After the frenzied buildup to The Regular Season, this was an anticlimactic result: namely, an Eagles Win. That was not the scenario I expected to see to open The Season – a Week 1 Eagles Win at FedEx! Unfortunately, the nature of competition dictates that nothing is certain once the pads start clicking.
So what the hell happened?
I think the short answer is that Philadelphia wanted the game more than Washington did. That’s what rankles me. For me, this was a golden opportunity to start things off with a bang. At Home. Division Game. Plenty of excitement! Only to have such a golden opportunity slip through The Team’s hands like so many grains of sand.
What a waste.
The bumbling, lackluster, out-of-sync football we saw at FedEx Field looked suspiciously like the exact same type of effort we saw consistently during The Preseason. I personally thought that play was a mirage – but plenty of other team observers didn’t. And it appears that them folks were right. At least to begin The Season.
Now let’s recap.
- I was encouraged by the play of The Defense. That sounds crazy to anyone who only saw the stat line & not the actual game. But yes, they did play well. Philadelphia gained 19 First Downs, went 8-for-14 on 3rd Downs, and possessed The Ball for 34:16 of Game Clock. Pretty good day, right? But they also committed 2 Turnovers (1 Fumble, 1 Interception) & gained 58 yards on 24 Rushing Attempts. And if you saw the ballgame, you know that it was The Defense that kept this game close. The guys played well enough to earn Washington the W. I am encouraged by that.
- The Team came out of The Game healthy. During the 2nd Half, there was a serious scare when Trent Williams was slow to get off The Field, but fortunately he returned and finished the game. Other than that, the team emerged unscathed. That’s big time because The NFL Season is an annual war of attrition. And as important as Winning ballgames are in this League, staying healthy is practically just as important. Because to be sure, the latter has a direct impact on the former. So from that standpoint, The Redskins came out of a Home loss okay. If there ever was such a thing.
- The Offense was totally out of sync. A cynic would see that I’m euphemizing here; and they’d be right. Plainly speaking, that effort was bullshit. 3 TURNOVERS (the 4th was on a Punt Return), 3-for-11 on 3rd downs, several key drops, and a litany of missed blocks. Now all of that wasn’t just on The Offense; the Eagles deserve credit for playing some inspired Defensive ball–in fact, I think their Defense was the difference. But to play that poorly AT HOME when Offense is your strongest side of The Ball is stunning. That has to change. Period.
- Kirk Cousins skittish play. This is concerning. Cousins looked mediocre all day. He had happy feet in The Pocket, had several errant throws, and couldn’t seem to find Open Receivers. Maybe Philadelphia’s Coverages were that good. It is possible. I was very unpleasantly surprised by this. But most disturbing was 1) He didn’t attack the Eagles Backup Corner when Ronald Darby got injured. 2) ANOTHER REDZONE TURNOVER! That is unacceptable – and it isn’t the first time it’s happened either. And that’s NOT including his turnovers in The Pocket (including the one that sealed the game). Those plays cost Football games holmes. And if that continues, he won’t have to worry about getting a Long Term Deal in DC. That’s obvious. Week 2 had better see Cousins playing better than he did today or The Redskins’ Season could be over before it gets started.
It’s something about Week 1 that Jay Gruden doesn’t fucking like. I don’t know wassup with this, but Gruden has never Won a Season Opener as Head Coach of The Washington Redskins. The man’s Won The NFC East. He’s posted back-to-back Winning Seasons for the 1st time in forever…but he ain’t gonna Win that Opening Game for shit. Seriously, what the fuck is up with that? By this point, Coach has earned the benefit of the doubt. But this particular game does fit snugly into that pattern. I’m not too thrilled about it, but Gruden’s Teams have shown that they start slow, so there’s no need to panic. It’s more a case of just doing whatever it takes to purge this disgusting display of football from your consciousness. Whatever it takes.
There you have it. Week 1’s Good, Bad, and Ugly. This time it was mostly bad & ugly, but keep in mind that it’s a looooong season. And we’re just gettin’ started. Also, if you want to check out the box score, go here. As for Washington, Week 1 is in the books.
Now it’s on to Los Angeles.