Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles put a damper on Robert Griffin’s return to FedEx Field on Monday Night. Although a late fourth quarter surge from the Skins had Philly fans on their toes, the Eagles fast-paced offense ultimately earned them the victory
Up and down start for Eagles
This first play of the game was a six yard completion from Michael Vick to Riley Cooper, which is ironic. It’s only right for the first play of the season to be a six yard completion from Vick to the one and only Riley Cooper, who’s offseason antics involving a racial slur that was caught on type made headlines throughout training camp. Eighteen seconds later, Vick would find his tight end, Brent Celek, for a nice gain.
This efficient and decisive attack led by Vick continued from start to finish. The offense looked to be in sync and completely on board with Kelly’s game plan.
There was a bit of a mental lapse at the end of the first drive, however, when the Eagles were in the red zone. Vick had a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage by defensive end Ryan Kerrigan. Unknown to the Eagles offense, it was a backward pass, therefore causing it to be a fumble. Deangelo Hall scooped it up and ran it back for six.
Soon after, Alfred Morris coughed up the ball on a run up the middle and gave the ball right back. The Eagles would capitalize on the turnover with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Vick to Desean Jackson. With five minutes remaining of the first quarter, a toss from Robert Griffin to Alfred Morris went haywire resulting in a safety.
Speed (and defense) kills
The second quarter began with more of the same from RGIII and the Redskins offense. They were all out of sorts and Griffin’s timing and accuracy was uncharacteristically poor. He was clearly rusty and searching for his game for all four quarters.
Mid second quarter, the Eagles would go up 19-7 on a beautiful 28-yard touchdown pass from Vick to Celek. On the ensuing possession, Griffin was under pressure and sacked by Cary Williams to help force a three and out.
Moments before halftime, Vick did what he does best and galloped his way into the end zone for a 3 yard score.
Eagles pulling away?
The Redskins received the opening kickoff of the second half. A couple plays in, Robert Griffin was picked off by Cary Williams. The Eagles would capitalize off of the turnover as LeSean McCoy scampered into the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown.
McCoy looked like the 2011 LeSean McCoy. He looked one step ahead of the defense on every play and did a great job of finding the open running lanes.
Down 33-7, Griffin led the offense down the field with time ticking away in the third quarter and the drive was capped off with a 5-yard touchdown run by Morris.
Oh no… Not this again
Things got interesting in the fourth quarter. Jason Avant fumbled on the opening possession and Redskins linebacker, Perry Riley, recovered it. The Skins would take over at the Eagles 29-yard line. On a 2nd and goal, Griffin fired one to Leonard Hankerson for a 10-yard touchdown.
Two Eagles possessions later, up 33-20 and 4:21 remaining in the game, the Redskins got a stop and forced the Eagles to punt. With 1:14 remaining, Griffin found Hankerson again for a 24-yard touchdown pass inching the Redskins to within a touchdown of the Eagles, and bringing back memories from a year ago.
The special teams unit would then attempt an onside kick in which a lengthy scrum for the ball resulted, but the Eagles came out of the pile with the ball, putting an end to the first Monday Night Football game of the season.