Saturday night’s 38-24 home loss to the Washington Redskins capped off yet another rough Philadelphia Eagles season. Another season that started with so much hope and potential has once again ended in disappointment.
Going into Saturday’s matchup, the task for the Eagles was simple: win the final two games of the season, make the playoffs. Philly came out of their locker room firing on all cylinders, putting together a picture perfect 6 play, 80 yard opening drive that was capped off by a 1-yard Ryan Matthews touchdown run. The drive saw Sam Bradford go 4-4 for 50 yards and took less than three minutes off the clock. On the following defensive possession, the Eagles defense forced the Redskins offense to go three and out. Once again with the ball, and a raucous home crowd on their side, this was the opportunity the Eagles needed.
The next four Eagles drives combined for 17 plays, 40 yards, and 4 punts. On the other side, the Redskins were able to put together a couple of scoring drives, taking a 13-7 lead. A lead they would never relinquish.
While the Redskins let the Eagles hang around until late in the 3rd quarter, sloppy play deterred Philly from ever being a true threat to retake the lead.
A 3rd down play early in the 2nd quarter saw Sam Bradford badly overthrow a wide-open Zach Ertz on what would have been an easy touchdown to tie the game. On the ensuing drive, rookie Wideout Nelson Agholor had a pass fall in and out of his hands in the end zone. As if those two miscues didn’t do the Eagles in enough, on the first play of their following offensive possession, Ertz fumbled after an 11-yard catch and run, leading to a Redskins field goal.
Given the sloppy play, the Eagles were lucky to go into halftime facing only a 16-10 deficit. With Washington not playing their best football, if Philly could erase the silly mistakes, they had a chance. Unfortunately, it would just get worse.
The Redskins were able to strike first in the 3rd Quarter. Just over 5 minutes in, a 12-yard reception from Chris Thompson made their lead 23-10. However, the Eagles were able to answer right back with a 4-yard Demarco Murray touchdown run, which capped off a 6-play, 52 yard scoring drive. After the Eagles Defense forced Washington into a fourth three-and-out drive, the Eagles were once again in position to strike.
And this is where the wheels finally fell off.
On 3rd and 2 at their own 29, Murray mishandled a pitch from Bradford; Deangelo Hall scooped up the ball, and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown making it 30-17 in favor of Washington. A stunned Philadelphia crowd could only cringe as they watched the playoff hopes of their beloved Eagles start to fade.
After an Eagles punt on their next possession, Washington drove 82 yards down the field, capping off the drive with a 13 yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Pierre Garcon, and after a two point conversion made the score 38-17 with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter, it was all but over. A late Jordan Matthews touchdown catch made it 38-24, and that’s how the score would remain.
The Eagles’ loss was very indicative of their entire season: UGLY. It featured six fumbles, countless drops, missed passes, stupid penalties, and was an embarrassing end to yet another failed season; A season that started with high hopes, and ended with an archrival celebrating an NFC East title on their turf.