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Week 11 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 6, Washington Redskins 31

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Nick Foles, Pass: 21 - 46 - 204 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0

The rookie from the University of Arizona led an Eagles offense that looked like an absolute dumpster fire against a notoriously generous Washington Redskins defense in Week 11. Completing twenty-one of a sizable forty-six pass attempts for two hundred and four yards, Foles looked every bit the part of a skittish rookie against a supposedly toothless Redskins defense. Toothless the Redskins were not against a rookie quarterback, as Washington Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett repeatedly blitzed a battered Eagles' offensive line, forcing Foles to throw in a hurry or toss the ball away. The Eagles' offensive line woes and the Redskins giving a playoff game-like effort up front resulted in a totally anemic day for Foles and the Eagles offense. Foles' pass plays averaged less than four yards per attempt, the Eagles turned the ball over three times, and left Landover having only six points to show for their effort.

In Foles' defense, the Eagles' offense did not look much different than it did when Michael Vick called the plays. Philadelphia's receivers primarily ran short curl, comeback, and out routes, rarely taking big shots or generating many yards after the catch. The Eagles' offensive line did Foles absolutely no favors, causing him to be sacked four times and leading to three fumbles. Facing constant pressure, Foles did everything he could do move the ball down the field using check downs, screens, and dump offs that rarely succeeded. Foles did not appear to be in sync with star wideouts Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, as the two accounted for five yards on two catches while receiving twelve targets. Foles underthrew Jackson while the receiver tripped running his route, allowing Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather to intercept the pass. Jackson was not even turned around to look for the ball.
Foles did best on running back screens to LeSean McCoy and passes in the flat to Brent Celek and Riley Cooper. While a tipped pass from Celek's hands caused an Eagles turnover and a quick touchdown for the Redskins, Celek and Cooper, overall, provided Foles with big targets that the Redskins largely ignored. The two big receivers combined for half of Foles' passing yardage.

Foles had a pretty bad first start on the road against a Redskins team determined to finish the season strong. With his star running back concussed, his offensive line decimated, and a head coach snake bitten -- and probably on his way out of Philadelphia -- Foles has the deck stacked against him if Michael Vick cannot return soon. If the Eagles are to win any of their remaining games and stop the team's freefall, they need to develop an offensive game plan that will settle Foles down and allow him to make plays. 

RB LeSean McCoy, Rush: 15 - 45 - 0, Rec: 6 - 67 - 0 (7 targets)

Before he left the game with concussion symptoms, McCoy was the only Eagles skill player who did much against the Redskins. Tallying forty-five yards on the ground and sixty-seven yards through the air, McCoy excelled on screen passes that allowed him to get the ball in space. Unable to do much against the Washington front seven, McCoy ripped off two twenty-plus yards after the catch on two screen passes, proving how he is one of the league's best in the short passing game. Given the Eagles' offensive line shortcomings and being behind the entire game, McCoy had few opportunities to chew up yardage for Philadelphia. The Eagles' star halfback left the game with a head injury- which turned out to be a concussion -- late in the fourth quarter following a seven yard run. That Andy Reid left McCoy in the game during a blowout late in the fourth quarter will be a source of consternation amongst Eagles fans and fantasy players alike.

RB Bryce Brown, Rush: 5 - 35 - 0

Brown impressed in limited action at FedEx Field in Week 11. Carrying five times for thirty-five yards, Brown showcased a satisfactory skill set of field vision, lower-leg drive, and quick feet when he spelled starting halfback LeSean McCoy. Given that McCoy suffered a concussion on the Eagles' blowout loss to the Redskins, Brown will likely see a starter's snaps in Week Twelve against the Panthers. 

WR Riley Cooper, Rec: 5 - 61 - 0 (7 targets)

The sizable receiver with the luxurious locks tallied five catches for sixty-one yards on eight targets. Philadelphia allowed Cooper to run a variety of routes against the Redskins, and unlike other receivers for the Eagles, Cooper exhibited a knack for getting open and finding the soft spots in Washington's zone coverage. If Brent Celek is to miss any time, Cooper is the most likely beneficiary of more targets in a passing game that averaged under four yards per pass in Week Eleven.

WR DeSean Jackson, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (9 targets)

Targeted a whopping nine times, Jackson managed just two catches for five yards against the Redskins' Benny Hill routine of a secondary. He was the intended receiver on Nick Foles' second interception of the day, a third-and-twenty-one go route pass down the middle of the field in which Jackson tripped and Foles underthrew him. Foles' miscue -- coupled with Jackson not even facing the ball -- allowed Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather to catch the pass and return it to the Washington forty-four yard line. 

WR Jeremy Maclin (3 targets)

Maclin did not record a catch against the Redskins. Nick Foles targeted him three times. Foles was under pressure all day and did not have time to find Maclin downfield. The combination of inexperience and a morose team offensive performance doomed Maclin to the goose egg.

TE Brent Celek, Rec: 5 - 42 - 0 (8 targets)

Against the Redskins, the veteran tight end played the stereotypical role of a young quarterback's security blanket. Targeted eight times on what were mostly short curls and out routes, Celek caught five passes for forty-two yards on eight targets. He was the intended target on Nick Foles' first interception of the game, a dump off pass that ricocheted off of Celek's hands and into those of Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. The Redskins were actually content to let Celek have the middle of the field -- he had one catch for twenty two yards and another for twelve yards in which he was essentially uncovered. Celek did leave the game in the fourth quarter -- under his own power -- with an undisclosed injury. 

Washington Redskins

QB Robert Griffin III, Pass: 14 - 15 - 200 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 12 - 84 - 0

Is Griffin really a rookie? Is Griffin even human? These questions and more come to mind when watching the arguably-elite quarterback perform acts that defy God and science week in and week out. Griffin was perfect against the visiting Eagles, completing fourteen of his fifteen pass attempts for an even two hundred yards -- including four touchdowns -- while adding eighty-four yards on the ground on twelve carries. This recap will attempt to touch on some of the highlights of Griffin's day, but given his stat line, the game tape is worth the look. 
The first quarterback to log a perfect passer rating since Charlie Batch did it in 1949; Griffin's sole incompletion came on a pass intended for Josh Morgan that Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie batted away. Otherwise, Griffin was impossible for the Eagles to solve in Week Eleven. As a runner on both designed plays and after plays broke down, Philadelphia's defense could not catch Griffin. At times, he appeared to moonwalk for extra yardage, slipping in and out of tackles and shrugging off pressure with ease. As a passer, he managed to extend plays with his legs to allow receivers to get open. Griffin did an excellent job of keeping his eyes down the field and cycling through his reads before hitting the open man.

Admittedly, Griffin had a near-flawless day with the assistance of three factors: Eagles turnovers, incredible deep ball accuracy, and luck. The Redskins' pass rush forced Nick Foles to quickly get the ball out of the pocket, which he had trouble doing, resulting in three fumbles -- which the Eagles all recovered -- and two interceptions. LeSean McCoy also coughed the ball up once to the Redskins. Washington was rarely in bad field position, and even when facing down-and-distance issues, Griffin was unflappable. 

 Griffin's first and last touchdown passes were somewhat ordinary. A six-yard fade route pass to his uncovered fullback, Darrell Young and a seventeen-yard second-effort pass to tight end Logan Paulsen served as bookends for Griffin's highlight reel second and third touchdown passes. Facing first-and-ten in their own territory, Washington got the Philadelphia front seven to bite on a double end around fake while wide receiver Aldrick Robinson streaked down the field amidst bracket coverage. Griffin stayed upright to let Robinson get towards the end zone. Then, seeing Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha give up on the play, Griffin fired a moon shot down the field and right into Robinson's hands. It was a Redskins touchdown that was part busted coverage, part brilliant play-calling, and part preternatural athleticism. Griffin's third touchdown was the play of the game, and arguably, the greatest pass play of his nascent career. Facing third-and-ten, Griffin slipped out of the Philadelphia pass rush and heaved a desperation pass to a double-covered Santana Moss just short of the end zone. Moss managed to bring down the Hail Mary-esque pass for another Redskins touchdown on a sixty-one yard pass. Griffin later admitted that the throw was ill-advised, but the end might have justified the means in this scenario. 

RB Alfred Morris, Rush: 20 - 76 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)

Same as it ever was for the rookie from Florida Atlantic University. Morris carried twenty times for seventy-six yards on the ground for the Redskins against the Eagles. He also caught one pass for seven yards. These twenty-plus carries are practically old hat for the bruising rookie, as Morris continues to be one of the NFL's most dangerous men at generating yards after contact. His seventy-six yards on the ground are not mind-blowing, but what is was Morris' presence on third down. On the field for nine of Washington's eleven third-down snaps, Morris is at this point the Redskins' every-down running back, effectively Shanahan-proof at this point in the season. Setting his mediocre rushing total aside, Morris still ran with purpose. He was able to bounce to the outside on a nice fifteen yard gain, and also put together a twenty-yard tackle-dragging run right up the gut of the Philadelphia defense. He did not see much goal line work given the efficiency of the Washington offense, but he did take one red zone carry for five yards before the Eagles stopped him, short of the stripe.

RB Darrel Young, Rec: 1 - 6 - 1 (1 targets)

The fullback caught his first career touchdown on a Griffin fade pass toward the back of the end zone. Lining up to run block, Young released and ran towards the end zone, uncovered by any member of the Philadelphia defense. The touchdown catch was Young's only touch of the afternoon.

RB Evan Royster, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0

Since this is not 1972 and Alfred Morris cannot carry the ball forty times a game, Royster notched one carry for three yards. He remains a distant second -- third if you count Robert Griffin III -- on the depth chart.

WR Pierre Garcon, Rec: 3 - 5 - 0 (3 targets)

Returning to the field for the first time since Washington's home loss to Atlanta, Garcon caught three passes -- two wide receiver screens and a cross-field desperation lateral from Robert Griffin III -- for five yards. He ran the most pass routes of any Redskins receiver, and did not seem inhibited by the foot injury that plagued him for weeks on end, both of which are good signs. However, this was not a stellar day for Garcon. He did lead the Redskins in targets, which is also encouraging, as it appears Washington is ready to get him heavily involved in the offense once again.

WR Josh Morgan, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (4 targets)

Morgan actually led Redskins receivers in catches with an underwhelming three, and had the dubious distinction of being the only receiver with a target that did not result in a completion. While running a curl route, Morgan had the pass batted away from him by Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Morgan finished the game with twenty-five yards receiving.

WR Leonard Hankerson, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (2 targets)

The second-year receiver caught two passes for thirty yards against the Eagles, including a twenty-one yard catch-and-run after Robert Griffin III pump-faked a fullback screen to Darrell Young. The eerie efficiency of Griffin -- and Washington's ability to run the ball -- prevented Hankerson from accumulating more statistics.

WR Aldrick Robinson, Rec: 1 - 49 - 1 (1 targets)

On Washington's first possession of the second quarter, Robinson caught a deep ball from Robert Griffin III for a forty-nine yard Redskins touchdown. With the Eagles' front seven biting on a double end-around fake, Robinson ran a go route down the middle of the field while bracketed by the Philadelphia secondary. Expecting more safety help, Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha gave up on the play and Robinson caught a perfect pass -- totally uncovered -- for a score. It was Robinson's only catch and only target of the game.

WR Santana Moss, Rec: 1 - 61 - 1 (1 targets)

Moss caught one pass, but it was easily the highlight of the game. Completely bracketed as he ran downfield toward the Philadelphia end zone, Moss caught a deep ball from Robert Griffin III and dragged the Eagles covering him for the remaining yardage, resulting in a sixty-one yard pass play and a Redskins touchdown. Admittedly, the play could have also resulted in an interception and a touchback, as Moss had defenders slathered all over him. That Moss was able to bring in the ball and control the catch was a tremendous effort of will and sent FedEx Field into a fever pitch.

TE Logan Paulsen, Rec: 1 - 17 - 1 (1 targets)

Paulsen recorded one catch on one target for seventeen yards. The undersized Eagles' defenders that attempted to tackle the six-foot-five, two-hundred-and-sixty pound tight end after Paulsen's catch were unsuccessful, as Paulsen dragged them along with him until he plunged into the end zone. The touchdown catch put Washington up by twenty-five points.