(photo by Brian Murphy)
1. “Halfway There” by Soundgarden
During the Mike Shanahan era, the Washington Redskins defense has had little trouble making a splash right out of the gate. In fact, Jim Haslett’s men have now scored a touchdown in all four home openers — starting with DeAngelo Hall’s 33-yard fumble recovery against Dallas in 2010, followed by Ryan Kerrigan’s nine-yard interception return for a touchdown against the New York Giants in ’11 and let’s not forget Rob Jackson’s interception for a touchdown against Cincinnati last season.
Well, Jackson is suspended for the first four games of the season, so that left Hall and Kerrigan to make some more magic and they didn’t disappoint — with Kerrigan deflecting a backwards pass attempt by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, and then Hall scooping up the football and returning it 75 yards at a leisurely pace for the easiest score of his NFL career.
Just like that the Redskins were off to a wonderful start and all was good in the burgundy and gold universe.
2. “Light Up The Sky” by Thousand Foot Krutch
Of course, it’s probably not a great idea to peak in the first four minutes of a 60-minute affair.
Once the Redskins jumped out to a quick lead, things quickly devolved into what can only be called a worst-case scenario. Running back Alfred Morris, who only fumbled the ball three times his entire rookie campaign, coughed up the football on the team’s very first offense play of the season. One play later the Eagles scored an easy touchdown and suddenly led the game 10-7.
Morris’ second rushing attempt lost three yards, which, sadly, is a “highlight” when talking about just how bad he looked to start the game. And then the second-year pro bobbled the ball on a pitch out, which resulted in a safety. Obviously this is a game Morris will be in a hurry to forget.
LeSean McCoy, on the other hand, had a career day as he abused the Redskins defense seemingly at will. When the ‘Skins were passive, he gashed them up the middle. When they got overly aggressive, he had an answer for that as well.
Take, for example, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, who was cleared amp up to get back out on the field after missing most of last year due to injury. As talented as Orakpo is, he repeatedly over-pursued throughout the game, which allowed McCoy to bounce back outside to the gap Orakpo just vacated. If you’re rooting for the home team, that’s a bad thing. If you’re an Eagles running back, it’s a dream come true (which explains his 181 rushing yards for the night).
Basically, whatever the defense tried to do, McCoy had a counterpunch ready and if this was a prize fight, it wouldn’t have lasted more than a round or two before McCoy won by a TKO.