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Redskins rewind: A look back at Friday's preview

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Redskins rewind: A look back at Friday's preview

In Friday’s preview, we examined the keys to a Redskins’ victory over the scuffling Eagles. Today, we’re taking our weekly look back at how it all played out at FedEx Field:

1 – Apply relentless pressure and confuse quarterback Nick Foles, who was making his first career start in the place of concussed veteran Michael Vick. The Redskins’ maligned unit did that and more, taking advantage of a makeshift Eagles’ offensive line and young quarterback who is not yet ready for prime time. 

On the Eagles’ first possession, Barry Cofield and Ryan Kerrigan flushed Foles from the pocket. Foles foolishly attempted to squeeze a pass into Brent Celek, despite tight coverage from London Fletcher. Foles’ off-target pass ricocheted off Celek and into the hands of DeAngelo Hall for an interception.

On the Eagles’ second possession, Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley blitzed Foles on a third-and-21. The 23-year-old  panicked and threw an ill-advised pass into a crowd of burgundy jerseys, which included safety Brandon Meriweather, who made an easy interception.

Foles spent the rest of the game looking over his shoulder -- and for good reason. He was also sacked four times (Riley, Kerrigan, Josh Wilson and Rob Jackson.) The Redskins had not sacked a quarterback in the previous two games.   

2 – Would Pierre Garçon play? Indeed, the wide receiver returned from a four game absence, but his impact (statistically, at least) was muted. In fact, the wide receiver was limited to three receptions for five yards while taking part in only 21 of the offense’s 53 snaps. After gaining seven yards on his first catch, each of his next two were for minus-1 yard.

Garçon said he’s disappointed that his injured right foot won’t allow him to do more. But he confirmed that he did not suffer a setback and will suit up Thursday in an attempt to help in anyway he can.

Robert Griffin III, meantime, praised Garçon’s gutsy effort, saying, “It feels good to have guys like that in the huddle with you. It gives you an extra sense of confidence and he brings some attitude to the receiving corps.”  

3 – How about Meriweather? He suited up as well, but unlike Garçon, he made a major and immediate impact on the Redskins’ previously struggling defense, which limited the Eagles to 257 yards of total offense (a season-low for Jim Haslett's unit). But there was also some concern for the veteran safety following the game. After missing the season’s first nine games with a left knee sprain, he sprained his right knee in the third quarter and did not return to the field.

Before the injury, Meriweather made seven tackles (tied with Hall for second on the team), grabbed an interception, defended two passes and made one tackle for a loss.

As Meriweather limped out of the locker room, he said he expects to play in Dallas. A more concrete update, however, will be provided by Coach Mike Shanahan when he addresses the media at 3 p.m.

4 – As for the ridiculously high number of mental miscues and penalties, well, those continued to plague the Redskins. In all, they were flagged 13 times for total of 80 yards. Of the penalties, five were for false starts, including two by Alfred Morris. Riley and Tyler Polumbus also got flagged for illegal formations.

Through 10 games this season, the Redskins average a league-worst 8.8 penalties per game, including an average of 11 in the past three games.

“Working out of the pistol and the shotgun, puts a little pressure on our offense,” Shanahan said. “It’s something we’ll work on. But it’s something we have to get better at.”

The Redskins overcame the mistakes and earned their most lopsided victory in more than five years by steamrolling a sagging, injury-depleted Eagles’ team. They’ll take it, of course, but they also know they’ll need to be sharper Thursday at Cowboys Stadium.

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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.

The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.

OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.

OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.

MORE: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM A DISCOURAGING LOSS

The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:

The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.

They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.

MORE: REDSKINS OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE MVP FOR PHILLY GAME

Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.

The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.

There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.