After Rex Grossmanhad thrown his fourth interception of the game and John Beck entered and led the Redskins on a late touchdown drive the natural order of Washington Redskins football returned. There cannot be a Redskins football season without a quarterback controversy. From the early days of Sonny Jurgensen vs. Billy Kilmer to Heath Shuler vs. Gus Frerotte to Brad Johnson vs. Jeff George, and the more recent quarterback battles of Jason Campbell vs. Todd Collins and Donovan McNabb vs. Rex Grossman there has seemingly always existed a need to have a battle for quarterback.
Some of this might have to do with the fact that the Redskins haven’t had a top quarterback for what amounts to a lifetime for some, but whatever the reason is when John Beck came out on the field and looked competent he put the Washington Redskins universe in order. It doesn’t matter if the game was out of hand at that point and would have taken a miracle to win. It was out of hand because Rex Grossmanand the Redskins offense weren’t able to capitalize on the mistakes made by an Eagles team that has made mistakes all season.
The first quarter got off to the start the Redskins wanted. Their defense forced the Eagles to punt and then backed them to the shadow of their own goal line and when a snap went over Michael Vick’s head it looked like the Redskins were going to be able to turn this into their kind of football game. Vick scrambled quickly to the ball and just as he was about to make a desperation heave down field Brian Orakpo left his feet. His momentum carried him into Vick after the ball had been released and while the announcers talked of safeties a yellow flag lay on the field.
The roughing the passer call that proceeded from the Orakpo hit gave the Eagles new life and they marched down the field with ease to score their first touchdown of the day. The Redskins offense barely held the ball during that first half and when they did finally manage to hold the Eagles to only a field goal Rex Grossman made a risky pass and the ball ended up in the hands of the Eagles secondary. Rex Grossman is what one would get if he took the guts of Brett Favre and removed all traces of talent. Rex Grossman is a gunslinger without a gun.
The Redskins defense was able to hold the Eagles to zero points in the second half and got two important turnovers of their own. The first Redskins interception kept the Eagles from adding to the lead and the second and what should have been more important came deep in Eagles territory. Rex Grossmanwas still in the game at this point and found this the perfect time to display why he has the reputation that he does as he immediatly gave the ball back to the Eagles and killed any momentum the Redskins might have gained. The worst thing a quarterback can do is to take points away from his own team. The Redskins were deep enough in Eagles territory that they were almost guaranteed some kind of score.
In the first half of the game the dream had arrived for the Eagles as they clicked on offense and marched up and down the field at will, but then in the second half the mistake prone Eagles that have blown multiple leads reemerged. The problem for the Redskins was their offense was unable to take advantage of any of the opportunities their defense gave them. As bad as the Eagles record their offense has put points on the board and the Redskins defense managed to hold them to the second lowest score they have had this season. The Redskins defense had a rough first half, but they regrouped and ended up giving the offense plenty of chances to make this into a game.
Continuing to be the second worst rushing defense in the NFL was no way for the Eagles to win this game. The Eagles came in with a game plan and used it to perfection to stop the running game of the Redskins. Ryan Torain looked unstoppable against the Rams, but against the Eagles he was lucky if he made it back to the line of scrimmage. It doesn’t help that two of the Redskins offensive linemen got hurt, but the Eagles had the clamps on the Redskins running game before they exited. The Eagles were not going to let the Redskins run the ball and control the clock. They were going to make Rex Grossman and the Redskins passing game beat them.
On display against the Eagles was every bad aspect of Rex Grossman. His poor decision making and inability to move around in the pocket to buy time for his receivers is why the Redskins barely had the ball in the first half. The Redskins lost this game before it had time to start. Grossman was unable to keep the Redskins defense resting on the sidelines and the Eagles offense off the field. In the first half of the football game the Eagles took advantage of every mistake the Redskins made, and in the second half when the Eagles started to make mistakes the Redskins were unable to return the favor.