Usually, NFC East rivalries are for hopefully good-natured trash-talking and for taking pleasure in another team’s defeats. For example, one of my favorite teams each week is the one that happens to be playing the Cowboys.
But schadenfreude has its limits, and that limit was reached last night as I got to watch the once very proud Redskins turn in about as bad a performance as you can get in a MNF loss to the Eagles.
The ‘Skins, of whom I count a number of friends as fans, looked terrible – have gone from struggling team to joke. This past week, they stripped head coach Jim Zorn of play-calling duties, bringing in several years-retired Sherm Lewis to call the plays. From what I could tell, Sherm did okay, but he’s got a collection of a) untalented, or b) unmotivated, or c) both players on his hand to work with. QB Jason Campbell looked lost all night—though not as lost as Zorn looked on the sidelines everytime they switched to a shot of him. Their sloppy play culminated on a 4th-and-goal botched snap that the Eagles gobbled up and removed any hope of last quarter heroics.
Which, of course, brings us to the Birdz. Even though they won pretty handily – racing out to a 27-7 lead, and cruising to the final of 27-17, you never got the feeling they were “in control”. They had big plays from DeSean Jackson for TDs and a deflected Campbell pass returned for a TD. They also converted two other turnovers into FGs, though they didn’t manage to get a first down in either of those “drives”.
After laying a huge egg against the clearly looked-past Raiders, the Eagles had something to prove and I’m not sure that they did. Brian Westbrook was out of the game early on with a concussion and McNabb exhibited that “hey, I’m excited, watch me throw the ball into the dirt” tendency that he’s never quite shaken over the years (Kudos though to #5 for passing both 30000 yards passing and 200 TDs in his career).
So, at 4-2 (knowing they should be 5-1) they enter a stretch against the Giants, Cowboys, Chargers and Bears that will likely define their season. Win three of those games, and I think they’re a legitimate playoff team, two and you could probably still scuttle into the post-season, less than that and they could just end up being a spoiler.