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3-and-out: Redskins-Eagles post game quick hits

December 30, 2018 - 8:54 pm

106.7 The Fan Redskins beat reporter Craig Hoffman was in the press box at FedExField as the Washington Redskins took on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17 of the season. He combined his observations with post-game interviews to write his top-three takeaways from this week in football:

The Redskins season completed with an offensive dud on Sunday, though that was far from the story. The story was off the field, or rather surrounding it.

1. I spent the entire third quarter on the fifth level suites at FedEx Field visiting a friend and taking in the game from that bird’s eye view. The suites feature a bar area in the end zone where you can experience the entire stadium. You can see it and just as importantly you can hear it.

I have never seen a stadium so completely taken over by opposing fans in the NFL. The Redskins travel well and have often made huge imprints in opposing stadiums, but to see a literal home crowd for the Eagles in Washington was jarring. To say FedEx Field was 80 percent filled with Eagles fans is a conservative estimate. The roars for Eagles positive plays were loud. It’s an owner’s worst nightmare and it happened in the week that the owner decided to ouster the people he hired to fix that exact problem.

2. The Redskins' offense had nothing on Sunday. They were out of sync. They had nothing in the air. They had nothing on the ground. Their beaten and tattered offensive line could neither protect Josh Johnson, who was running for his life the entire day, nor open holes for any of their running backs. Adrian Peterson had zero yards on four carries while Chris Thompson had just ten yards on two carries. Samaje Perine finally got some looks in the 4th quarter, looking good in limited carries of what that point was a blowout.

3. The defense never felt like it was getting bludgeoned, but they were consistently a step slow. At one point Nick Foles completed 25 straight passes. The Eagles only scored twice in that stretch, including a 19-play, 87-yard drive that took nearly the entire second quarter, but it was more than enough considering the Redskins offensive ineptitude.

The defense can only be asked to do so much and this was yet another example in a year full of them. Early in the year when the Redskins running game was rolling, the defense was able to stay fresh and performed well.

As the ability to sustain drives went, so did the defense. On a day where the Redskins offense had converted only four 3rd downs midway through the 4th quarter, the defense faded as the game went. It’s entirely predictable.

Stat of the game: The Redskins were 0-for-9 on third downs. Why couldn’t they sustain drives? That.

Quote(s) of the game: We’ll go with two quotes to wrap the season.

1. “We can go toe-to-toe with anyone,” Jay Gruden said after the game. He noted that the injuries decimated their chances yet again, but when healthy he believes the nucleus of his team is good enough to compete. He pointed to obvious examples where they failed (New Orleans) but pointed out the number of playoff teams they did compete with like Houston, Indy/Tennessee and others. The Redskins are betting on him being right, but after two years of the injury bug biting they need to do some soul searching as to why that is happening so that nucleus can make it through a season.

2. “I want you to have a championship mentality,” Adrian Peterson told his teammates after the game. Peterson addressed the team after Gruden did, re-affirming his drive to win. He said all the personal accomplishments come from chasing team success. He told me in our sit-down interview this week that he wants to be back. The Redskins would be wise to make that happen.


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