Monday's season opener was supposed to be a night for the Redskins and their fans to remember, but it turned into one they'd much rather forget.
(I think that was a quote in my high school yearbook. Oh well.)
Robert Griffin III, having not played in eight months, took too long to get into a rhythm, and the Eagles scored 33 unanswered points to shock the Redskins in a 33-27 victory that was not as close as the final score indicates.
The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to receive, putting Chip Kelly's vaunted offensive scheme on the field for the first time. They wasted no time, taking the ball from their own 20 to the Redskins' 4 in about three minutes on just nine plays. On the 10th play, Ryan Kerrigan tipped Michael Vick's backward pass attempt to LeSean McCoy, which DeAngelo Hall scooped up before jogging 75 yards for the opening touchdown. Philadelphia responded with a field goal to quickly cut the lead to 7-3.
It was all downhill from there.
Once Griffin was finally able to make his long-awaited return to action, his first drive lasted all of eight seconds when Alfred Morris fumbled a handoff and the Eagles recovered. Speaking of eight seconds, that's all it took for the Eagles to capitalize on the turnover when Vick found DeSean Jackson for a 25-yard touchdown to put them ahead by a 10-7 score.
Things went further south when Morris could not handle a pitch from Griffin in the end zone, giving the Eagles a safety and a five-point lead. In Washington's first three drives, it gained only nine yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles ran 30 plays in the first quarter, the first team to run that many in an opening quarter since 2009.
Fast forward to the second quarter, where Brent Celek's 28-yard catch and Vick's 3-yard run gave Philadelphia a 26-7 lead as the FedEx Field crowd watched in stunned silence until they booed their team off the field at halftime. The Eagles' 53 first-half plays were the most since Dec. 1998, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
To their credit, the Redskins did not roll over, coming all the way back from being down 33-7 to make it 33-27, but time ran out as they fell to 0-1.
Griffin finished 30-for-49 for a career-high 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He and his teammates will seek their first victory next week in Green Bay against a Packers team seething over a loss to the 49ers.
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