Monday, October 26, 2009

Big plays push Eagles past Redskins

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
If you were only casually watching the Monday Night Game between the Eagles and Redskins and weren't paying attention to the score, you may be left wondering which team was actually better. The Eagles played down to the Redskins most of the night, featuring a stagnant offense that could barely move the ball and a defense that gave up plenty of yards throughout the night. So, how did the Eagles win the game 27-17 and why was the game never in question? Big plays.

The Eagles had every big play in the game, including a pair of long touchdowns by DeSean Jackson and an interception return for a touchdown by the newest Eagle, Will Witherspoon. Take out those three plays, and the Eagles lose the game 10-6. Of course, you can't just take away those plays and good teams make the big plays that win football games.

The best unit on the night for the Eagles was their defense, which did give up their fair share of yards but also got pressure on Jason Campbell early and often, sacking him 6 times and caused a fumble and an interception. Defensive player of the game had to be Witherspoon, who forced a fumble on a sack and had 6 tackles to go along with his pick 6.

As for the offense, the Eagles were far from impressive. DeSean Jackson had nearly half of the rushing yards when he took an end around 67 yards for a touchdown and nearly a third of the receiving yards on his 57 yard touchdown catch. A concussion suffered by Brian Westbrook early in the game certainly hindered the offense but the Eagles need to figure out how to put drives together at some point this season. You can beat teams like the Redskins when their defense breaks down but how are you going to beat the Giants if you can't put together a solid drive?

The Eagles did this week what they couldn't do last week: beat a bad team. It was far from perfect but they have to be given credit that the game was never in doubt. The season begins next week for the Birds when they take on the Giants and we can finally see if this team is for real. Let's hope both the Eagles and Phillies can take a cue from each other and BEAT NEW YORK.

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