I do not care about any controversy surrounding this game regarding what the Eagles did or didn’t do! The Washington Football Team won the NFC East, and to me, that’s all that matters!
We are playoff bound!
I know 7-9 isn’t the most inspiring record to end the season, but this team fought hard down the stretch, and most importantly, never gave up. There have been 7-9 teams make the playoffs before and we all know that once you get to this stage, anything can happen. Heck, I predicted before the season that we’d only win six games - so this team exceeded my expectations.
Let’s move forward to the Studs and Duds of this game; followed by some notes.
Ron Rivera - Was Rivera perfect as a coach this season? No, not by any means. There were some head-scratching decisions earlier in the season that really could have come back to bite this team, but after seeing all he went through, and how he got this team to buy into his message and the culture change he was trying to instill, I think he should be named Coach of the Year! We really have a true leader here for the first time since Joe Gibbs 2.0.
Terry McLaurin - Playing at far less than 100%, McLaurin gutted it out and made some key receptions - none bigger than his first quarter touchdown in the back corner of the endzone. On the evening, he hauled in seven catches for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Logan Thomas - Thomas’ high-rising act in the end zone to secure an Alex Smith pass for a huge touchdown catch was simply amazing! He totaled three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Chase Young - My goodness; this guy is SO good! He just takes over games in a way I can’t remember seeing a defensive player take over a game here in D.C. since the great Sean Taylor. Young recorded two tackles, one for a loss, a sack, three quarterback hits, multiple hurries and a fumble recovery. He truly does it all!
Montez Sweat - If not for a holding call on Cole Holcomb, Sweat would have hit double digits in sacks for the season. As it is, he added another to his total this game, taking him to nine on the season. He also added five tackles, one for a loss, three quarterback hits, and had a key play on Young’s fumble recovery where he batted the ball away from the quarterback making for a clean recovery by his counterpart.
Jonathan Allen/Daron Payne - These guys were working their tails off and flashing on the inside all night. They continue to do the dirty work on the interior for this defense. They combined for eight tackles(six by Allen) and multiple pressures.
Kamren Curl - Curl played another good game, both in coverage and run support. He notched three tackles, had a pass defended and recorded a key interception off Jalen Hurts(his third of the season).
Dustin Hopkins - On a chilly night at the Link, Hopkins was perfect on the evening hitting both his field goals from 42 yards and making both of his extra point attempts.
Chris Collinsworth - This man’s in-game broadcast and comments were just SICKENING! I know I didn’t like him before this game, but now that dislike has tuned to loathing! He continually talked about the Giants all damn game long - basically unwilling to give Washington any credit. This may have been the most intolerable gave I’ve ever had to listen to from an announcer standpoint!
Steven Sims Jr. - As soon as this season ends, I want this man cut! He does NOTHING but jeopardize the chances this team has to win games. He had one catch for a whopping six yards and fumbled another punt(which he luckily recovered). He did have a nice return in the game, and an 18 yard run on a reverse, but to me, these do very little in turing his outlook positive when he keeps muffing punts.
Cole Holcomb - Holcomb didn’t play terrible, but costly penalties put him on this list. The pass interference call that negated a Montez Sweat sack was just awful, and gave the Eagles life in that game. The hit on a sliding Jalen Hurts in the first quarter, although not intentional, was unnecessary. I understand that rule the NFL has put into place to protect the quarterbacks can be very tough on defenders, but these guys need to understand the rules and play by them.
Washington Run Blocking - Going against a depleted Eagles defense, I thought Turner would be able to lean heavily on the run game and control the time of possession. Instead, our offensive line and tight ends were missing blocks, committing penalties and causing our running backs to lose chunks of yards. It was only later in the game, when Gibson ripped off some nice runs, that the rushing attack looked semi-respectable.
- Alex Smith was not very good - but I get why. The poor guy can barely move! Any play where he was forced out of the pocket, or really even had to move, was a complete disaster waiting to happen. Still, he gutted it out and made some big plays for this team. The two interceptions, although bad, were really not his fault, as one was just a great play by the defensive back and the other his tight end slipped. He did miss some open receivers, but he gutted it out and we got the win...which is all that matters.
- I’m not about to blame the refs for making this game closer than it should have been, but man were those penalties in the first haff both costly and lopsided! Some were pretty ticky-tack too.
- Kendall Fuller didn’t have his best game on the outside, as he tends to get a bit grabby with the receivers. I expected a bit better from him considering the hodge-podge the Eagles trotted out at wideout.
- Although Jeremy Reaves did have a few misses during the game, I thought he played pretty well overall. He had four tackles, a pass defended an interception and a few quarterback pressures.