The Washington Redskins have long been eliminated from playoff contention, and at 3-11 the Redskins are now playing for pride and to spoil division rival Eagles playoff chances. With Mark Sanchez set to start, the Redskins have an opportunity to make some plays on defense. Sanchez has thrown nine interceptions since taking over for the injured Nick Foles. However, the Redskins defense has only forced five interceptions all season, something's gotta give. If the Redskins can win the turnover battle, they will have a chance to play spoiler.
The Redskins will be without three defensive starters for the second consecutive week. Keenan Robinson, Jason Hatcher, and Brandon Meriweather have all been ruled out for this afternoon's game. That will give Will Compton and Phillip Thomas their second straight week of starting duties.
Phillip Thomas is the player to keep your eye on. Thomas bounced back from an up and down first start and played much better next week. Thomas has flashed some of the potential he showed as a rookie before a string of injuries kept him off the field. If Thomas can step up and man one starting safety spot next season, it would be one less position the Redskins will have to address this off-season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Roy Helu will be inactive for the second straight week giving Silas Redd and Chris Thompson another week of receiving additional snaps. Thompson impressed coaches in his first NFL action last week; it will be interesting to see if he gets an expanded role. Also for the second straight week, Spencer Long will be active over third year guard Josh LeRibeus.
Obviously the biggest story will be how RG III performs in his first start since being benched. However, RG III will face a tough test against an Eagles defense that leads the league in sacks with suspect blocking in front of him. RG III doesn't have to be superman, for the Redskins to win today; Griffin needs to focus on staying upright and protecting the football and taking what the defense gives him.
Although the Eagles have a solid front seven and pass rush, the Eagles defense ranks 28th in the NFL against the pass. Griffin will have an opportunity to make plays with his arm, look for Jay Gruden to try and get Griffin in a rhythm early with some quick and easy throws mixed in with some play action and screen plays.
The Redskins have nothing to lose, and the Eagles have everything to lose, can the Redskins play spoiler and give themselves something to build off of? It would certainly be nice.
The Eagles were perfect on third down conversions before Ryan Kerrigan notched his 13.5 sack of the season, stripping the ball and falling on the fumble. Winning the turnover battle may be the difference in who wins this football game; the Redskins are off to a good start. Now it's up to Griffin and company to convert the mistake into points.
The Redskins showed some life on the first drive, but ultimately settle for a field goal off the turnover. Redskins lead the Eagles 3-0 early.
It's the little things like Bashaud Breeland being a competitor, even on special teams that the Redskins need more of. The Redskins need more players like Breeland, who just love football, and embrace contact. Breeland doesn't care that the Redskins are 3-11 he wants to beat his guy every play of every game.
The Redskins defense cannot stop the Eagles on their second possession of the afternoon. LaSean McCoy plunges into the end zone, Eagles lead 7-3.
The Redskins responded very well on offense after the Eagles score. Griffin threw a beautiful ball deep to DeSean Jackson, and Alfred Morris finished the drive off with a 28 yard rumble into the end zone, and just like that the Redskins are back on top 10-7.
At the end of one: The Redskins lead the Eagles 10-7
Trent Murphy has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the game, and as this announcement was being made his replacement Jackson Jeffcoat notched his first career sack on third down, forcing a Philadelphia punt.
The Redskins have now gotten sacks from two players who were not on their opening day roster; they have three total sacks before halftime.
The Eagles march down the field, including two third down conversions of 15 or more yards, and a third and goal conversion. The Eagles regain the lead 14-10. Oh, and to make that stat worse, the Redskins have three conversions of third down and 10 or longer, the Eagles had two on that drive and three in this half.
One major issue I have with Jay Gruden is his abandonment of the run game. Down by just four, Gruden dialed up three straight passes, handing the ball back to the Eagles with two minutes to go in the half.
Luckily the Redskins defense holds, the Redskins will head to the locker room down 14-10.
The Redskins are absolutely still in this game, but that have to cause some turnovers and get the offense back in rhythm. The defense has let Mark Sanchez, yes Mark Sanchez carve up their defense towards the end of the second quarter. When Mark Sanchez is the opposing quarterback, you want to focus on causing turnovers, not limiting Sanchez. I know the Redskins have a very young secondary paired with a dinosaur in Ryan Clark, but they have to play better if the Redskins hope to win this game.
The Redskins started the first half fast, but they couldn't have started the second half worse. Andre Roberts fumbled the opening kickoff giving the eagles the ball in the red zone. The turnover battle is now even, and momentum is completely in Philadelphia's favor.
The Redskins dodged a bullet, the defense bent but didn't break and the Eagles kicker missed just his third kick of the season. The Redskins still trail 14-10.
Thanks to two moronic roughing the passer penalties that extended drives, the Redskins punch the ball into the end zone with Darrell Young, the Redskins regain the lead 17-14. Those are the types of penalties you would expect from a 3-11 team not a team fighting for their playoff lives.
The Eagles miss their second field goal of the game, the Redskins need to take advantage and really grab hold of momentum of this game. Points of any sort would be nice, but a touchdown would be great, here's where RG III can win back the hope of coaches and fans, by finish games.
If it's not broke, don't fix it. Darrell Young plows into the end zone for the second time today. The score was set up by another perfect ball from Griffin to Jackson, the Redskins now lead 24-14 with little time left in the third quarter. This is arguably the best the offense has played all season.
The Redskins defense still hasn't found an answer for the super complicated seam route, as Sanchez finds Cooper in the end zone. Phillip Thomas wasn't in a good position at his safety spot, I'm not sure if that was the call or if he was just out of position, but regardless the Eagles are right back in it now only down 24-21.
Trent Williams goes down with an injury, and on the very next play the Griffin threw an interception trying to hit Jackson downfield. Williams is a huge injury, that forces Compton to left tackle which did not go well the last time Williams was hurt, and Tyler Polumbus in at right tackle. The Eagles take over down three, with a little more than nine minutes remaining.
The Redskins defense forces the Eagles to settle for a field goal following the interception, tying the game at 24 with 6:17 remaining.
The Redskins continue to mishandle injuries, I understand that when Trent Williams isn't in the game the Redskins line goes from bad to the worst, but that is no excuse to play arguably your most talented player injured when you are 3-11. When Williams returned to the field, it appeared he was trying to block with one arm, I don't know who cleared him to return to action but they shouldn't have a job by Monday.
Rookie Bashaud Breeland now owns the Redskins lead in interceptions with two on the season. Breeland's second career interception could not have come at a better time, giving the Redskins the ball back with under two minutes and the game tied. The Redskins are now winning the turnover battle again.
After a big gain from Pierre Garcon, Alfred Morris took over, setting the Redskins up for a game winning field goal. The Redskins get a much needed victory, the first victory that Robert Griffin III started and finished since 2013.
This was arguably the best offensive performance the Redskins have put together this season, which should be very encouraging for the Redskins and Robert Griffin III. RG III didn't play like superman but he didn't have to. He made some solid decisions and protected the ball other than the deep interception.
A much needed positive performance for RG III and the Redskins as a whole, enjoy it Redskins nation. The Redskins have officially improved upon their 2013 record, improving to 4-11 on the season.
FINAL: Redskins 27 Eagles 24