Bloggin With Rich Tandler

The wind is blowing in FedEx pretty hard. It's unusual to see the streamers on the goal posts moving, but they are pretty steady from right to left as you look on TV. If you're in the end zone where my brother is sitting, it's right in your face.

13:52—The Redskins come out with a quick passing game, over the middle to Cooley on first and a swing pass to Betts on third and four. It's already better than their opening drives the last couple of weeks.

12:25—This coming straight from Capt. Obvious—the Redskins have to stay out of third and long. Philly brought about seven on third and eight and Campbell never had a chance. Fortunately, Rabach recovered the fumble. Now we'll see how the Washington defense can handle the red-hot McNabb and company.

9:29—I can't see the upper deck, but the lower bowl looks pretty full. There is a healthy representation of Philly fans here, but nothing like Pittsburgh.

8:41—The wind "advantage" just hurt the Eagles as it blew a McNabb pass to an open Jason Avant way long. After getting one first down, the Eagles punt and the Skins get another crack at it on offense. McNabb has a lot of time to throw, as usual for any QB vs. the Skins, and eventually the Skins will pay for that.

6:49—Once again, no imagination from a man who seemed to be destined to be famous for it. After the drive gets off to a good start with a 15-yard pass from Campbell to Thomas and a nine-yard Portis run, it stalls when Jim Zorn calls a sweep on third and one. It went nowhere. A little play action or even a quick slant there may have been more effective.

3:03—Wow, a sack by Jason Taylor for a 10-yard loss and then Randle El goes forward on a punt return. OK, the gain was only three but for those two events to occur back to back is amazing.

2:04—Man, when Campbell is decisive and knows where he wants to go, he puts in on a rope. He just zipped on into a crack in the defense to Moss for a first down. Portis just ran for another, and the Skins are on the move.

0:41—Now a catch by Fred Davis. Will wonders never cease.

End of first quarter
Redskins 0, Eagles 0

A big third and five coming up here for the Redskins. A few months ago, I would say it's two-down territory as they're at the Philly 35, but now you don't know.

14:50—No decision to be made as the bubble screen to Moss gets blown up. As of now, they're sending Suisham out to try a 55-yard field goal with the wind. I smell a quick kick from Plackemeier.

14:05—No, they play it straight and Suisham is well short. The Eagles return the kick to two yards past where the ball was spotted for the attempt so no great harm on that. Still, a quick kick or straight punt seems to be the better call there with a kicker who is losing confidence almost every time he lines up.

9:54—It's not that Portis doesn't get beat up enough, but I wonder why he's not the target of a few more passes per game. He just needs a blocker or two out in front on him and he's good for six or eight yards. Just file with a number of other things I don't understand about Jim Zorn's offense.

3:28—Skins get on the board first with a decent drive. They got a gift to keep it alive when Philly lined up in the neutral zone on third and five and then earned a third-down conversion with a nice swing pass to Betts. It bogged down in the Red Zone, though, and they had to settle for three after a 16-play, 72-yard drive that ate up 8:31.

FG Suisham 33
Redskins 3, Eagles 0

Portis missed a lot of that drive with a bruised hand. They have announced that his return is probable.

2:41—LJ Smith now has dropped two passes with a lot of green grass ahead of him. When things are going the way they are for the Redskins, you take it any way you can get it.

2:16—The Eagles get a first down with the ball short of the 30 after a touchback. No way. Zorn has to use a challenge and there is no way that he should. Philly "made" the first on the measurement but if the nose of the ball isn't to the 30, it's not a first down. We'll see what happens when the ref comes out from under the hood.

2:16—Zorn wins the challenge. They moved the ball back a bit, but is simply was not a first down to begin with. The Eagles will punt.

1:48—Portis back in and rips off a 14-yard run into Philly territory. We're also seeing some urgency here in the two-minute offense.

:26—Jason Fabini executes the famed "look out!" block on Darren Howard and Campbell gets sacked to stall the drive.

This is not shaping up to be the easy Philly win that many anticipated. They Skins have benefitted from a few breaks, to be sure, but the defense is playing well and the offense is moving well enough to give the D a rest. I don't have the play by play, but I don't remember a single Washington three and out.

End of first half
Redskins 3, Eagles 0

This just goes to show you that the Redskins can stay in virtually in game when they don't come out and give it away in the first five minutes of play. It's far, far from over but the Skins are waking up and playing better ball. The Eagles have 66 yards of offense.

14:05—The Eagles have to burn a timeout on a third and eight. Landry got a good pop on Jackson to jar the bar loose on the previous play. LaRon hasn't been playing badly this year, but the big hits seem to be fewer and further between when compared to last season.

11:27—Jason Taylor with the sack AND strip! Fletcher recovers and returns inside the Eagle 20. Is this guy trying to get invited back for 2009?

Portis 1 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 10, Eagles 0

They turn the takeaway into seven. A middle screen to Cooley gets them down to the five and three Portis runs for zero, four, and one yard gets the Skins into the end zone. I liked the second and goal from the five call when they went small with Moss and Randle El and swept to the left.

8:40—Landry knocked Jackson out of the game, at least for now. He has a rib injury from that rib-rocking hit and there is no word on his return. With Kevin Curtis and Hank Baskett inactive, the Eagles are very thin at WR.

6:34—I'm not sure what Lorenzo Alexander is doing covering Westbrook about 20 yards downfield, but he was and not the Eagles are in business in the Red Zone after a long pass and run.

5:44—Jackson is back in the game.

5:30—A big third and three coming up. Momentum is on the line.

4:50—A nice tackle by Horton stops Westbrook a yard shy of the first down and the Eagles will try a field goal.

FG Akers 22
Redskins 10, Eagles 3

Portis has cracked the all-time top 25 in rushing TD's with 71 for his career. That's pretty impressive for a guy who supposedly is fragile and always hurt.

1:01—A nice drive is now jammed into reverse on a sack and a holding penalty. They're now facing a semi-manageable third and 13.

End of third quarter
Redskins 10, Eagles 3

14:06—Moss deep on the punt. A nice return but a pair of flags on the field will call it back. Still, OK field position at their own 30 for the Redskins.

12:56—Once again, Campbell shows his fancy footwork, picking up 19 on a scramble on third and 12. A three and out is averted and the Skins are near midfield.

11:29—The Redskins get another break on a drop as Assante Samuel drops an easy interception. The Skins have to punt and it dies at the three. Samuel had the ball in his hands at the 40 with running room. A huge swing there as the Eagles are backed up again. This Plackemeier guy might be a keeper after all.

10:11—The Redskins aren't the only team that throws short of the sticks on third down. LJ smith makes a catch for two yards on third and four. A shanked punt has the Redskins in Philly territory with a chance to salt this one away. I sense a Randle El touchdown pass. The Eagles have been very aggressive and some misdirection and trickery could be very effective.

8:54—Not much aggression there by the Redskins with three runs and out. It goes inside the 10 again. If the Redskins win, Plackemeier is my MVP. The Eagles' average starting position has been their own 12. The only one he boomed into the end zone was right at the end of the half when no cute stuff was necessary.

7:58—Three incomplete passes—the second one on a textbook strip of the rookie Jackson by the veteran Springs—has the Eagles punting again. Washington again has a chance to go a long way towards putting this one away.

6:18—It's up to the defense again as the Skins pull another three and out. This time the punt goes into the end zone and the Eagles will try from the 20.

6:00—Another drop, this one by an open Jackson on a bomb, has yet another sigh of relief emanating from most corners of FedEx Field. McNabb scrambles for five on third and 10 and the Skins get yet another crack at running off some clock.

4:52—And a nice Randle El return of the punt will give the Skins a chance to do so from the Eagle 45. He ran straight.

4:45—We are about 10K short of capacity here at FedEx with attendance at 82K and change.

3:55—And we go three and out again. Two runs and a pass. You can't keep giving the Eagles chances, the near-miss to Jackson was ample evidence of that.

2:30—The Eagles are using a lot of time her to move from their own eight to their own 28. They have a first down at their own 35 at the 2:00 warning. This is it. If the Skins hold, they go into victory formation.

1:10—It's getting interesting as the Eagles have it at midfield. Washington is leaving the middle of the field open and McNabb is taking advantage.

:57—Thank you again, Jackson. DeSean drops a pass in the end zone after beating Hall by a step.

:34—A near catch, a near pick, and a near PI flag all on one play. It's third and 10.

:27—It's fourth and about four after a dumpoff to Westbrook. It's the ballgame for the Eagles.

:12—They get it on a short swing to Westbrook—not sure why nobody was closer to him—and the Eagles will have a shot or two from the 18.

0:00—Wow—Smoot and Landry make the stop on the one and the clock runs down. We need a review, but it's looks like a Redskins win. After last week in Baltimore, you don't know.

He wasn't in, and the Redskins win.

Final score
Redskins 10, Eagles 3



Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at rich.tandler+real@gmail.com

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