Much like the Ravens–Bengals game, the football media probably watched 10% of the Eagles and Redskins bout and just filled in the blanks with the narrative they wanted to push… and the final score supported said narrative, so life is good for the talking heads.
And much like the Ravens–Bengals game, when I rewatched the Eagles and Redskins... I realized that the losing team wasn't as bad as the media was portraying, and that they probably should've won the game. The Bengals played a bad game and had a lot of turnovers and lost, but within the game they had no problem moving the ball or dealing with the Ravens offense. The Redskins actually played an okay game and had several chances to win after a very slow start, but botched it in the end.
The Eagles got up 7–0 on a total BS play where Carson Wentz almost got sacked three different times and was bouncing around like a pinball in the pocket trying to escape and then somehow turned around and saw Nelson Agholor wide open deep because of the broken coverage and flung him a balloon pass that turned into a long TD. It should've been a sack but instead it was seven points for Philly… and Carson Wentz is canonized.
The Redskins tried to answer back, with Kurt Cousins hitting Terrelle Pryor on the money for a 40+ yard TD... but he dropped it. A horrible drop. It should've been 7–7 early. Actually that should've been 7-0 Redskins early. Soon after, the Eagles were up 13–0… and then the Redskins mounted their comeback, starting with a pick six of the illustrious Carson Wentz. The Redskins took a 14–13 lead but then played too soft in prevent and allowed Philly to march down the field in a one minute drill to kick a last-second field goal before halftime. 16–14 Philly at the half.
It was 19-17 Eagles heading into the fourth quarter. With 12 minutes left and the Redskins driving deep into the red zone, Kurt Cousins threw the stupid fateful pass that got picked off in the end zone. Otherwise the Redskins would've taken the lead, and that probably would have been enough to win the game since all the Eagles could really do all day was get into field-goal range. The Eagles did kick another field goal to take a 22–17 lead with two minutes left.
As the Redskins started their two-minute drive with decent field position, Cousins got hit on a throw that the TV announcers and TV referee thought was a close call but was a forward pass. It was ruled a fumble. Philly scooped it up and scored, giving the Eagles a commanding 30–17 lead and win.
Most of the Eagles scoring was luck or outlier plays. For 45 minutes of this game, the Redskins were the slightly better team… among two not-very-good teams. The media didn't see it that way because they're up Philadelphia's ass so far they can't see straight. So the Eagles are now elevated even higher. I know this because Colin Cowherd inexplicably has them as his #3 ranked team in the NFL. I'm pretty sure I like betting against Philly in Week 2.
Fantasy player notes…
-- On cue, Rob Kelley (10-30-0) was terrible, as expected. As always. The Redskins are going nowhere fast with that guy. You could see Chris Thompson (3-4-0, 4-52-1/5) being given more playing time to generate something, anything. Chris Thompson is a pretty good ballplayer and he had a nice game. Thompson has RB3 potential in this messy situation...maybe fringe RB3, like use for a week when you lose your main guys to BYE weeks.
The real opportunity for Fantasy is that we're one step closer to Samaje Perine. Every loss… every poor Kelley output brings us closer. Perine only played on special teams, so he's definitely not getting any type of favorable rookie treatment, which means we're probably still 2–3 weeks away. The more Rob Kelley works, the more terrible results, the more fan and media unrest, the faster Perine starts getting a few touches and the faster he crumbles the Kelley wall. It's the same thing that happened to Jordan Howard last year. It's coming. I just don't know when. But it's coming.
-- Terrelle Pryor (6-66-0/11) was clearly Kurt Cousins’ favorite target in this game. Pryor is the guy Cousins is looking for primarily. Had Pryor held on to that wide-open bomb everyone would've lost their minds with how great Pryor’s stat line was for fantasy. Terrelle Pryor is a great buy low right now. He's going to be a WR1 candidate with Cousins. I've never been more convinced of that until rewatching this game.
If we drafted today, Pryor would probably go around pick number 50. Had Pryor caught that bomb and gone over 100+ yards with the TD on opening day, then he would've been taken in the top 20–30 in a redraft today. I'm telling you: Pryor is going to give you WR1 hope at a discounted price.
-- Of course, the media is more interested in another WR in this game -- Nelson Agholor (6-86-1/8) -- for reasons that completely escape me. He caught the lucky bomb play I referred to earlier and was just a guy on everything else. But for the media, they want to anoint Agholor because they loved him last year despite being a colossal bust. Agholor is not worth your time in fantasy.
The media loves Alshon Jeffery (3-38-0/7) with Philly… and loved him more than Terrelle Pryor going into the fantasy season. They probably still do. Alshon Jeffery looks mediocre to my eye, like he's hurt or something, and Carson Wentz is a terrible downfield passer so it's just not going to work. I'd sell my Jeffery stock fast (if I had any). I buy Pryor stock as quickly as I can.
-- One quick thing about Kurt Cousins (23-40 for 240 yards, 1 TD/1 INT)… He's growing on me. I know he's not an elite QB but he's better than I ever thought he would be. The one thing I noticed in this game: he is looking to throw the ball deep about every other play. I don't know if it's that he loves that style of game or just doesn't care anymore, but he's bombs away. I think you want in on that as a QB2 for those who are worried about their QB1.
-- Jordan Reed (5-36-0/8) looked fine. The Eagles have good coverage on tight ends and held Reed somewhat in check. But he had a decent game. He seemed to be moving around fine.
-- Well, the media pushed Jamison Crowder (3-14-0/7) down your throat…because Matthew Berry is a Redskins fan, and they're all sleepers to him. The media is waking up to the reality I thought could happen all summer: Ryan Grant (4-61-0/6) is more important in this offense than Crowder. Your Crowder stock is cratering. Your Grant stock is like a WR 3–4 hopeful right now, but rising. Grant is solid but not a budding superstar in the making. He's just a really good NFL WR.
Snap Counts of Interest...
55 = J. Reed
53 = Pryor
49 = Crowder
37 = Grant
20 = Doctson
33 = Kelley
30 = C. Thompson
00 = Samaje Perine
33 = Sproles
23 = Blount
15 = Smallwood
23 = Mychal Kendricks
00 = Will Compton