In a year where in all likelihood a team will have to be at least 10-6 to make the postseason in the NFC, the Eagles already have 3 losses and lose pretty much every conceivable tiebreaker. They've put themselves squarely behind the 8 ball with this home loss and kicked off their first losing streak of the year.
A game of 3 downs...
There's one very simple stat decided this game. 3rd down efficiency. The Redskins executed on third down, the Eagles didn't. Washington was an astonishing 11 for 19 on 3rd downs and frankly that stat doesn't even do them justice. If you take into account the fact that the Skins kicked 3 FGs and converted a 4th down... the Eagles actually only stopped them 4 times all game. That's simply not good enough.
It's not as if the Redskins offense was gashing us or racking up big plays one after the other... It was methodical. Four, Five yards at a time inching down the field 3 downs at a time. In fact, they averaged less yards per play than the Eagles did! Not flashy, but incredibly efficient and mistake free. In short, they were everything the Eagles offense wasn't.
The Eagles offense went a pathetic 5 of 12 on third down. The Redskins clearly came out with a concise game plan on offense and exectuted. I simply can't say the same about our team. Can anyone tell me what the Eagles game plan was? Despite the fact that the Skins defense created almost no pressure on McNabb and they were missing their best cover guy I don't remember us testing them deep once. I'm not sure whether Westbrook's injury is what held him to just 12 carries, but it's not as if there was any commitment to the run otherwise with Buckhalter carrying the ball just twice. What was the plan? What were they trying to do? It's a mystery.
A game of two kickers
Suisham - 3 for 3 with kicks of 41, 48, 50.
Akers - 1 for 2 with a 23 yd kick made and a 50 yarder missed.
It's not a statistical anomaly. Akers is done and has been for several years. That was not a speculative kick he missed yesterday. There was no wind, he was at home, it was a beautiful day... and he missed it bad.
Again I ask why no one on the Eagles has had the same thought I had last week? Why are we kicking a FG on 4th and 5 from around the 32? Akers simply can't make those kicks anymore. That's painfully obvious. Why are we not going for it there and at worst probably just giving the ball back at the 30 or 32 rather than at the 40 after a missed Akers kick? Surely the offense has a better shot at getting 5 yards there than Akers has kicking a 50 yard FG?
A game of one possession
This possession certainly didn't decide the game but it encapsulated it rather well. With just under two minutes(1:53 I think) left the Eagles offense had first and ten on their 40 yard line. They go a quick a 3 and out which allows the Redskins plenty of time to march down the field for a FG before the half. They have first and ten from the 40 with the less than 2 minutes left and the result is 3 points for the other team? That's an absolute embarassment!
Eagles fans did cheer loudly as the clock ran out...
But it wasn't for the Eagles. In an almost bizarre symmetry, just as the final kneeldown was taken to end the Eagles game Brad Lidge induced a ground ball to send the Phillies into the NLCS. By that time, many fans in the section I was in had left their seats and were huddled around the one TV on the club level that was showing the Phils game. I think the fact that the Eagles had just been so poor really made the moment in the Phils game that much sweeter.
The Eagles rarely showed the Phillies score, I remember it once or twice being shown on the out of town scoreboard. So most of the news from the Phils game was being relayed by people in different sections listening to the game on headphones. By the time the 3rd quarter was ending, there were "Lets Go Phillies" chants filling up Lincoln Financial Field. When was the last time that has ever happened? We've all been to Phils games were E-A-G-L-E-S chants broke out... but this is the first time in my memory that the opposite has been true.
I wonder if those chants drifted up to the owners box? For the first time since Jeff Luris has owned this team, it could very well be true that he no longer owns the top act in town. At least not at this moment.
One final thing
I'd kill to find out what play Andy called on that 3rd and less than a yard near the goal line that McNabb audibled out of. Reid didn't even look at McNabb when he walked back to the sideline after that.