Quick Links

The Long Knives

The Long Knives

The Long Knives
It wasn’t quite as much fun perusing the Philly area papers to hear their post-mortems on the Eagles game and on their 6-10 season as it was reading the locals moan the fates of the Giants and Cowboys. The Philadelphia writers just didn’t seem to have the edge to their commentary that those in New York and Texas did. Still, they did seem to enjoy kicking them while they were down.

Columnist Mike Sielski had this to say in PhillyBurbs.com:
A few minutes after Andy Reid assured everyone that yes, the Eagles were in fact attempting to win football games over these last five weeks, the man who coined the most infamous phrase of 21st century Philadelphia sports bent down to talk to one of the architects of this 6-10 disaster.

"Good effort, Mike," Jeffrey Lurie said to Mike McMahon in the Lincoln Financial Field locker room. "Good stuff out there."

So this is what the "gold standard" has been reduced to: the Eagles' owner praising the effort of a backup quarterback of questionable competence. Lurie will have to live with those two words haunting him until the Eagles win the Super Bowl. That is his penance, and it might be a long one. After the Eagles' 31-20 loss to Washington on Sunday, now that this nightmare is over, never in Reid's seven seasons as head coach has a championship felt so far away for this franchise. Never has major change been so necessary
. . . . .

The Eagles - their players, their coaches, their front-office folks - have been quick to pin their problems this season on circumstance, on sports hernias and ankle sprains and blood clots and gunshots and Owens' cancerous effect on his teammates. But the Eagles were a mediocre team - 4-3, coming off a humiliating defeat in Denver - before the injuries started to accumulate, before the Owens situation exploded for the last time. They weren't going back to the Super Bowl, or the postseason, because, put simply, they didn't have the talent to get there. All the excuses were ex post facto.
And there’s this from Phil Sheridan on Philly.com:

As awful as he was, Owens is just one guy. Why were so many of his teammates influenced so much?

The unfortunate answer is that there are a bunch of players on this team who were all too eager to heap as much blame as possible for the Super Bowl loss on Donovan McNabb. A lot of them bought into Owens' slander campaign against the quarterback because it helped cover for their own disappointing performances in that game.

That's the ugly truth a lot of these players need to face during this off-season. And it's an ugly truth Reid is going to have to consider in deciding which players can be part of a winning culture in 2006 and which can't.

Quick Links

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.  

Quick Links

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!