Week 11: Flying High After the Bye

Even after it was confirmed that the Redskins would face rookie QB Nick Foles rather than the inconsistent, if potentially lethal, Michael Vick, no one was overly optimistic about the first meeting between Washington and Philadelphia. And how thankful are we all to have been wrong. The Eagles may be in the midst of an epic downward spiral, but the Redskins that came out of the bye week were not the Redskins that went into the bye and they handily earned the 31-6 win while giving their fans a little hope that the season may not be totally lost just yet. 

Who was that?
First things first- was that really our defense on the field? We had two INTs, fours sacks, a fumble recovery and we held LeSean McCoy, one of the greatest RBs in the NFL today, to 45 yards. We had major contributions from a host of players, including Kerrigan, Cofield, Josh Wilson, Riley, Fletcher (who was in and out of the game with an injury), Alexander (who came in for an injured Fletcher) and even the lord of smack talk himself, DHall, who was responsible for one of the INTs. But the biggest name of the game on defense was Brandon Meriweather. From the moment he stepped on the field, you could tell he was fired up and ready to bring a whole to new energy to the secondary. He made his way in to almost every play on defense and pulled in a huge INT. Then in Q3, with Redskins Nation already high on Meriweather after just two quarters, disaster struck. Meriweather fell to the ground midplay. He limped off the field and appeared a smiles on the sidelines, even commenting after the game that he expected to play in Dallas on Thanksgiving. The injury wasn’t major. Wrong. After an electrifying first start as a Redskin, Meriweather is lost for the season with a torn ACL.

Dynamic Duo
We knew this day was approaching, and how wonderful to reach it against a division foe. Griffin and Morris both surpassed 500 rushing yards for the season to-date. Griffin rushed for 84 yards against the Eagles while Morris racked up 76. It is impossible not to stand somewhat in awe of these two men – the 2nd-overall pick and national star and his quietly sensational 6th round running back.

Speaking of Sensational
Griffin had a fantastic day, throwing for 200 yards with four TDs to four different receiversMoss, Robinson, Young and Paulsen – and completing 14-15 attempts. According to the NFL gods,  we aren’t allowed to call it a perfect day, since Griffin attempted fewer than 20 passes, but it sure was as close to perfect as anyone has seen in quite some time. Two of Griffin’s four TD passes were over 45 yards – 49 and 61 to be exact – so it may be time to start eating any negative words about his long ball abilities. He really does get better every week. 

Is it Time Yet?
Kai Barth. Lorenzo Alexander. Niles Paul. Sav Rocca. Week in and week out, these men make our special teams work. DeJon Gomes even proved a positive contributor this week. But we still have a major weak link, and one who was seen far too many times on the field for my taste. Is it time to let Brandon Banks go yet? How often does he actually even make it to the 20 yard line on returns? Even more than I don’t want to see him returning kicks, I really don’t want to see him lining up in the back field, ever. Banks is not big enough to block a flea and only hurts our offense when he’s brought in for a trick play or quick draw. And if Logan Paulsen needs to go out a series or two, Banks is most certainly not the person I want to see trotting out to take his place, I don’t care what the play call is going to be. 

Discipline, Get Some
13 penalties for 80 yards. Enough said.

What a high. We may have beaten an already beaten down Eagles team, but it was a big and much-needed win for the Redskins coming out of the bye. I, for one, think the short week we now have leading into the Dallas game on Thanksgiving will help us. We’ll be able to build off the momentum and go into Dallas even more fired up than usual. Here’s hoping for an extra happy Thanksgiving. 

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