6:55 PM ET, September 9, 2013
FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Eagles upstage Robert Griffin III, make Chip Kelly winner in debut
LANDOVER, Md. -- After Michael Vick kneeled down for the final time, having sapped the life out of the Robert Griffin III welcome back party, the exhausted Philadelphia Eagles offense exchanged the usual pleasantries with the even-more-spent Washington Redskins defense.
"The Redskins were like, 'Next time we play you guys, you need to slow it down a bit,' " Eagles center Jason Kelce said.
Good luck with that. RG III and the Redskins just couldn't keep up with Vick, LeSean McCoy and the frenetic offense unleashed by coach Chip Kelly on the NFL on Monday night. The Eagles crammed 53 plays into a 30-minute first half, took a 26-point lead in the third quarter and held on for a 33-27 upset of the defending NFC East champs.
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An ugly first half by the Redskins left plenty of questions about Robert Griffin III and his surgically repaired knee, John Keim writes. Story
"You have great dreams and you have nightmares," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, describing the first half. "That was a great dream."
Running the don't-take-a-breath attack that won 87 percent of the time during Kelly's four years at the University of Oregon, Vick completed 15 of 25 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran nine times for 56 yards and a score. McCoy piled up 184 yards on 31 carries, including a 34-yard TD. DeSean Jackson had seven catches for 104 yards and a TD.
"I've never been a part of anything like it," Vick said. "When the first quarter was over, I thought we was about to go to go into halftime. It was unreal. The only thing I could tell myself was, 'It's going to be a long season.' "
Perhaps the most remarkable accomplishment by the Eagles: They managed to upstage Griffin. The game was played eight months to the day since the Redskins quarterback had major knee surgery, and his return was the culmination of a dedicated, high-profile rehab that included a public clash with Washington coach Mike Shanahan that barely put a dent in the fans' fervent adoration for their franchise player.
Griffin was the undisputed star of the show -- at least until kickoff. He arrived at the stadium wearing an autographed T-shirt from Les Dauphins de Nice, the American football team in France that welcomed him for a workout during his honeymoon in July. When he threw warm-up passes at the 45-yard line, three camera crews were at the 40. He led a team huddle at the 10, just 5 yards from the spot where his knee gave out in January. He was greeted by baseball legend Tommy Lasorda on the sideline, then made a spectacle of an entrance when the starting lineups were announced, carrying the Redskins flag all the way to the end zone for an extended kneel-down for all to see.
That's the sort of attention that Vick once commanded. And, when the game began, Vick was the better quarterback. At 33, he's 10 years older than Griffin and had to fight for his starting job in training camp, but he's still got game. It would have been a bigger rout if Vick's lateral on first-and-goal at the 4 hadn't been tipped by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and returned 75 yards for a Redskins touchdown.
Well That Was Fast
Chip Kelly's vaunted offense was soaring in the first half, and the Eagles were on pace to break the NFL record for plays and first downs in a game. However, Philadelphia slowed down late.
|First Half||Second Half|
Meanwhile, the masses didn't get much of a chance to chant "R-G-3!" -- because the Redskins offense couldn't stay on the field. Their first seven plays: lost fumble by Alfred Morris, 3-yard loss by Morris, penalty for illegal shift, screen to Morris that got back some yards, interception thrown by Griffin into triple coverage, pass dropped by fullback Darrel Young, safety that occurred when Morris bobbled a pitch in the end zone.
The Redskins were trailing 33-7 late in the third quarter before three consecutive touchdowns -- the last coming with 1:14 to play -- made the score more respectable.
Wearing a brace on his right knee, Griffin completed 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards, but 169 yards came in the fourth after the Eagles had taken control. He was also intercepted twice -- the first multi-interception game of his career. He ran only five times for 24 yards.
Washington didn't run a play in Philadelphia territory until the second half. At one point, the Eagles were outgaining the Redskins 146-3. Even Kai Forbath, who made 17 of 18 field goals in his rookie year, was wide right in the third quarter. Shanahan's team also committed 10 penalties for 75 yards.
"Had a serious case of the can't-get-rights," Griffin said. "Penalties, hurting ourselves. I don't throw picks, Alfred doesn't fumble, and Kai doesn't miss field goals. All three of those happened tonight. So we'll get better, no doubt."
There was a moment in the second quarter when the weary Redskins defense had more cramps (two) than their offense had first downs (one).
The first-half stats resembled something from an Oregon opener against a creampuff, not a game between NFC East rivals. Total yards: 322-75. First downs: 21-3. Time of possession: 20:20-9:40. Philadelphia's 53 plays were the second-most in a first half by any NFL team since 1991.
"That was the first time I've used oxygen since college. It wears on you, but I think it wears on the defense a lot more," Kelce said. "I think we'll see a few more guys coming up with cramps, regardless of whether those are real or not."
Kerrigan left in the fourth quarter with concussion symptoms. ... McCoy finished one yard shy of his career high in yards rushing. ... Redskins S Brandon Meriweather missed the game with a groin injury.
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins kicks the ball before...(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.8||5.5|
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Sacks - Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|TD||11:54||DeAngelo Hall 75 Yd Fumble Return (Kai Forbath Kick)||0||7|
|FG||09:15||Alex Henery 48 Yd||3||7|
|TD||08:59||DeSean Jackson 25 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (Alex Henery Kick)||10||7|
|SF||04:50||Alfred Morris Tackled In End Zone||12||7|
|TD||06:10||Brent Celek 28 Yd Pass From Michael Vick (Alex Henery Kick)||19||7|
|TD||00:58||Michael Vick 3 Yd Run (Alex Henery Kick)||26||7|
|TD||13:26||LeSean McCoy 34 Yd Run (Alex Henery Kick)||33||7|
|TD||00:06||Alfred Morris 5 Yd Run (Kai Forbath Kick)||33||14|
|TD||12:24||Leonard Hankerson 10 Yd Pass From Robert Griffin (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||33||20|
|TD||01:14||Leonard Hankerson 24 Yd Pass From Robert Griffin (Kai Forbath Kick)||33||27|
Robert Griffin III did not have the same success against the Eagles Monday as he did last season. Griffin's Total QBR of 15.7 was the lowest of his career and he threw a career-high two interceptions.[+]
Robert Griffin III in Career vs Eagles
The Eagles came out of the gates firing, running 53 plays and gaining 21 first downs in the 1st half. BOTH put them on a pace to break the NFL record. But things slowed considerably in the 2nd half, when they scored just 7 points and were shut out over the final 28-and-a-half minutes.[+]
Eagle Offense Monday at Redskins
Robert Griffin III had a Total QBR of 15.7 Monday, the lowest of his career, and his first-half performance was largely the reason. Griffin's Total QBR of 0.9 in the first half Monday was the lowest for any quarterback in a single half in Week 1.[+]
Robert Griffin III by Half - Monday vs Eagles
Robert Griffin III had 11 off-target passes Monday, the most over- or under-throws he has had in any game. RGIII had an especially hard time connecting on passes traveling more than 10 yards downfield, completing only 2 of 11 attempts (18%, his career low). In 2012, he completed 59% percent of such passes, the highest rate in the NFL.[+]
Robert Griffin III Throws More than 10 Yds Downfield, Last 2 Seasons
From Elias: The Eagles have not handed the ball to a RB on the 1st play of the season since 1994, when they handed off to Herschel Walker... FROM ELIAS: That's easily the longest current streak in the NFL... Next-closest are the Titans, Raiders and Jets, all of which haven't handed to a RB on the 1st play of the season since 2009 (Texans also haven't, but their streak is at 3 years entering tonight's game).
No player had more rush yards using the zone read than Robert Griffin III (344) last season. However, the Eagles, who ran 2 such plays last year, used the zone read more effectively. The Eagles gained 245 yards using the zone read, more than any other team in a game in the last 5 seasons.[+]
Zone-Read Rushes, Monday Night
Perhaps it was RG3 shaking off the rust, but the Redskins weren't the only team that looked different after halftime on Monday. Washington outscored the Eagles 20-0 over the final 15:06, pulling within a touchdown with 1:14 remaining.[+]
Redskins Offense Monday vs Eagles
The Eagles featured a ground game on Monday that hasn't been seen in Philly in quite some time... * 263 Rush yds (most since 2002) * 49 Rush attempts (most since 1997, also vs Redskins) * LeSean McCoy: 184 Rush yds (1 shy of career high) * McCoy: career-high 31 Rush attempts
LeSean McCoy rushed for a career-high 178 yards in between the tackles Monday, more than the Eagles had as a team in any game during the last 2 seasons. McCoy's 29 rushes in between the tackles were the most by an Eagle since Week 14 of 2008.
Vick completed 7-of-10 passes on play-action plays Monday night. Last season, Vick had the fifth-lowest completion percentage on play-action passes.[+]
Michael Vick Play-Action Passing, Last 2 Seasons
- The Eagles averaged a play every 23 seconds of possession in the first half. The Patriots had the fastest tempo in the league last year, averaging a play every 24.9 seconds. - With a sizable lead, the Eagles took their foot off the gas in the second half, averaging a play every 30.8 seconds. - Overall, the Eagles averaged a play every 25.4 seconds. In comparison, the Redskins averaged a play every 23.4 seconds.
Robert Griffin III was off-target on 11 of his 48 attempts (excluding one throw-away). Griffin was was off-target on 14.6 percent of his passes in 2012, fifth best in the league.
The Eagles managed a single win in 6 NFC East contests last season, barely eeking out a 2-point win vs the Giants. Philly was outscored by 85 points in the 6 games... Meanwhile, Washington's success vs division foes was the key to its playoff berth a year ago. The 'Skins went 5-and-1 vs the NFC East, outscoring the other 3 teams by 46 points while posting a plus-6 turnover differential.[+]
Polar Opposites - vs NFC East Last Season
Robert Griffin III completed 47.1 percent of his passes more than 20 yards downfield last season, 2nd best in the NFL behind Colin Kaepernick. After the Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last season, the Eagles had the worst deep pass defense, allowing nearly 60 percent of those throws to be completed.[+]
Eagles Pass Defense More Than 20 Yards Downfield - Last Season
Tonight is Michael Vick's 4th start with the Eagles on Monday Night Football -- and his 2nd against the Redskins with Philly... When Vick last faced Washington on MNF, he threw for 333 yards & 4 TD's to go along with a pair of rushing touchdowns -- all good for a 99.8 Total QBR, tied for 2nd-highest since 2008. But in his last 2 Monday Night Football starts, Vick has combined to barely equal HALF that in a pair of losses.[+]
Does He Like Mondays Anymore? - Michael Vick on Monday Night Football With Eagles
Robert Griffin III registered 7 games with a Total QBR above 70 last season, winning all 7 starts, including a victory over tonight's opponent, the Eagles, in Week 11... But when Griffin's Total QBR fell below that number, the Redskins dropped to just 2-and-6... Griffin threw 12 TD's and just 2 picks in those 7 wins, getting sacked but 10 times. In the other 8 games, he was sacked 20 times.[+]
All or Nothing - Robert Griffin III Last Season
The Eagles ran 30 plays in the first quarter Monday, their most in any first quarter since the 2000 season. The last time the Eagles had more than 11 first downs in the first quarter was in Week 8 in 2011 against the Cowboys, when they had 12.
The Eagles have 26 points at halftime, a mark they reached just ONCE last season... They averaged 17.5 PPG last season, 29th in the NFL.
Cam Newton was the only quarterback with more designed rushes than Robert Griffin III last season. The bulk of designed runs for Griffin may have taken a toll as he was hit on 76 percent of those attempts. By comparison, when Griffin scrambled he was hit 43 percent of the time.[+]
Robert Griffin III Rushing by Play Type - Last Season (Inc. Playoffs)
LeSean McCoy has a career-high 157 rush yards between the tackles so far tonight... his previous career high was 149 in Week 14 of 2010
numberFire.com does projections for all 32 NFL teams and it predicts that BOTH the Eagles & Redskins will finish 8-8 this season... But the similarity doesn't end there for both clubs, as numberFire.com projects they have an almost identical chance to win the NFC East (21% vs 22%), have a 30% shot at making the playoffs, but are longshots (1%) to win the Super Bowl.[+]
It's a Toss-Up - Season Projections According to numberFire.com
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