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October 16, 2016

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Redskins game

Eagles NFL
101616KirkCousins Nick Wass/AP

"You don't own the Eagles yet, kid. I do."

So the Washington Redskins own the Philadelphia Eagles, it would seem, as the Birds have now dropped four straight games against their division rivals to the south. As always, win or lose, we hand out 10 awards.

The Sieve Award: The Eagles run defense

Coming into this game, the Redskins arguably had the worst run defense in the NFL:

 Redskins run D after Week 5Stat Rank 
 Rush yards allowed per game130.0 30 
 Rush yards per attempt5.1 32 
 Rush TDs allowedT-30 
 Rushing first downs allowed38 30 
 Percentage of rushing plays resulting in first down29.7% 32 

On Sunday, the Eagles tried to prove that they could be worse. The Redskins ran the ball down the Eagles' throats, to the tune of 33 carries for 230 yards, 1 TD, and an embarrassing game-sealing 57-yard run by Matt Jones. Awful.

I'll also note here that the Redskins' offensive line thoroughly dominated the Eagles' pass rush as well.

The Under the Rainbow Award: Jalen Mills

Mills is this year's "get beaten deep" guy, a yearly Eagles tradition.



Aaaaaaand 2016:

Technically, Mills only gave up one deep completion to DeSean Jackson, however, he was beaten deep on another should-have-been touchdown that Jackson dropped.

MORE ON THE EAGLES: Instant observations: Redskins 27, Eagles 20 | Live updates/open thread as the Eagles look to rebound vs. Redskins | First half observations: Redskins 21, Eagles 14 | WATCH: NBC10's feature on Eagles QB Carson Wentz's journey to Philadelphia  | Eagles-Redskins Week 6 inactives, with analysis

Mills ran a 4.61 at the Combine. That is the primary reason why he dropped in the draft, not because of off-the-field issues. He does not have good enough long speed to cover receivers like DeSean Jackson on the outside. Mills can eventually be a good slot corner, but the Eagles are asking too much of him right now.

The Mai Tai Award: Doug Pederson and Jeff Stoutland

The Eagles must have been drinking Mai Tais when they decided it would be a good idea to start Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

The Hibernating Offense Award: Wendell Smallwood, Malcolm Jenkins, and the Eagles defense

With 13:26 left in the 2nd quarter, the Eagles punted. One kneel-down to end the half aside, the Eagles didn't not get the ball again until there was 8:40 left in the 3rd quarter. That's nearly 20 minutes, or one-third of the game that the offense was on the sidelines.

During that span, the Redskins ran 39 plays. A recap:

  1. Redskins score on a nine-play, 90 yard TD drive.
  2. Wendell Smallwood returns ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.
  3. Redskins have a five-play drive interrupted by a Malcolm Jenkins pick-six.
  4. Redskins score on a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
  5. One kneel-down for the Eagles, followed by halftime.
  6. Redskins score on a 12-play, 65 yard FG drive.

39 plays. That's nuts.

The Up and Down Award: Carson Wentz

A big theme of Wentz's post-game press conference was the notion that with such a long period of time going by with the offense not on the field, it was difficult to get into a rhythm. That's true, however, Wentz was up and down today.

He made three highlight reel-worthy plays. His deep throws to Jordan Matthews, and the two plays where he scrambled away from pressure only to find receivers down the field -- Dorial Green-Beckham on one, Nelson Agholor on the other -- were outstanding. On the downside, Wentz simply cannot take sacks on two consecutive plays at the end of a game, especially on the rare occasions on the afternoon in which the offensive line gave him time to throw.

The Tired Arms Award: The officials

Over the last two weeks, the officials have thrown quite a number of flags on the Eagles. In Detroit a week ago, the Eagles were flagged 14 times for 111 yards. Against the Redskins, the Eagles were flagged 13 times for 114 yards.

There was a high level of officiating incompetence in the Eagles-Lions game a week ago, to the point where the officials even forgot which team was on offense at one point. This week, however, a few bad calls aside (the phantom Wendell Smallwood block in the back that negated a big play, for example), the officials today weren't awful. The Eagles have nobody to blame but themselves for their sloppy play.

Fletcher Cox was called for a personal foul for the second time in as many weeks in the red zone when the Eagles would have otherwise forced a field goal attempt. Additionally, there were three defensive offsides (or encroachment) penalties. That's bad discipline, plain and simple.

The Eagles have to stop shooting themselves in the foot, and they better figure it out quickly or this season is going to spiral out of control.

The Andy Reid Award for Non-Excellence in Time Management: Doug Pederson

After Carson Wentz was sacked late in the fourth quarter, setting up a 4th and 24 with the clock ticking down, the Eagles called timeout, only to punt. 

"Wanted to save the time," said Pederson. "We had discussed it prior to the play. If something negative had happened we were going to use the timeout, save the time. We'd have gotten the ball back with around 48, 49 seconds back and had a chance at the end."

Well, yeah, but if you rushed the punt team out there, punted, stopped the Redskins on three straight plays using all three of your timeouts at that time, you would have had more than 48 or 49 seconds. 

Of course, the time management point became moot once the Eagles couldn't stop the Redskins from running it down their throats, as noted above.

The Gaining Ground Award: The Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys

Three weeks ago, the Eagles were sitting pretty atop the NFC East. Now? Not so much. In addition to dropping their matchup to the Redskins, the Giants beat the Ravens, and as of 6:00 p.m., the Cowboys are leading the Packers in Green Bay. The NFC East standings now look like this:

NFC East 

And that's especially bad for the Eagles now, because...

The Murderer's Row Award: The Eagles' schedule

The Eagles' next six opponents are as follows, with the following records as of 6:00 p.m.:

 At Cowboys
 At Giants
 At Seahawks
 TOTAL22 7 

The Cowboys are playing the Packers in the late afternoon games, and the Falcons are playing the Seahawks, so assuming there are no ties, the Eagles next six opponents will have a combined record of 24-9.

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