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#PHIvsWAS: First Quarter Recollections

Posted by Andrew Walker on November 18, 2012 – 1:39 pm

(AP photo)

Today’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins at FedExField sure has a lot on the line for two 3-6 teams.

A win, and you’re still potentially in the playoff picture. A loss, and you’re not.

The Eagles won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. They started the game’s opening drive from their own 21-yard line.

Getting his first-career start at quarterback for the Eagles is Nick Foles. He was almost brought down for a huge loss on their first play before throwing the ball away, and then two plays later, on 3rd and 8, cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked off a tipped pass and brought it to the Philadelphia nine-yard line.

Two plays later, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III found his fullback Darrel Young wide open over the shoulder for a six-yard touchdown pass, and after the extra point, Washington claimed a very early 7-0 lead against their divisional rivals.

Could you ask for a better start to this crucial game? No, the answer is you cannot.

After getting together a little momentum on their next drive, the Eagles faced a 3rd and 7 from the Washington 46 when Foles found Riley Cooper for a 15-yard gain. The Eagles were then called for holding and a false start on consecutive plays, putting the ball right back on the Washington 46-yard line. Two plays later — after a nice tackle by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and an excellent pass breakup by middle linebacker Perry Riley, Foles dropped back on 3rd and 21 and was intercepted by safety Brandon Meriweather — playing his first game of the season and with the team. He returned it 25 yards to the Redskins’ 44-yard line.

This is the Redskins defense we all expected going into the season. So far, it is swarming to the ball and making plays all over the field. Let’s see if they can keep it up.

The Redskins’ offense couldn’t take advantage of this turnover, however. On 3rd and 1 from the Philadelphia 47, running back Alfred Morris was stuffed for a five-yard loss, setting up Washington’s first punt of the game.

The Eagles faced a 3rd and 8 from their own 17-yard line on the ensuing drive when Foles again found Cooper, this time for 22 yards. Then, after a holding call set up a 2nd and 20 for Philadelphia, they dialed up a perfectly-timed screen pass to McCoy on the blitzing Washington defense, netting 20 yards. They did it again two plays later — again Foles to McCoy — and gained 25 yards this time, getting to the Washington 25-yard line.

That screen pass has been the remedy to a heavily blitzing Redskins defense. We’ll see what adjustments will be made in the second quarter.

After the first quarter, the Redskins lead the Eagles, 7-0.

CHIME IN: What are YOUR thoughts of the first quarter of action today? Feel free to comment below.

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