1) As awful as the start we had against the Rams was a week ago, that was how great our start was against the Eagles. We got defensive stops, special teams contributions, and rushing yards in the opening salvo against the Iggles. We were hitting them harder than they were hitting us. We established the tempo, and put 14 rather quick points on the board. I mean, it really was the polar opposite to the Rams game in that regard.
2) I heard people suggesting we stopped playing after the 1st quarter. I don't see it that way at all. I think that the game kind of leveled itself out and the Eagles actually became involved in the contest. While we did cling to the lead (in every sense of the word cling), both teams traded shots in the
highly entertaining game of playing for field position that nobody except for Washington and Philadelphia fans could have truly appreciated. I am not blaming the weather, though it was a factor. I am not blaming injuries, though they were a huge factor in this game. I am not blaming coaching decisions from either sideline, and we can all agree they also played a significant role in this game. But over the years, this has been kind of the way it has gone in NFC East battles between two teams who seem fairly evenly matched. It wasn't the prettiest game in the world and nobody got crowned as a Super Bowl favorite, but one team is 2-0 in the NFC East and the other is not...it really is that simple.
3) Our defense made some huge 3rd down stops and our offense made some huge 3rd down conversions. Getting 1st downs on running plays is just the greatest feeling in the world. Between Torain, Portis and McNabb, we extended drives through the ground game-that was the difference in this game if you ask me. Our ability to grind out meaningful yards at key moments was absolutely the difference in the game.
5) No Redskin fan would (or should) have turned down 2-2 through four games back in August. Looking back over the last four games...nevermind, I simply can't do it. Wow...can you believe that the only game we really weren't close to winning was the Rams game? The other three games could all have been losses as well. And nobody plays the "coulda--shoulda" game better than Redskins fans. We are experts. I will say that is the thing I like least about us. I take my fair share of the responsibility for playing it so often. But we picked up two wins in the first quarter of the season. We have a tough quarter coming up. Having our two wins against divisional foes is a fantastic feeling.
6) When that game ended, what did you think and/or feel? I had the same kind of feeling I have had in recent years when we actually gave up that deciding touchdown in the closing seconds: like we lost. That is not to suggest that I did not appreciate or enjoy the fact that we won a road game in the NFC East. Rather, so many games over the last few years have come down to that play...maybe I am a bit numb to the outcome when we get to that point. When D Hall came away with that ball and the game was over, I was certainly a bit relieved. But jubilant was not the word I would use to describe my state of mind. Instead, I kind of tried to think if this team is closer to 4-0 or 0-4. I thought about the holding penalty against Alex Barron. I thought about the 4th down jump ball Andre Johnson brought down over Reed Doughty. I thought about the gigantic pile of horse dung we laid in the first quarter against the Rams. I thought about how hard we battled to hold on to a 17-12 win over Andy Reid's young team. At 2-2, the best news we could have hoped for is ours to enjoy: we get the chance now to go one way or the other. We have the power to be the 4-0 team we "could" have been. We also have the power to be the 0-4 team we "could" have been. Did you guys see the way the games went yesterday around the league? There is no reason at all to think we can't compete in the NFL this year. The question is, which Redskins team will consistently show up for the next stretch of games: the one that could not get out of their own way in St. Louis or the one that punched Philly in the mouth right out of the gate yesterday? Three of the four games we have been in were decided on the final play of the game. One thing is for sure...it is going to be exciting.