- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

FIRST QUARTER

What happened: The Eagles attempted an onside kick, which Quinton Ganther gathered and returned to the 24; after a penalty, Washington started on the Philadelphia 19. Jason Campbell faked a handoff and ran the ball in himself off right tackle. Ahead 7-0, the Redskins allowed the Eagles to march right down the field on the next drive, letting rookie LeSean McCoy slip through numerous tackle attempts. A pass interference penalty nullified a DeSean Jackson touchdown, and the Eagles settled for a field goal. Washington’s next drive fizzled, and Jackson returned the punt 29 yards and then finished it with a 35-yard touchdown reception. Rock Cartwright kept the next drive alive on a short dump pass on third down.

Analysis: Shouldn’t the Redskins be the team desperate enough to try an onside kick to open the game after deferring? Leave it to Eagles coach Andy Reid to challenge that convention. The opening kick, which gave the Redskins the ball inside the red zone to open the game, only can be considered a bonehead move. Fortunately for Reid and Co., the Redskins seemingly relaxed too much at that point, putting on a poor display of tackling on the field goal drive and then somehow letting Jackson get wide open — again — on the next drive.

BY THE NUMBERS

3 Touchdowns scored against the Redskins by the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson this season after his scoring reception.

SECOND QUARTER

What happened: Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly caught long passes to get the Redskins inside the Philadelphia 5. Then Campbell hit Santana Moss falling backward into the end zone to reclaim the lead. Because of two early penalties (for 15 yards) the Eagles punted on their next drive, though the Redskins returned the favor with a three-and-out. Washington got the ball deep in their territory after another Eagles punt. On third down, Campbell tried to thread a short pass to Moss that Asante Samuel picked off, giving Philadelphia a short field. A penalty snuffed out their drive, and the Eagles settled for another field goal. But the Redskins kept the Campbell-to-Samuel connection alive on the next drive, giving the Eagles good field position again. David Akers kicked another field goal to end the half and give his team the lead.

Analysis: The half ended with Campbell on his back and the Eagles leading 16-14. After a promising start — especially on third down — he and the rest of the Redskins’ offense had given the Eagles six points they probably didn’t deserve considering the number of mistakes the home team made. The problems were familiar ones for Washington: a porous offensive line making things dicey for Campbell in the backfield and poor decision-making, both from the booth (throwing late in the half with the lead) and on the field (the two interceptions). Before the first third-down interception, the Redskins had converted four of six attempts.

BY THE NUMBERS

11 Interceptions for Jason Campbell, matching a single-season career high. He also threw 11 in 2007, when he started the first 13 games of the season.

THIRD QUARTER

What happened: The Eagles got the ball to start the half and quickly gave it back to Washington after a three-and-out. Campbell got back into a groove, connecting on two long pass plays with second-year pass-catchers Fred Davis and Thomas to get inside the red zone. He completed the drive with a 10-yard scoring toss to Davis to get Washington the lead back. Philadelphia answered with another three-and-out, but this was more costly than the last as London Fletcher crushed Jackson on a catch over the middle; he left the field and went to the locker room. Washington moved the ball well on the ground on the next drive, but a false start penalty killed the drive. The Eagles went three-and-out again, though Washington was in the process of returning the favor as time ran out.

Analysis: The Eagles put on an absolutely miserable display of offense in the third quarter, punting three times and running just nine offensive plays with no first downs. The injury to Jackson, who has burned the Redskins during his first two seasons in the NFL, certainly didn’t aid the Eagles’ cause; in fact, McNabb ended the quarter with consecutive incompletions. While the Eagles’ boo birds chirped loudly, Redskins fans could take heart at seeing their regular targets of derision — the trio of Davis, Thomas and Kelly — contributing in big ways, including a touchdown catch by Davis.

BY THE NUMBERS

22 Yards in the third quarter for the Eagles, who were shut out and held to three three-and-out possessions.

FOURTH QUARTER

What happened: McNabb carried over the Eagles’ struggles from the third quarter by throwing an interception on his second attempt of the fourth. Just outside the Philadelphia 20, Washington stalled after a quick first down, settling for a Shaun Suisham field goal from 25 yards to expand the lead. Deep in their own territory, the Eagles made up half the field on a 46-yard pass to Jason Avant. Washington held for three plays at the 1, but the Eagles finally punched it in and scored on a two-point conversion to tie the game. Washington quickly gave the ball back, and the Eagles took over on their own 20 with 5 1/2 left and put together a methodical drive that ended at the Washington 14. There, Akers kicked another field goal to put the Eagles ahead for good. The Redskins started their final drive deep in their own territory with no timeouts.

Analysis: The Eagles found the surefire way to silence those aforementioned boo birds: pressure the quarterback, shut down the other team and put points on the board. It all worked in the final quarter after a quick pick by McNabb that seemed to set the Redskins up for an NFC East road win. The Redskins, meanwhile, struggled to keep Campbell upright, and injuries continued to plague them. Washington ended the game with Carlos Rogers, Byron Westbrook and rookie Kevin Barnes on the field at corner. The defensive line wore down late, too, as the Eagles gashed the Redskins on the ground — supplemented with long pass plays.

BY THE NUMBERS

6 runs in nine plays (not counting the field goal attempt) on the Eagles’ final scoring drive. They gained 26 yards on those carries.

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