Lunch Break: Home drought over
Fletcher Cox had five tackles, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery in the Eagles' 24-16 win over the Redskins. (USA Today Images)
Thanks in part to two big plays in the fourth quarter -- passing TDs of 62 and 41 yards -- the Redskins actually finished with a 427-402 advantage in total yards.
They piled up more yards in the fourth quarter (222) than the first three quarters combined (205).
What did the Eagles' defense do so well in the first three quarters? Fletcher Cox, who pressured RG3 into that game-sealing interception and who nearly had an interception himself, said his homework paid off.
“I think I got into a rhythm going into the game. Actually a few of the plays I called them out before they happened," Cox said. "It all came from studying film and knowing when things were going to happen before they happened.”
It sounds like Cox wasn't the only one who knew what to expect from the Redskins.
"They did a good job of scheming us up. Obviously, we were able to run the ball effectively, but in the passing game, they kind of had us," RG3 said. "They kind of knew what was coming before it was coming, and like I said, that is disheartening."
RG3 said he didn't think the Redskins' offense became predictable and specifically credited a pair of Eagles linebackers.
"DeMeco is a pretty good linebacker and they do good things with him and the other guy -- his name is Najee Goode," RG3 said. "They allowed DeMeco the play-pass first. A lot of times they were trying to hit those play-pass holes behind him, and he can run to those holes.
"I don’t think we’ve become predictable. I just think they had the right call in the right situation and they lucked into some pretty good recoveries."
The Eagles got lucky in the final minute when RG3 lofted a pass that Brandon Boykin picked off in the end zone, but they also made their own luck. Cox bore down on RG3, who leaned back and tried to throw it out of bounds (see story).
That play doesn't show up in the box score for Cox, who finished with five combined tackles, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery. He quietly has anchored the Eagles' D-line, which outside of Nick Foles has been the season's most pleasant surprise.
"He'll succeed in any scheme," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. "Moving from 4-3 to 3-4, as soon as you got to know him a little bit and watched him work, you knew he would have no problem making the transition, and he's done a great job. He's solid in the run game and gives us a great pass rush. So we're glad we have him."
Plus, he almost came up with his first career interception, but replay overturned it.
"If he'd caught that ... I might have moved him to safety," Davis said. "He almost got that thing."
The Eagles will gladly settle for pressuring the QB -- sack or no sack.
"I know he [doesn't have] the sacks, but I'm happy everybody is recognizing how well he's playing," linebacker Connor Barwin said. "Inside the locker room, we see it every week, the amount of pressure he gets, what he does in that two-gap scheme. He didn't come into the league as a two-gapper. What he does in the run game, I think he's playing as good as anybody at that position in the entire league.
"I guarantee you he led the team in pressures. Those are almost as good as sacks."
In that case, it was better.