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Grading the Eagles in their win over the Redskins

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Thank God for DeSean Jackson.

Playing their fourth pathetic NFL team in the span of six weeks, the Eagles needed two tremendous plays by Jackson to knock off the hapless Washington Redskins, 27-17, at Fed-Ex Field and on Monday Night Football.

Here’s a breakdown of what the Eagles did and didn’t do Monday night.

PASSING OFFENSE: Jackson made a beautiful double move to get ridiculously wide open and Donovan McNabb found him for a 57-yard touchdown pass that gave the Eagles a 27-7 lead in the first half. The Eagles didn’t score again. Take away that one play, and McNabb would have thrown for 99 yards and the Eagles pass offense would have totaled 83 yards. That’s not good enough. McNabb was efficient and didn’t commit a turnover, but he looked out of sync for the second straight week. Defenses are starting to take away tight end Brent Celek and it’s leaving the offense with either the big play or nothing.

Grade: C

 

RUSHING OFFENSE: Again it was Jackson, on the game’s first series, going 67 yards on an end around to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. The Eagles ran for just 55 yards the rest of the night. They did try to run, as opposed to last week’s passfest against Oakland. Brian Westbrook looked prime to have a good night when his first three carries earned him 13 yards, but he was forced to leave with a concussion. Rookie LeSean McCoy got 14 carries, but could get just 37 yards, an average of less than three yards per carry. Washington’s defensive line, led by Albert Haynesworth outplayed the Eagles offensive line.

Grade C-

 

PASSING DEFENSE: Going against Jason Campbell and the Redskins offense isn’t much of a challenge, but the Eagles did register six sacks, two by Trent Cole, who almost always seems to play well against Washington and one from newcomer Will Witherspoon. The former Rams linebacker also had the key play on defense when he returned an interception tipped by safety Quintin Mikell for a touchdown. Campbell finished with 284 yards passing, but 123 of those yards came on two fourth-quarter drives when the game was all but over.

Grade B+

 

RUSHING DEFENSE: The Redskins did not hurt the Eagles with their ground game all night. Clinton Portis carried 14 times for 43 yards, an average of just 3.1 yards per carry and his best run of the day was nine yards. Fullback Rock Cartwright had Washington’s best run, an 11-yarder. Tackles Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley did a good job in the middle of the line and Witherspoon and weakside linebacker Akeem Jordan were very active.

Grade: A

 

SPECIAL TEAMS: Punter Sav Rocca started out very good, placing his first two punts inside the 15 yardline, then shanked one and finished with another inconsistent performance. Jackson had a 29-yard punt return to go with his two other big plays, but Ellis Hobbs, back as the kickoff returner, averaged just 18.5 yards. Coverage on punts was excellent, holding the Redskins to 3.3 yards and a muff by Randle-El. Kickoff coverage allowed a 42-yard return and a 26.8 yard average by Cartwright. David Akers made both of his field goal attempts from 44 and 47 yards.

Grade: C+

 

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