By Mark F. Gray
Mike Shanahan was 10-4 following the bye week as an NFL head coach but game number 15 was a nightmare. With enough blame to go around Shanahan’s team lacked focus and was unprepared for a game that gave them an opportunity to remain a factor in the NFC post season hunt. Now Shanahan was has to rebuild his ego and the morale of his team before there is an implosion or mutiny for the last half of the season.
This was a complete failure in every aspect of the game and blame starts with the coach. After creating an unnecessary controversy that lingered through their respite Shanahan’s team was out coached and overmatched by a team they had beaten earlier this year. It was clear they were distracted and were not prepared which to this point had not been an issue for a franchise that had been dealing with games like this for the last decade.
On a night where the Washington Washington Football Team made a $78 million investment in their quarterback his protégé stole the show as the Philadelphia Eagles humiliated them on national television at FedEx Field. Michael Vick abused the Washington Football Team defense from the first play on and Donovan McNabb couldn’t find answers against an Eagles defense that beat him down. The Washington Football Team compounded that by not being able to run the ball and couldn’t stop Eagles from rushing on them as well.
While coaches don’t block, tackle, or cover they do set a tone for the team. Shanahan set the tone for this loss with his handling of McNabb during the week off. His rationale for benching McNabb in Detroit and arrogance in defending his position led to players having to answer questions about their leader which cost them their focus. The Washington Football Team played with neither passion nor focus and the result was a loss of historic proportion.
From the outset it was clear that Andy Reid’s game plan was to be the aggressor offensively and defensively that Washington was unprepared for. Once Michael Vick connected with DeSean Jackson for an 88 yard touchdown on the game’s opening play it was clear the Washington Football Team had no clue for anything the Eagles would throw at them all night.
They set franchise records for most points allowed in the first half and gave up 592 yards total offense for the game. The 28 points allowed in the first quarter was the most in NFL history. Philadelphia’s 59 points was the most the team had given up since 1954 and the most ever on Monday Night Football. Their struggles on offense hit rock bottom with an 0 for 10 performance on third down. They were punked so bad all that was missing were the MTV cameras and Ashton Kutcher coming out of the tunnel at halftime.
However, if there is one silver lining from a dreary performance on a cold, damp, soggy evening at least this is the final time the Washington Football Team played on national TV in 2010.