Dec 23, 2012, 5:38 PM EDT
For the second time in three weeks, Nick Foles had a chance
to demonstrate a flare for the dramatic. Only on this occasion, he came up
short – then quite literally threw the game away.
Foles underthrew a wide-open Jeremy Maclin in the end zone
with 23 seconds left, a wobbly duck that sent its empty-handed target sprawling
hopelessly on the turf. The would-be-17-yard connection would have knotted the
score, likely sending the game into overtime. Instead the drive continued,
seemingly setting up the rookie quarterback for another last-second touchdown
pass. Thanks to an untimely penalty though, the clock hit zero while the Eagles
were standing around in the huddle.
Three plays after the near miss, Foles was flagged for
intentional grounding. In addition to the yards and loss of down, the penalty includes
a 10-second run-off in the final two minutes, in this case claiming the final :01
No one-last try here. The Redskins earned the technical
knockout, outlasting the Birds 27-20.
Rewind eight seconds. Foles dropped back from the five-yard
line, scanned the field, and saw nothing he liked. Trying to keep the play
alive, he broke the pocket, only to be chased down by defensive end Stephen
Bowen. Frantically Foles heaved the ball, but it didn’t quite travel the short
distance to the line of scrimmage. With no receiver in sight either, the
officials conferenced, then announced the anti-climatic conclusion.
I’m sure there’s some hidden irony in the moment, something
corresponding to this being Andy Reid’s final home game as head coach.
Tough break for the kid though, who otherwise had himself a
decent afternoon. Foles was 32 of 48 for 345 yards, one touchdown.
However, it wasn’t all good obviously. There was an
interception off of an unfortunate deflection, and a lost fumble during a
scramble. He was under pressure throughout the contest, eating five sacks. The
offense only managed six points once on four trips inside the red zone. There
was the underthrow, a throw that absolutely has to be hit, and the grounding in
a situation where a quarterback absolutely cannot take a sack or suffer similar
But growing pains aside, Foles had the team in a position to
win the game. Next time he’s just gotta finish – we’ve seen him do it once
As far as finishing is concerned, Reid walked off the field
to a mix of cheers and boos, with a handful of fans even chanting his name. It
might’ve been nice to see the big guy get a win, but let’s face it, there are
no fairy-tale endings this year.
No excuses, but it’s worth noting Foles did suffer an
unspecified injury to his throwing hand in the first half. He did not miss any
In his first game since suffering a concussion, LeSean McCoy
was his shifty self. Shady carried 13 times for 45 yards, and added nine
receptions for 77 yards.
Dion Lewis had one carry for 13 yards – a fourth-quarter touchdown
run that brought the Birds within seven.
Maclin and Jason Avant each had eight catches, with 18 going
over the century mark for the second time in three games. His 27-yard touchdown
catch was courtesy of a beautiful touch pass from Foles.
The Eagles recorded their first interception since Week 6
when a deflected pass found its way into the arms of Colt Anderson. It was the
first pick of his career.
Robert Griffin was limited with a knee injury, and played
most of the game from the pocket. He was 18 of 24 for 198 and a pair of scores.
Washington leaned on running back Alfred Morris, who carried 21 times for 91
yards, and punched one in on the ground.
A lone sack for the defense this week, none from the front
four. Brandon Boykin notched his first career sack on a blitz.
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