This game was billed as a duel between Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. It ended up with Vick injured early and McNabb struggling in what was an ugly game for both teams.
As poor as McNabb was (8-19 with 1 TD & 1 INT and threw one wormburner after the other in the 2nd half), it doesn't really matter to the Redskins who got a hard fought win on the road in the division. You'll take those no matter how ugly they look. Plus for McNabb, it won't be about how he played it'll be about him winning the game. In the end, that's all that really matters.
The story of the Redskins offense today was really about their running game, which ground out 169 yards on 35 carries against an Eagles defense that just could never get a stop when it needed to. The tackling was awful and the defensive line that got such good penetration the past few weeks was sealed off time and after time. To McNabb's credit, 35 of those rushing yards were his. He did scramble for a few big first downs.
The Redskins' two biggest plays through the air both came on blatant blown coverage by the Eagles D. The first was on Stewart Bradley who was caught chatting with Quintin Mikell as the ball was snapped and Chris Cooley ran right by him for a TD. By the way, Mikell & Bradley were arguably the two worst players on the defense today. The second blown coverage was a 57 yard pass to Anthony Armstrong who was supposed to covered over the top by rookie Kurt Coleman, but the kid just wasn't there. TE Fred Davis also got wide open on blow coverage, but McNabb overthrew him.
Altogether it was just a very sloppy performance by both units. The Eagles were penalized 8 times for 80 yards.
Now to the offense, who was just as sloppy and frustrating as the defense. First, the whole gameplan went out the window when Michael Vick was injured early. He took a big shot at the end of a really impressive run to the goal line. He got sandwiched between two defenders and left the game in obvious pain. He will have an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of rib and chest injuries.
Enter Kevin Kolb, whose fairly impressive stats don't really tell the story of what happened. Kolb finished 22-35 for 201 yards, but spent most of the day throwing quick stuff to his checkdown targets. LeSean McCoy caught 12 passes in this game and Owen Schmitt caught three. You really couldn't see on TV whether WRs were open downfield, but time and time again Troy Aikman was criticizing Kolb for not seeing the field well. His feeling was that guys were getting open, but Kolb was checking down and taking the easy throw.
Whatever the reason, Kolb certainly didn't do enough to steal his job back today. Of course, fact is that that Kolb threw the pass that would have been the game winner straight into Jason Avant's hands and it was dropped. It makes a very frustrating game all the more frustrating. As unthreatening as the Eagles offense looked today, they were able to march down the field for a TD and they get right back down to be in position for a winning TD. It really wasn't until those final drives that they stopped shooting themselves in the foot. Earlier in the game, any time they would get moving a holding penalty or a turnover would end up derailing the drive.
Speaking of turnovers... I would have said that the lone bright spot in the game today was the play of LeSean McCoy. Overall he did play really well accounting for 174 yards of total offense... but his fumble in the second half was killer.
And now we all wait on the results of Michael Vick's MRI...