Jason Avant absolutely has to catch that ball at the end. Even after such a terrible game, Avant had an opportunity to immortalize himself in Eagles' history with that catch and literally let it slip through his fingers. But, with that said...
The front four was terrible: Trent Cole got no pressure; Mike Patterson was absolutely man-handled; Brodrick Bunkley had a few good plays, but, for the most part, was ineffective; and Brandon Graham was nowhere to be found. Even Darryl Tapp and Juqua Parker couldn't get anything going, and it showed in the Redskins' yards per carry average.
The linebackers were terrible. Outside of Ernie Sims' mildly impressive sack of a scrambling Donovan McNabb, there wasn't a good play made by any of them.
Stewart Bradley, for the fourth consecutive week, was a huge disappointment. He couldn't shed blocks, he was slow to react, and had what could have been a game-changing interception fall through his arms.
The secondary was actually pretty good. Outside of a blown assignment by the rookie Kurt Coleman that led to a 57-yard completion for the 'Skins, the secondary shut down all of McNabb's targets. Unfortunately, they just weren't good enough to make up for the front seven and play the run as well.
It's time for Sean McDermott to go. No one on that defense knows how to tackle, they don't play with any attitude, he refuses to blitz when it's necessary, and he's unbelievably predictable when he actually does blitz. How many times this season have we seen him blitz from the right and watch the other team run to the left or vice versa? I know I have lost count.
Who takes over for McDermott? Dick Jauron? What the hell, it can't get any worse.
The coverage teams, as always, were putrid. They will remain bad until Andy Reid puts a priority on getting special teams guys. It doesn't matter who he hires if the coach doesn't have the personnel to make anything work.
Sav Rocca could be kicking himself into the Pro Bowl. He's currently second in the NFC in average yards per punt (behind the Rams' Donnie Jones), but this offense should give him plenty of opportunities to bump that up.
Speaking of the offense, the injury to Michael Vick will hurt, big time. He got hurt because he was putting everything he had into that play and refused to go down. He probably should have just protected himself, but it's difficult to tell a guy to be less competitive. All indications say he's going to be alright, but we won't know for sure until he gets an MRI.
Vick's replacement, Kevin Kolb, was bad—just plain bad. The stats won't show it (22-35 for 201 yards, one TD, one INT) but there was more negative than positive. If you watched the game, you heard Troy Aikman saying it: Kolb was not looking down field at all and was constantly missing wide open guys.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin were clearly extremely frustrated with Kolb and his inability and unwillingness to look down field. The body language was pretty clear.
I'm just about sick of Jackson. He lays down in front of defenders after catching the ball and refuses to fight for the extra yards, and on punt returns he just darts toward the sidelines. He doesn't even attempt to cut inside and at this point is a liability on special teams. If he continues to play scared, he could become a liability on offense as well.
Brent Celek finally caught his first touchdown. Woo-hoo.
Owen Schmitt could parlay his performance this season into a permanent starting spot next season. He knows that Leonard Weaver is the guy in Philadelphia next year, but Schmitt has played very well so far and deserves to be a starter somewhere in 2011.
LeSean McCoy is electric. I said when he was drafted I thought he'd turn out to be twice the runner Brian Westbrook ever was, and that looks to be the case very early. He has the vision that Westbrook didn't, and proved against the 'Skins he can catch the ball as well.
McCoy, however, must learn how to hold onto the ball. That fumble knocks at least three points off the board and really changes the momentum of the game.
Mike McGlynn got whooped all day long. Albert Haynesworth was especially too much for him and unless he picks it up, 3-4 teams could start salivating when they play the Eagles.
Max Jean-Gilles was dreadful. His holding penalty made Vick's sacrifice absolutely worthless and his inability to pass protect was evident all game long. Reggie Wells should be the guy at right guard, but apparently Reid is in love with MJG. But he's also in love with Kolb so who knows what he's thinking.
Jason Peters got called for two holding penalties (both of them ticky-tack), but outside of that he, Todd Herremans, and Winston Justice were pretty good.
If Kolb is the starter next week against the San Francisco 49ers and you're in a "Pick 'Em," go with the Niners. Frank Gore will, uh, gore this defense and Kolb's refusal to go deep will handcuff this offense and remove two of its best playmakers. Any team playing 11-on-9 is going to lose.
Alberto Riveron and his squad are the worst officiating crew in the league—hands down. This guy needs to be shown the door immediately.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!