(Spoiler alert, the following contains the Eagles’ season obituary)
The Eagles’ season is over, for all intents and purposes.
With the game tied at 24-apiece, red-hot Mark Sanchez looked poised to drive the Eagles into field goal range to pull ahead and keep their playoff hopes alive with the Cowboys facing a tough test in Indianapolis Sunday.
But Sanchez did what Sanchez does — he threw an interception toBashaud Breeland and the Redskins easily drove 50 yards in six plays to set upKai Forbath with a chip shot to give Washington a 27-24 victory.
So why did a heavily-favored and more talented Philadelphia squad fall to the lowly (now) 4-11 Redskins?
Cody Parkey was putting together one of the best rookie seasons any kicker has had. So of course, he missed two field goals Sunday, both makable and both in key situations. This could have put the Eagles ahead early and changed the course of the game with the Eagles faltering by just three points.
The defense also really made its own bed committing penalty after penalty, giving the Redskins new life several times and helping them to a trio of touchdowns.
Two turnovers by Mark Sanchez also didn’t help, with the latter ending the likely game-winning drive for Philadelphia.
This is sort of a blanket statement. The Eagles just didn’t look like a 10-win football games Saturday (hence they remain at nine wins). Philly committed 13 penalties for 102 yards, both season highs. Time after time, the Redskins were talking toward the Eagles end zone after a yellow flag was thrown.
And the two startingcornerbacks (Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams) will undoubtedly be on the chopping block as Fletcher was burned twice by DeSean Jackson for gains of more than 50 yards.
The Eagles outgained the Redskins by 190 yards on the stat sheet, but the penalties undid all the hard work.
A Mark Sanchez prayer at the end of the game encapsulated the effort, one that nearly mimicked last week’s loss to Dallas.
Mark Sanchez really found a rhythm toward the end of the game, utilizing tight end Zach Ertz15 times for 115 yards and tossing quick passes nine times to LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, who used their legs to generate offense.
And the ground game was where it should be as well, the Eagles running for 134 yards on 31 carries.
But 374 yards and two touchdowns from the right arm of Sanchez were made completely irrelevant by a fumble in the first (leading to three points for Washington) and of course the fourth quarter interception that essentially ended the season for Philly.
A win next week in New York and losses by Dallas to the Colts and Redskins in Week 17 are the only hope for Philly, which now certainly feels the absence of injured Nick Foles.