Final Score: Redskins 27 – 24 Eagles
It actually was a pretty good performance by Sanchez. He was 37/50 for 374 yard and two touchdowns. And an interception. While the game was tied. At mid-field. With a minute and a half left. Everyone who said Sanchez would lead this team to the playoffs has been silenced. If Nick Foles was at quarterback, this pass that Sanchez threw low and behind Jeremy Maclin would have been an easy completion. That’s just the Sanchez factor hard at work, always pulling strings behind the scenes.
But this loss wasn’t 100% Sanchez’ fault. Only about 90%.
Cody Parkey, who has missed two field goals this whole season, missed a 34-yard kick from the right hash. The Eagles lost by three. Funny how that works. Kickers need to make easy field goals. Top five easiest jobs in the world. Oh yeah, and he missed another one from 46 yards out in the third quarter. But he did make one in the fourth to tie the game. I’m no mathematician, but nine is more than 3. And 30 would’ve been more than 24.
Regardless, Mark Sanchez and Cody Parkey don’t play defense. And the Eagles defense has let up 89 points in three consecutive losses. We’ve seen what defenses have done to RG3 all year, and for some reason the Eagles defense couldn’t replicate what other defenses have done. A Sanchez-lead offense isn’t going to close that gap.
That’s not to say RG3 blew necessarily blew me away. But don;t get me wrong, he was much better than he’s been al; year. 16/23 and 220 yards isn’t a bad stat line. He completed an impressive 55-yard strike to Desean Jackson, but he turned right around and threw a bad interception in what looked like the same exact play as the 55-yarder.
The Redskins did get some help from the refs, as Brandon Graham was flagged for roughing the passer in what looked like the slightest of a touch I’ve ever seen. It came on an incomplete pass on 3rd down, and gave the Redskins a new set of downs that eventually led to a touchdown. Seriously, Graham barely touched RG3, and RG3 wasn’t even shaken by it either. I guess as a quarterback he’ll take it, but it’s wasn’t like it was a vicious hit that seriously injured the passer.
This game certainly thickened the RG3 plot. We’ll have to see how he performs in week 17 before it becomes easier to guess what the Redskins will do with him. He performed well this week, and if he has a decent outing against the Giants next week, I’m sure he survives this off-season. I expect he’ll be the starter in Washington to start next season, but he’ll have a VERY short leash.
But again, the story of this game was Mark Sanchez. The Eagles season was over the second Nick Foles went down. Chip Kelly has designed an offense that any quarterback should be able to be plugged in and perform well. And Sanchez has performed well, but the Sanchez factor has been the influencing machine of the Eagles organization this season. Ultimately, it’s why they’ll be watching the postseason from home this year.