Despite late comeback, Eagles hold on to beat Redskins

I honestly did not have high hopes for the Eagles this season. I thought it was going to be an obvious rebuilding year that would result in a lot of losses and a lot of frustration. But based on the performance in their game today, I just may be wrong…

While it certainly wasn’t the prettiest game, they still got it done and won against a division rival, an obvious feat. They somehow managed to almost blow the game after leading 33-7 late in the third quarter; at that point, the game looked like it was definitely over. But then the defense started to fall apart and gave up three consecutive touchdowns without scoring a single point, reducing their 26 point lead to 6. Luckily, the Redskins ran out of time and the Eagles were able to squeak out a win in a game that they should’ve ended up winning by a lot. This produces both good and bad feelings.

The good feelings are that this offense is once again extremely explosive with Michael Vick as the QB, and their key weapons such as LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are playing at the top of their game. McCoy had 31 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown, a stat line that he is capable of putting up on a regular basis, and Jackson had 104 yards and a TD, showing his sheer explosiveness and speed every time he touched the ball. The offensive line performed generally well, giving up only three sacks in the game. And they only turned the ball over twice, the first of which was a bad call and ended up leading to a Redskins touchdown. But either way, there were a lot of positives coming out of today’s game.

But it wasn’t all positives. Despite the strong defensive outing in the first half, shutting them out, forcing turnovers, and even causing a safety, they fell back to their old habit of not being able to close out a game and almost blew the game. They still gave up 382 yards and 25 first downs, both of which were pretty close to the Eagles final totals on offense. They only had three sacks and failed to stop Robert Griffin III, or basically any other player on the offense in the second half. And offensively they were pretty much nonexistent. After compiling 50+ plays in the first half alone, a crazy feat, they finished with only 77, just 7 more than the Redskins. And at one point they were winning 22-3 in first downs. They ended the game with only one more first down than the Skins, winning it 26-25. And McCoy and Jackson were far less productive in the second half, failing to really make much of a difference for the last quarter and a half of play.

But the team can’t totally be insulted, because they managed to win their first game of the season, and it was on the big stage on Monday Night Football. Plus, it was Chip Kelly’s first NFL win, making it even more special. Some other guys that stood out were Brent Celek, who had 56 yards and a TD, and Mychal Kendricks, who led the team in tackles with 10. Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin also had nice interceptions, a stat that the Eagles rarely had last season unless it was Vick doing the throwing.

But despite the shaky finish to the game, I am very happy with their performance and am hoping that they can continue to do this well on offense. If they can fix some holes on defense, which were guaranteed to be there because of the switch to 3-4 this past offseason, then they have a shot to be a contender. I can’t believe I said that, but they often times looked like a really good football team today. I’m just hoping that it wasn’t a one hit wonder…

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