This was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez’s career in a nutshell.
For all the good he might do, we’ll always remember the bad.
Sanchez didn’t play poorly against the Washington Redskins on Saturday, and in fact he was in line to be the hero after bringing the Eagles back from a 10-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had the ball at the two-minute warning, and looked to get into field-goal range and win the game, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
Instead, Sanchez was the goat in a 27-24 loss. Sanchez threw an interception to Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland on a poorly thrown ball inside of the two-minute warning. On Washington’s next play, Cary Williams missed a tackle on Pierre Garcon, who gained 23 yards, and the Eagles also took a roughing-the-passer penalty on the play to put the Redskins into field position. A few more runs later – and the Eagles had no clue they should have let the Redskins score a touchdown, to at least give them some hope to score in the final minute and send the game to overtime – and the Redskins had the chip shot field goal to win the game and put the Eagles’ playoff chances on life support.
With the Eagles loss, their third in a row after starting 9-3, the Dallas Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Detroit clinched a playoff spot with Philadelphia’s loss. The Packers and Seahawks each clinch a playoff spot with a win or tie on Sunday, thanks to the Eagles’ loss.
If all that happens, the Eagles are eliminated. And what a disappointment that will be in Philadelphia, with all of its expectations coming into the season.
The Eagles probably didn’t deserve to win, playing so poorly against a Redskins team that was 3-11. But Sanchez’s 374 yards and a great effort by tight end Zach Ertz, who had 15 catches for 115 yards (where has that been all season for Philadelphia’s offense?) put the Eagles in position to win. Sanchez’s interception turned that around. Two missed field goals by Eagles kicker Cody Parkey didn’t help either.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III played fairly well for Washington. He completed 16-of-23 passes for 220 yards. He made some nice plays from the pocket and put his team in position to win. That’s a nice development for the Redskins, but the story of the day was that Washington probably ruined Philadelphia’s season on Saturday.
The Eagles are probably done after that loss. Even though Sanchez has played reasonably well at times replacing Nick Foles, nobody will remember the good plays. The only thing worth mentioning now is that this talented Eagles team’s season, which looked pretty promising three weeks ago, will likely be done in eight days.
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