ReFo: Redskins @ Eagles, Week 11
After one of the best late-game charges you’ll see, the largest comeback in Redskins history remains at 21. The Eagles built a 24-0 lead through three quarters on the backs of Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, but once they got that lead Chip Kelly seemingly forgot about the Foles part of the equation.
The Eagles dropped back to pass just six times after the midway point in the third quarter and ran the ball 14 times. More importantly, Philadelphia failed to score over that span. A 62-yard pass to Darrel Young and a 41-yard throw to Aldrick Robinson gave the Redskins a chance to tie it up with 3:26 seconds left. After an 18-play drive, though, it wasn’t meant to be as Brandon Boykin picked off Robert Griffin’s wildly errant pass in the back of the end zone.
The win moves Philadelphia into first place of the NFC East at 6-5. They get their bye next week and will meet up with Arizona after that. The loss drops the Redskins to 3-7 and realistically all but eliminates them from playoff contention. Next week they face the 49ers at home on Monday night football.
Washington – Three Performances of Note
Even if the Eagles really did know what plays were coming, it still doesn’t excuse the vast amount of misses that Griffin (-3.0) had on the day — 14 of his 32 targeted throws failed to reach their intended home. RGIII was a staggering 4-of-16 on throws over 10 yards downfield when last season that was his strong suit, completing 61% of passes targeted over 10 yards. This season that number has dropped to 43% and it’s not difficult to see why he’s struggling. For the day he had 11 passes downgraded and was deemed responsible for a sack, a hit, and a hurry. After two great games, it’s disappointing to RGIII so off in a huge divisional game.
The nature of playing 3-4 outside linebacker means that you’ll have to drop into coverage at some point. So far this season Ryan Kerrigan has dropped on 12% of his snaps. Against Philadelphia he was in coverage seven times. In retrospect, I’m sure Kerrigan and the Redskins wish that number would have only been six. Late in the first quarter Kerrigan got stuck in every outside linebacker’s nightmare, defending LeSean McCoy on a wheel route, but the 49-yard completion was just the beginning of his struggles. Kerrigan would later horribly miss a tackle on an option to McCoy early in the fourth quarter and generally got pushed around in the run game. His -3.7 grade was his worst since he failed to record a pressure in the Redskins’ playoff game against Seattle last season.
Picking on the Rookie
It’s been a very common theme this year for the Redskins, teams taking advantage of rookie David Amerson. It certainly was the case on Sunday. With a -3.3 grade, the second-round pick has now had four different games with coverage grades of -2.0 and is allowing the most Yards per Coverage Snap (1.9) in the NFL. The aggressive style that he used to rack up interceptions at NC State has cost him more often than not as a rookie. On one play he’ll trail Riley Cooper beautifully and knock away a pass, and then on another he’ll get burnt deep and almost give up a huge play. On Sunday he was targeted nine times and allowed six completions for 79 yards as his dismal season continues.
Philadelphia – Three Performances of Note
Foles For Real
After doing the analysis of the Eagles’ loss to the Cowboys I thought there was no way Nick Foles could be a top-flight quarterback in this league. The shear amount of missed open receivers in that game was staggering. All he’s done since that performance though is prove me dead wrong. After that dreadful showing he’s compiled a +12.2 grade in three games including a +4.6 grade on Sunday.
The same thing I knocked him for has been his calling card over that stretch; his accuracy. On Sunday, Foles was on target for 18 of 23 passes and that doesn’t even include the beautiful deep ball that somehow fell at Riley Cooper’s feet on their second play from scrimmage. Where he has been especially impressive is his deep and intermediate accuracy. Foles had a +2.5 grade on throws targeted over 10 yards downfield Sunday, going 7-of-12 for 154 yards.
Johnson Paving the Road
Of all the significant performance in this game, I came away most in awe of Lane Johnson’s run blocking. While he seems to dominate Washington (he had an even better grade in Week 1), Johnson showed power that is impressive regardless of competition. The first play that made me say ‘wow’ came in the third quarter with 12:50 remaining. The Eagles run a single-back power off of Johnson’s right shoulder. The right tackle down blocks in a crushing double team on Kedric Golston, taking him almost 3 yards off the line of scrimmage. Johnson then disengages and finds London Fletcher at the second level. From there, Johnson drives the middle linebacker from the hash marks all the way to the numbers, opening up an enormous hole. It was one of many terrific plays the fourth overall pick made on the day en route to a +2.5 grade and +3.6 run-blocking grade.
Adjusting to Full Time
Prior to the Eagles’ Week 10 matchup against Green Bay, Roc Carmichael had played just 31 snaps all season. After Bradley Fletcher went down, though, Carmichael was been thrust into the starting role and hasn’t missed a snap the last two weeks. After an excellent showing against Green Bay, he came back down to earth in a big way against Washington. The third-year corner yielded 114 yards, completions on five of eight targets and a touchdown. His -3.1 coverage grade was by far the lowest on the team as no one else broke -1.0. Meanwhile Brandon Boykin’s +2.0 grade in the slot continues to beg the question of whether or not he could play full time despite his diminutive stature.
– LeSean McCoy picked up 77 yards after contact thanks to six missed tackles.
– Just because Mychal Kendricks is out doesn’t mean the missed tackles stopped; Najee Goode missed three out of his seven tackle opportunities.
– Redskins linebackers combined to allow completions all seven targets they faced for 152 yards.
PFF Game Ball
While Brandon Boykin put together an outstanding performance for 99% of the game on defense and special teams, his holding penalty almost cost them the lead. That’s why this game goes to the quarterback that got them that huge lead, Nick Foles.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner