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Redskins Fall to Eagles 20-13

10.17.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald provides a game recap:

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The Redskins entered Sunday coming off a bye and facing a golden opportunity to emerge as legitimate NFC East contenders and deal what amounted to a season-ending setback to the 1-4 Philadelphia Eagles. Instead, they were dealt a nightmare scenario by the so-called “Dream Team.”

The Redskins fell into an early hole, trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter. They spent the rest of the afternoon desperately trying to catch up. A quarterback change and a late rally fell short and the Redskins lost 20-13 at FedExField.

Rex Grossman completed just 9-of-22 passes for 143 yards and threw four interceptions. He was replaced at the beginning of the fourth quarter by backup John Beck.

It was hoped Beck would provide a spark, and he did lead the offense on its only touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles managed to hold on to the ball for the final 2:44 and preserve their lead. Beck finished with 7-of-15 pass completions for 117 yards.

It didn’t help the Redskins’ cause that left tack eTrent Williams suffered a high ankle sprain, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger suffered a knee ligament injury and Chris Cooley had a fractured index finger.

A team that had entered the bye with great optimism now faces questions. Adversity has reared its ugly head.

REVEALING MOMENT

Trailing 20-6, the Redskins were handed a great opportunity to mount a comeback against the Eagles midway through the third quarter. The defense had just knocked Eagles quarterback Michael Vick out of the game and his replacement Vince Young quickly threw a poor pass that was intercepted by cornerback DeAngelo Hall. The Redskins had the ball at the Eagles’ 29-yard line. One play later, Rex Grossman threw a short pass to tight end Fred Davis that was picked off by safety Kurt Coleman. The Eagles stole back momentum and Vick trotted back onto the field. Suddenly there was a sense that the Redskins’ offense simply did not have the ability to come back against the Eagles.

PLAY OF THE GAME

Early in the first quarter, Redskins linebackers Brian Orakpo and Rocky McIntosh had Michael Vick in their sights. The snap from center sailed past Vick and running back LeSean McCoy – the play appeared to be a direct snap to McCoy – and Vick raced back to scoop up the ball at the Eagles’ 1-yard line. On came Orakpo and McIntosh and all Vick could do was throw the ball away. A flag came in and the first thought was it would be intentional grounding on Vick. Instead, Orakpo and McIntosh were flagged for roughing the passer. (It appeared Orakpo’s helmet collided with Vick’s helmet.) Instead of a third down from the 1-yard line, the Eagles had a first down at the 31. It was a key early play because Vick proceeded to guide the Eagles on 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy lived up to Mike Shanahan’s billing as one of the top running backs in the NFL. Eleven of McCoy’s carries went for 1 yard or less, but McCoy still found a way to gash the Redskins’ normally solid run defense for 126 yards on a career-high 126 yards – a 4.5 yards-per-carry average – and one touchdown.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Two of Rex Grossman’s four interceptions were especially costly because they sabotaged Redskins’ scoring opportunities. The first came on the Redskins’ first drive, in which Grossman’s deep throw to Fred Davis was picked off by a leaping Kurt Coleman at the Eagles’ 4-yard line. On the second, Grossman suggested there may have been some miscommunication between he and Davis on the pass route, allowing Coleman to step up in front of the throw for the pick at the Eagles’ 5-yard line.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Fred Davis was clearly a big part of the Redskins’ game plan, as coaches hoped to match him up against the Eagles’ inexperienced linebackers. Davis was targeted 11 times in the game, tops in the game. He caught Rex Grossman’s first pass of the game for a 12-yard grab. He also grabbed 17-yard and 18-yard catches late in the second quarter to help set up the Redskins’ first score, a Graham Gano field goal.

WHAT’S NEXT

First things first: who starts at quarterback? Rex Grossman or John Beck? Mike Shanahan said that he would likely name a starter on Wednesday. Up next on the schedule, the Redskins travel to Charlotte, N.C., for a game against the NFC South's Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET. It’s the Redskins’ first regular season visit to Carolina since 2009, when they lost to the Panthers 20-17.

To read the full recap on Redskins.com, click here.

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