With a pleasant Memorial Day weekend behind us, it’s time for America to get back to the daily grind of a typical work week.
The Washington Redskins are among the masses who are heading back to work as they are back at the Park for another week of OTAs and with news that it is 100 days until the start of the 2013 regular season (104 for the Burgundy and Gold) the hype surrounding the Redskins Monday Night Football opener is starting to gain speed quicker than Robert Griffin III in the open field.
Before we preview the Redskins season opener against the 2012 last place Eagles, we want to look back at the lopsided season series that was against one of Washington’s biggest rivals last year.
While we all know the story of Griffin III’s perfect quarterback rating in the 155th meeting between the two squads, let’s take a look at four players who deserve recognition for helping the Redskins sweep the season series against the Eagles for the first time since 2008.
1.) London Fletcher
Since arriving in our Nation’s Capital in 2007, No. 59 has been a fan favorite in Redskins Nation and when you lead the team year after year in tackles it’s easy to see why he is so beloved. 2012 was no different for the John Carroll alum as recorded a team-high 139 tackles and once again finished in the top-ten in takedowns in the league. While some discredited the 3-6 Redskins entering the bye week, the 15-year veteran was unfazed by the talk of packing it up with seven games remaining. Fletcher saved his best for the Eagles.
In the two games, the inside linebacker lead the team in tackles with 12 in each. Starting with the Redskins epic come-from-behind victory over the eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, Fletcher recorded an interception in three straight games for the first time in his career. His third interception came in the second quarter of the Redskins 27-20 victory over their NFC East foes. Fletcher’s takeaway gave the Redskins offense a short field for Griffin III to work with and resulted in a touchdown just five plays later.
2.) Kai Forbath
Despite the fact that the kicker position has long been one of the more scrutinized by Redskins fans over the years, Forbath’s production silenced that chatter as his signing may have been the steal of the year. The UCLA product went from an unknown commodity to fan favorite in a matter of weeks. Kick after kick it seemed as if Forbath just couldn’t miss no matter the distance or the harshness of the natural elements on the East Coast in the winter months.
While Griffin III deserves all credit for being simply sensational in the Redskins’ 31-6 victory in Week 11, Forbath did something that none of the Eagles play-making laden offense could claim that day. In fact, add up all of the numbers of LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin together and they still didn’t combined to do with Forbath did that day—score seven points. No. 2 outscored the Eagles alone that day (7-6). Need I say more? TheniIn the second quarter of the Redskins 27-20 victory in Week 16 Forbath did what no other kicker in NFL history has done—make the first 17 kicks of their career. Forbath’s 17th attempt may have been his hardest as he tasked with blustery conditions in front of a rabid Philadelphia crowd. He ignored all doubt, though, and booted the pigskin between the goalposts to get the Redskins to within one.
3.) Ryan Kerrigan
In January, Kerrigan appeared in what more than likely will be his first of a slew of Pro Bowl appearances after he lead the team in sacks with 8.5. Despite the fact that the Purdue product had to spend the majority of the season without his partner in crime and other half of Kerrakpo (Brian Orakpo), Kerrigan’s relentless work-ethic shone brightest against the NFC East.
In the second quarter of the Redskins 31-6 thrashing in Week 11, the Eagles started their sixth drive of the game down 11. The Eagles were looking to drive the ball 88 yards to not only get the game back to within one possession, but to keep Griffin III off the field as he was picking their secondary apart at will. Kerrigan, however, decided it was time to give the defense its quickest stint of the year on the field as he recovered a Lesean McCoy fumble on the 14 yard line that would set up a Forbath field goal.
4.) Santana Moss
Moss’ year of resurgence of one of the season’s best storylines as the receiver recorded a team-high eight touchdown catches, his most in a Burgundy and Gold uniform since 2005. Two of his eight scores came against the Eagles as he broke out against a team that had held him in check over the years. In his first seven years in our Nation’s Capital, Moss had recorded only one touchdown on 45 catches against the Eagles. 2012 was a different story.
In the third quarter of the Redskins 31-6 victory in Week 11, Moss secured a jump ball over two Eagles before twisting into the endzone for a 61-yard touchdown, a play that has been recognized as one of the best last year. Then in the Redskins must-win situation in Week 16, Moss burned the Eagles’ man coverage for a 22-yard touchdown that put the game out of reach for Philly and set up the Redskins do-or-die matchup with the Cowboys seven days later.
Check back with the blog later for some storylines to follow in the 79th edition of the Redskins-Eagles season series.
Hail to the Redskins!
Tags: Brian Orakpo, Kai Forbath, london fletcher, Robert Griffin III, ryan kerrigan, Santana Moss
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