Here are six observations from the Redskins’ 27-20 win over the Eagles.
—Richard Crawford returned a punt 20 yards yesterday giving him 138 punt return yards in his three games at the position. Brandon Banks returned punts for the first 12 games of the season and totaled 178 return yards. When he wasn’t returning punts Crawford played 57 snaps at cornerback, recovered a fumble, and made four tackles. When Banks wasn’t returning punts, he was, well returning kickoffs.
—Sometimes numbers lie. In 12 games last year last year, Santana Moss caught 46 passes for 584 yards. In 15 games this year he has 39 receptions for 551 yards. Although his stats are worse, everyone would agree that his play has been better. Of course, those stats presented above did not include touchdowns; he had four last year and eight and counting in 2012. The TD that proved to be the game winner was a thing of beauty, as RG3’s perfectly placed pass gave him a chance to get one foot in and drag the second. The biggest difference for Moss is that the Redskins will be playing for the playoffs on Sunday instead of playing out the string.
—Stephen Bowen was essentially playing with one arm yesterday, hampered by the torn tendon in his upper biceps that made him questionable going into the game. In another case of numbers not telling the truth, he played 51 snaps but did not dent the stat sheet. But the fact that the four linebackers combined to make 28 tackles is a tribute to Bowen and the rest of the D-line. And Bowen’s play to force Foles to intentionally ground the ball to seal the win is one of those that will go down in lore as it set up this Sunday’s epic game.
—Nobody mentioned that yesterday’s game was between two rookie quarterbacks. That is because only one of them, Nick Foles, played like a rookie. Foles played better than he did the last time against the Redskins but he made some rookie mistakes, especially in crunch time. He misfired to an open Jeremy Maclin in the end zone and then he held on to the ball too long on what turned out to be the last play of the game. Robert Griffin III, meanwhile, did make some mistakes but not of the “rookie” variety. He did put too much mustard on a pass intended for Josh Morgan and the Eagles got the interception. Griffin was lacking some mobility with the knee brace but he was the veteran QB he has been since about midseason.
—Pierre Garçon continues to impress. He didn’t get any huge plays or score any touchdowns but he caught seven of the nine passes targeted to him for 89 yards. In the third quarter he showed tremendous body control to go up and grab RG3’s pass near the sideline for 29 yards that jump-started a Redskins touchdown drive.
—I will admit that I thought that London Fletcher was getting close to being done. But he’s been proving me wrong week after week during this six-game winning streak and he did again yesterday. His interception of a tipped pass set up the go-ahead TD for the Redskins and his 12 tackles led the team. Yeah, he’s back (if he ever really was gone).