NFC East: 2012 Week 6 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Redskins 38, Vikings 26

October, 14, 2012

A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' first victory in their past nine home games Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.

What it means: That the Redskins are a .500 team and only one game behind the first-place Giants, whom they play next week in New Jersey. This was an impressive victory over a Minnesota team that came in 4-1 and playing very well, especially on the defensive front.

In RG3 they trust: Once again it was the rookie quarterback who led the Redskins, as Robert Griffin III rebounded from last week's concussion to throw for 182 yards and a touchdown on 17-for-22 passing and to rush for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin's electrifying 76-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run, which came on a designed run play up the middle and with the help of a nice downfield block by wide receiver Josh Morgan, put the game away after the Vikings had cut it to 31-26 with 3:42 left on the clock.

Defensive star: Redskins coaches always rave about how valuable backup linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is, on special teams and as a willing and versatile utility player on defense. But with starters Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker out for the year with injuries, a number of different players have been asked to do more. Alexander was all over the field for the Redskins on Sunday. Officially, he was credited with five tackles, including one for a loss, four quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks. Safety Madieu Williams had an interception return for a touchdown, and the way he's struggled, that was a big relief for him. But Alexander was the Redskins' defensive star of the game.

What's next: The Redskins will travel to East Rutherford, N.J., and play the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon. They beat the Giants twice last year, and if they beat them again Sunday, they will be in first place in the NFC East.

Wrap-up: Lions 26, Eagles 23

October, 14, 2012

A few thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles' stunning 26-23 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

What it means: Those who keep saying the Eagles have been winning games they should have lost got it flipped around for a day. This was clearly a game they should have won. In spite of holding a 10-point lead with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, they allowed the Lions to come back and tie the game, then lost it in overtime. It was an uncomfortable flashback to the 2011 Eagles, who couldn’t hold fourth-quarter leads and gave too many games away last September and October.

Neither side can put it away: It was one thing for the defense to allow Matthew Stafford to drive the Lions 80 yards in less than two minutes for a touchdown that cut the lead to three points. It was quite another for the offense to go three-and-out when it got the ball back after that touchdown and give the Lions the ball back with enough time to get into field goal range. The coaching staff is taking heat for calling two pass plays and only one run play in that sequence, but it’s worth noting that only one of the three plays that gained yardage was a pass.

Protection issues: The patchwork offensive line is catching up with the Eagles. The Lions’ interior defensive line is very tough, and it made life difficult for backup center Dallas Reynolds and the Eagles’ guards. Quarterback Michael Vick was under pressure all day, and while he generally did a good job of avoiding the rush, he took two sacks in overtime that cost the Eagles field position and a chance to win the game after blowing the lead.

What’s next: The Eagles have to sit on this for two weeks, as they have their bye next week. Two Sundays from now, they will host the Atlanta Falcons, who are 6-0 and will also be coming off their bye week.