Well, the Redskins put up a good fight. They scored over 20 points for the second time this season, and held a lead until halfway through the fourth quarter, both rarities for this team. Was it a great performance? No sir. Two really dumb interceptions by Jason Campbell pretty much iced the 'Skins chances. But at least now we don't have to accept that the game is over whenever the other team scores 17 points.
Special Teams: C+
Campbell and Donovan McNabb actually had fairly similar days, statistically. The real difference in this game was in each team's ability to run the football. With Albert Haynesworth out of action again, the Eagles were able to get solid gains consistently with LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver, racking up 120 yards between them. Washington, meanwhile, ran for just 82 yards on 25 carries.
The game was just another piece of evidence in proving how huge (literally and figuratively) Haynesworth is when it comes to the defense. Without him, the Redskins are simply an average defense that can be exploited. But with him, and with a healthy DeAngelo Hall, they're one of the five best defenses in the league.
And that's not homer-ism (well, not just homer-ism); that's the truth. Washington ranks tenth in points allowed, and sixth in yards allowed per play. They've allowed exactly one more point than the Pittsburgh Steelers. They've allowed the fewest first downs of any team in football. They still have the best pass defense in football (though their rush defense is in the bottom ten). Make no mistake. They've seen some improvement, but the offense is still to blame for the 3-8 record. With an offense that could control the clock and extend drives, this is undoubtedly a playoff team.
Sigh. Once again, we're relegated to next year.
Around the League
- What a crummy bunch of Thanksgiving games. The Packers, Cowboys, and Broncos won by an average of nearly twenty points.
- Remember when I said that Jack Del Rio was a crummy coach? He had David Garrard drop back to pass 42 times on Sunday. In case you were wondering, the Jags averaged 5.1 yards per rush on 19 carries.
- The Browns defense looked better, but I'm concerned about their new motto: "Just allow enough points to lose." Anyone else expecting someone to pick up both Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn this offseason? (I'm looking at you, Oakland).
- San Diego is playing like a Super Bowl team. Not that I'd know what one looked like; I'm the guy who predicted that the Saints and Vikings wouldn't even make the playoffs...and that the Dolphins, Panthers, and 'Skins would.
- Every week Manning and the Colts look a little more vulnerable. They do also win, though.
- The Titans? The freakin' Titans? They're one game out of the wild card, and the 59-0 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots is ancient history.
- Maybe the Steelers would've won with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, but Dennis Dixon wasn't the guy whose arm tackles Ray Rice was blasting through.
- Okay, we get it. The Saints are really good, and everyone was really stupid not to sign Drew Brees when he left the Chargers. I think Colston just caught another TD.