WTF! Another loss like that and the Philadelphia Eagles will move to the top of the chart as the team the Washington Redskins most love to hate.
I confess that I couldn't watch after halftime. For game summaries, you'll have to go to NFL.com, or ESPN.com, or CBSSports.com. This game was all about Michael Vick according to those sports sites. As CBS Sports put it: VICK-timized.
No doubt that's true, but there were external factors.
The Eagles took exception to Donovan McNabb's contention after the first game that Philadelphia made a mistake when they traded him. They set out to prove otherwise.
The Eagles have the most dynamic young offense in the NFC. Even with that, the Redskins defense played like a distracted team. One wonders if the turmoil of the past two weeks unhinged the defense as much as the offense. Washington allowed 21.25 points per game going into last night's game. They were like butter in Michael Vick's hands, melting everywhere he touched them.
The Tweet of the evening was by Associated Press writer Joseph White:
"I've figured it out. #Redskins players hv realize if they get benched, they get $40 million!!! So why play well?"
Gallows humor can be such a stress reliever.
No one could be happier for McNabb's new contract than Vick, an unrestricted free agent after this season. If 34 year old McNabb is worth a guaranteed $40 million, 31 (next year) year old Vick could be worth $50 million or more. That would have been about the value of his contract with the Atlanta Falcons before Vick's street life caught up with him.
Did it help the Redskins to complete McNabb's contract extension before the game?·Yes. The issues with McNabb had become a complete distraction. The front office had to settle the matter, either by locking him in, or by cutting ties with him. Now we can move on, though it's clear that McNabb of 2011 through 2103 will not be a match of Vick of 2011 through 2013.···
Would the Redskins have extended McNabb's deal if they knew how poorly he would play against the Eagles? Probably yes for the reasons already given. But they might have assessed their shot to land Michael Vick before doing so. McNabb didn't play so badly last night. He just was not good enough to overcome the aroused Eagles. The question itself reflects the consistent flaw in Washington's thinking--the mantra of "win now" and the search for the one guy to save them. The loss was a total team failure by coaches and players.
Last season, fans sensed that no quarterback could be successful behind Washington's porous O-line and talent-starved receiving corps. With McNabb we·know that the Redskins cannot compete for the post-season with those issues. The sooner the front office boosts the roster with·well-selected young players, the sooner we get back to true contention.
How does the Eagles' approach building a roster differ from the Redskins? Philadelphia thinks about building a roster over a strategic horizon, say three years. The team on the field today is the team they planned to field two or three seasons ago. The approach requires that they value draft picks. So they shed players to acquire picks. Philadelphia had 13 picks in to 2010 NFL Draft. For more on that, see the Redskins Hog Heaven stories Redskins Offseason Acquisitions Are Holding Team Backand Snyder vs. Reid.·
What positives do we take from the game? We have four. First, Michael Vick is off the schedule for the rest of the season. The defense should show better than they did last night. Second, Brandon Banks played last night and showed no ill effects from the bye week medical procedure on his knee. That's a testament to youth and ambition. Third, Anthony Armstrong and Fred Davis showed up. They accounted for 153 yards on only three receptions. The Redskins have big play potential with McNabb throwing to those guys. Fourth, give RB Keiland Williams some love for 139 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. That would be bigger news if Vick hadn't dominated the game.
That's the best way to end this post, so I'm outta here.