The Eagles entered halftime 13-0 down. Bradford threw three touchdowns in the second half and gave his team a four point lead midway through the fourth quarter. But a very late Pierre Garcon touchdown was enough to seal the deal for Washington, sending the Eagles to a worrying 1-3.
The game was certainly a tale of two halves. The Washington Offense remained in control for the most part, being on the field for 21 minutes and forcing one of the best rush Defenses in the league to flaunt their very best without some key playmakers.
Early on the Eagles were dealt several cruel blows as Byron Maxwell and Mychal Kendricks were sidelined for the duration of the game with injuries. The problems were amplified when Offensive big guys Brandon Bair and Jason Peters joined them later on, leaving two of the most vital areas of this Eagles team weakened.
The Eagles were scoreless in the first half as two field goals and a controversial fumble/ 1-yd rushing touchdown by Kirk Cousins sent the Redskins into the half with a 13-0 lead…a lead that should have been 13-3. Why wasn’t it? Caleb Sturgis missed what proved to be a vital 33 yard field goal, costing his team 3 points and as we will evaluate later…the victory.
The Eagles didn’t take the first half thumping lightly and after Bradford finally broke the mould and found Agholor deep for a 45 yard pass in the first half..he came alive. Sam Bradford finally turned into the Quarterback we knew he could be.
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2015
Bradford ended the third quarter 4/10 for 109 yards and a total of two touchdowns. One of which was this perfect 62 yard pass to Riley Cooper, marking Bradford’s fourth longest of his career.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 4, 2015
Bradford struggled when airing out deep passes in recent weeks but tonight he looked “almost” perfect. It was like telling a kid he was getting a spoon for Christmas before watching him open a PS4..his reaction was priceless. He looked like a kid in a candy shop and whilst he wasn’t asserting his presence all over the field and shouting left right and centre..he was enjoying himself and playing great football. He ended with a passer rating of 118.3.
The Offense struggled massively on third down in recent weeks however this week it was the Defense facing problems. The Eagles Defense were on the field for over 40 minutes as they watched the Redskins mount a 90 yard touchdown drive late on. The Redskins certainly wore their rivals down, converting 9 of their 17 third downs. Whilst stopping the running game for the most part, the Eagles struggled to get off the field Defensively and as they gradually began to wilt, the Redskins took full advantage.
To make things worse, an already weakened Offensive Line had to face a large chunk of the game without Lane Johnson or Brandon Bair. The Eagles completely failed to maintain pressure coming off of the edge and in the fourth quarter when it mattered most, it was most prominent. The Redskins had four sacks in the game and seven tackles for a loss.
Despite the early struggles of the Eagles Offense and the late struggles of the Eagles Defense (both units seemed to switch form after half-time) that we will analyse as the week progresses, the loss is most likely going to fall on the shoulders of Caleb Sturgis. Sturgis not only missed a field goal, but an extra point. Now with the new rules when it comes to PAT’s it kind of adds some sympathy to the…no..no it doesn’t.
Fans were incredibly quick to get on Cody Parkey’s back after he missed a field goal in week one that arguably cost his team an opportunity to win. Sturgis cost the team four points in a game where they lost by three. They were two very achievable kicks..and two kicks that Sturgis sent wide. But as we mentioned on twitter..his woeful performance should come as no surprise.
Sturgis hade less than 80% of his kicks with Miami and had missed on avg one in every four…this shouldn't be a surprise
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) October 4, 2015
Overall, the Eagles were sub par yet again. But if you had a second half performance of the Offense with a first half from the Defense over an entire game then it’s exactly how Chip wants this team to function. There were a lot of factors that contributed to this loss, but there are also a lot of positives to take. The team simply have to take the easy chances and find/maintain momentum over an entire game….and not hire kickers who are as reliable as those emails from Egyptian kings wanting to send you $4882881.
One major positive, for us at least is that we got it right when nobody else did. We said all week that Agholor would have a big game and that this would be the week where Sam Bradford breaks the mould and adds the deep pass to his arsenal. No other site took the angle we did, no other site made the predictions we did and we were overlooked…but we’re coming for the throne. Stop sleeping..
Full and detailed analysis will be coming soon so stay tuned!