The Philadelphia Eagles are 9-5 after being beaten by the Washington Redskins by a final score of 27-24.
Here are 10 things to be learned from this game. There is a lot to discuss, so let's get right to it.
1) Chip Kelly's worst game
This game was the worst loss of the Chip Kelly era. For as much as the Eagles were criticized about not being able to beat good teams this season, they at least took care of the bad ones. That wasn't the case on Saturday.
There were a number of questionable decisions by Kelly. Why didn't he try to attempt one more play at the end of the first half instead of punting? Why didn't he run Chris Polk on 3rd-and-1? And then why did he let Cody Parkey attempt a 46-yard field goal after he already missed a shorter one? Wouldn't 'Big Balls Chip' have gone for it on 4th-and-1 there?
2) Bad game for Bill Davis
Bill Davis thought Bradley Fletcher could cover DeSean Jackson one-on-one with no safety help. Oops. Davis finally benched Fletcher for Nolan Carroll II later in the game, but it was too little, too late.
Davis also drew criticism for not allowing Washington to score when they were in field goal range with time expiring in the fourth. Davis was asked why he didn't let the offense score.
""None. Never, ever, ever will there be a discussion about letting them score. Never, ever. We’ll get the ball back. That’s the only thing we talk about. Rip the ball, tackle the ball, get the ball. We won’t let anybody score."
To the defense of Davis, there's no guarantee Washington would have actually tried to score a touchdown. They easily could have went down at the 1-yard line in Brian Westbrook fashion.
In any case, far from a banner day for Davis. People will be calling for him to be fired. I don't see it happening, but his unit has been rough in recent weeks despite a solid season.
3) DeSean Jackson got his revenge
4) Cody Parkey's rookie struggles came at the worst time
Didn't you just know that this was going to happen? Parkey had been having a really impressive rookie season, so naturally he picked the most crucial time to struggle. His missed kicks were really bad.
For those blaming his misses on his groin injury... I'm not so sure. For one, he's already made a number of kicks while dealing with that injury. Two, he wasn't even listed on the injury report this week. Three, Eliot Shorr-Parks tweeted this PRIOR to the game: "Cody Parkey told me he is 100% now. No longer feeling any pain from groin injury."
5) Zach Ertz balled out
And now for a positive from Saturday's game. Second-year tight end Zach Ertz had heck of a game. Washington had no answer for him, and they knew the ball was going his way. Ertz set a franchise record with 15 receptions and also recorded his first-career 100-yard game with 115 receiving yards. The previous record was 14, held by Brian Westbrook (2007) and Don Looney (1940).
The Eagles need to get this guy more involved on a regular basis next season. He's a stud. Perhaps another year in the offseason program will help him to be a better blocker.
6) Mark Sanchez's stats are deceiving
Look at Sanchez's stat-line and it doesn't look like he had a bad game at all: 37/50 (74%), 374 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 99.9 rating. He could have been worse for sure, but once again he just wasn't good enough. He missed a number of opportunities to throw the ball down the field. Jeremy Maclin even noted this: "There were chances that we could have hit the ball down the field." Sanchez also turned the ball over twice. His interception late in the game effectively ended Philadelphia's season.
7) Lack of discipline
13 penalties committed for a loss of 102 yards. Compare that to Washington's three penalties that accounted for 15 yards. That's just not good enough. A number of penalties weren't even subjective, though the two roughing the passer penalties that were called on the same drive looked like really weak flags. According to Reuben Frank, the Eagles' 123 penalties this year are 5th-most in franchise history. That number is probably skewed a little bit because the Eagles run so many plays (a 'penalty per play' metric would offer more context), but it's still not a great sign.
8) Rough game for Lane Johnson
To be fair, it wasn't just Johnson. Jason Peters (?!) also had some struggles, as did Andrew Gardner. The offensive line was far from perfect. But Johnson's struggles were noticeable early. Ryan Kerrigan is heck of a player and deserves credit, but Johnson needed to be better.
Final score: Eagles lose, 27-24
The Philadelphia Eagles were defeated by the Washington Redskins on Saturday at FedEx Field, 27-24. The Eagles dropped 9-5 on the 2014 NFL Season. Read on for a drive-by-drive recap of the game. Up next for Philadelphia is a road game against the New York Giants.
9) Mychal Kendricks is a beast, and there's a lesson to be learned
Another silver lining in this awful performance from Philadelphia was that Kendricks played a great game. 10 total tackle, seven solo, one sack, two tackles for loss, one pass defensed, two quarterback hits. Kendricks deserves a contract extension without a doubt. He's really hitting his stride in his third year.
And to add on to that last point, perhaps that's a reminder to have some patience with Philadelphia's draft picks. Sure, immediate impact is always nice, but it's not always guaranteed. Kendricks wasn't overly impressive as a rookie and was then up-and-down in his second year. Philadelphia's 2014 NFL draft class has been pretty underwhelming in terms of immediate impact. There's a fair chance the picks don't work out as the team planned. It's just too early to write them off completely.
10) The Eagles season is over
Yeah, there's one game left, but it probably won't mean much. A Dallas win over the Colts will officially eliminate the Eagles from the playoffs. If the Cowboys lose to Indianapolis, the Eagles will still be alive in theory, but they would also need the Cowboys to lose in Washington in Week 17. It's just probably not going to happen.
It looked like the playoffs were a near certainty when the Eagles advanced to 9-3 and earned a win over the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Things have really gone down hill ever since. The Eagles choked away their season with three straight losses in December.
A once-promising season has turned into a big disappointment. Even if the Eagles may have never been a legitimate Super Bowl favorite, it still looked like they would have at least made the playoffs.