So… how ’bout that?
The Washington Redskins turned heads in the first half, mounting up 20 points on what was thought to be a stalwart Eagles defensive squad. Case Keenum was sharp, Terry McLaurin was electric, and the defense was hard to move. The Redskins went into the second half with high hopes, and a shot to take home a surprising win against a playoff team.
But it turned out to be a tale of two halves, rather than a tale of redemption, as the Redskins offense would fall off the face of the Earth in the second half. After tipping the scales in their favor in the first two quarters, Jay Gruden’s group was rendered inept, both by individual error and improved play from the Eagles defense. Washington ended up losing 32-27, with their only second half touchdown coming in garbage time.
Use whatever metaphor you want to. Boarded the team plane early. Slipped into the Gatorade barrel. Disappeared through a wormhole. They all get the message across. The Redskins offense didn’t get a single first down until late in the fourth quarter, and by that point, the Eagles had already scored 22 unanswered points in the second half, putting together a dominant closing performance.
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There were a number of factors that led to this collapse. Jay Gruden took his foot off the gas and tried to rely on an inconsistent running game for a few drives. Case Keenum missed a wide open Terry McLaurin on a play that could’ve given Washington momentum again. And the defense was worn down by the efficient Philadelphia offense, one that monopolized time of possession in the latter two quarters.
The Redskins covered the spread, but if you don’t consider that a victory, then they didn’t win anything this week. They start the season 0-1, and they’ll take that record back home next week, when they host another division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. For Jay Gruden, it’s perhaps another strike on a rap sheet that gets longer and longer. And for Washington, it’s an exposing and disappointing end, to a game that started out with great promise.