It’s funny how quickly perceptions can change, but after a deflating 20-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins stock is crashing back down to earth in a big way.
How else can you treat such a soulless effort against a division rival? The Redskins were drawing attention from national media as a legitimate contender in the NFC East yet turned in a performance that will have every talking head retracing its steps.
The quarterback controversy is back as John Beck came in for Rex Grossman after the latter threw four interceptions. The defense gave up a season-high 422 total yards and failed to extract any revenge after a humbling 59-28 drubbing at the hands of the Eagles last year.
Suddenly the outlook isn’t so rosy in Washington.
“We have to take better care of our jobs,” said Chris Cooley. “It seemed like there were too many breakdowns – three or four breakdowns on a single play. We are not good enough to overcome that.”
That was painfully obvious as the Redskins came out flat and the Eagles jumped out to a 20-0 first half lead. In the locker room, it was disturbing to hear several defensive players blame the poor start on a lack of energy.
“We were playing real lackadaisical [when] we needed to buckle down,” said LaRon Landry.
Michael Vick didn’t put on the same aerial show he did a year ago at FedEx Field, but he dissected Washington early with quick rhythm throws. London Fletcher admitted the defense was “a little bit on [its] heels,” and that left the Redskins offense trying to overcome a huge deficit.
“They had a good plan for us,” said Barry Cofield. “We didn’t do enough.”
All Cooley could do was watch after he injured his hand in the first half. He probably didn’t want to as Grossman struggled mightily before Beck’s entrance.
“There were a lot of things that were a problem today,” Grossman said. “We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were given to us as an offense. I didn’t execute.”
It’s common knowledge Grossman isn’t the long-term solution at quarterback, but given his play against the Eagles, he might not even be the answer for next week’s game in Carolina.
For a few brief minutes in the third quarter, the Redskins had some life after DeAngelo Hall returned an interception to the Eagles 18. Two plays later their hopes were dashed as Grossman threw it right back to Philly.
“Ultimately, I’m responsible for the football,” Grossman said. “There were just some mistakes and bad situations that piled up there.”
By that point, there were more than 20 minutes to play, but for all intents and purposes, the game was over. The Redskins failed to make the most of their opportunities and by the time Beck had scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:44 remaining, it already seemed as if they were out of chances.
“[We] put the defense in a really bad spot the whole game,” said Donte Stallworth. “With the way that we played as an offense today, we feel really bad for the defense.”
It’s not a complete regression to 2010, but the Redskins are flirting with a fine line. The growth seemingly made through the first month of the season is threatening to come undone and it nearly did in four disastrous quarters Sunday afternoon.
Just how scarring this loss is will be determined in the coming weeks.
“It at least halts your progress,” said Cofield. “If we can bounce back next week, it wasn’t a step back, but if we have a bad week of practice and we come out [against the Panthers] and we let this ruin our season, then obviously it was bad.”