Shanahan won't place offensive blame on RG3
Game Recap: The scene was set for Robert Griffin III to make a triumphant return. The Redskins were at home, playing under the lights on Monday Night Football and the weather couldn’t have been nicer.
Instead, one of the most anticipated games of football’s opening week quickly turned into one of the biggest letdowns of the RG3 era, as Chip Kelly and the new-look Eagles dominated early, then held on for a 33-27 victory at FedEx Field.
After DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble a 75 yards for a touchdown at 11:54 of the first quarter, Washington had a 7-0 lead. As it turned out, though, the Redskins couldn’t immediately capitalize on the momentum Hall’s touchdown generated.
Griffin, meantime, had the look of a quarterback who hadn’t played in 246 days, completing 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. In 15 regular season games as rookie, he threw just five picks. His pass attempt total, meantime, marked a career high.
Running back Alfred Morris (45 yards on 12 carries) wasn’t much sharper, particularly early. He fumbled on the Redskins’ first play from scrimmage and also bobbled a pitch from Griffin that resulted in a safety.
The Eagles’ no huddle, hurry up offense, on the other hand, was as hard to stop as many feared. Led by Michael Vick, Philly ran 53 plays to the Redskins’ 21 in the first two quarters as the visitors opened a 26-7 lead at halftime.
Griffin got into a rhythm in the fourth quarter, connecting with Leonard Hankerson for a pair of touchdowns, the second of which came with 1:14 remaining and cut the Redskins’ deficit to 33-27. But after a failed onsides kick attempt, the late surged proved to be too little, too late.
Key Moment: The Redskins were gifted a 7-0 lead when Michael Vick’s lateral pass was deflected by Ryan Kerrigan and returned 75 yards for a touchdown by Hall. After a lengthy review to determine whether Vick’s intended screen pass to LeSean McCoy was, indeed, backward, the touchdown was allowed to stand.
The Eagles, who did not pursue Hall as he jogged down the field, were stunned. But, as the Redskins would soon find out they were not deterred.
Player of the Game: McCoy rushed for 184 yards on 31 carries, including a scintillating 34-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Injury Update: Strong safety Brandon Meriweather, who was limited in practice all week because of a tight groin muscle and listed as questionable, did not suit up. Since signing with the Redskins in March 2012, the 29-year-old has played two quarters of football.
In a surprise move, cornerback E.J. Biggers replaced Meriweather. It had been assumed that veteran Reed Doughty would get the start in place of Meriweather.
In the fourth quarter, Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan headed to the locker room to be checked for a concussion. There was no immediate update on his condition.
From the Locker Room: Quarterbacks Pat White and Rex Grossman were among the Redskins’ inactive players. Running back Evan Royster, safety Jose Gumbs, offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus and nose tackle Chris Neild were the other scratches.
There was no update on Kerrigan, who was not permitted to speak to reporters while undergoing evaluation for a concussion. Mike Shanahan is expected to address the media Tuesday afternoon.
Leonard Hankerson: “You know, we stunk it up. In the first half, we didn’t move the ball at all. We didn’t score any points.”
Trent Williams: “We kind of hit our groove [late in the third quarter]. We started to move the ball and kept them on their heels, but it took us so long to get in our rhythm …we waited too late.”
Brian Orakpo: “It’s a totally new scheme, offense. We’ve never really seen this type of offense like this in the league before. Fast paced, zone-read, other stuff of that nature. It’s intriguing. We just have to learn from our mistakes.”
Mike Shanahan on Meriweather: “The decision not to play Meriweather is because he could not play. His groin was too sore.”
Pierre Garçon: "It’s just we didn’t know what they were going to show on defense, and they surprised us. They had a lot of looks we weren’t expecting and we didn’t get the hang of it until the second half.”