sideline on 3rd & 7 to salt the game away.
The defense for a second straight game, played a big role in securing this W as they allowed only six points from the Eagles offense and held the team’s rushing total to under 100 yards. For as much heat as defensive coordinator Joe Barry and the defense as a whole has attracted to start the season, they have to receive just as much credit for drastic improvements over the past two.
In what was the team’s most complete win of the season, Washington was able to keep pace with Dallas, and run their division record to 2-1.
Cousins, despite throwing a bad interception (pick-6 to Malcolm Jenkins) for the third straight week, has improved upon a disjointed start to the year. The offensive line quietly continues their solid play, yielding no sacks against Philly, in addition to the big day on the ground. And the defense kept their opponent off balance for the majority of the game.
Now if they can only fix the kick coverage, following bogus unsportsmanlike penalty calls.
— Philly Influencer (@PHL_Influencer) October 16, 2016