Redskins vs Eagles: Just the Positives. Please.

But First the Facts.

Redskins fans saw their beloved team not only getting a lump of coal for Christmas, after losing to Minnesota on Christmas Eve last Sunday in a home finale (snapping Minnesota's six-game losing streak), but fans were again dissappointed with the start of a new year that saw the Redskins losing again - this time to the rival Philadelphia Eagles in the Skins' last game of the season.

Who's glad the Redskins season is over?

The 10-34 loss over Philly officially makes the worst losing record for head coach Mike Shanahan, who topped Jim Zorn's losing record of 6-10 with a new record of his own, 5 wins and 11 losses. In case you didn't know, Jim Zorn had never been a head NFL coach, while Shanahan was brought to Washington because of his previoius NFL playoff and Super Bowl caliber-like coaching experience.

Santana Moss (89) trying to hang on to a pass in the end zone as Philadelphia Eagles' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (23) 
defends during the first half v Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

"We had our chances, but it's disappointing to finish the last quarter like we did", explains Shanahan who earlier in the week said his team 'lacked more depth' than he originally thought.

The Redskins are 2-3 in NFC East play, winning only against the New York Giants in Week 1 (28-14) at home, and again in Week 15 (23-10) on Giant's home turf.

The Eagles (4-1 against NFC East opponents), also defeated the Redskins in Week 6, 20-13, at FedEx Field.

"Rex played a heck of a game today", added Shanahan who applauded his QB for "moving the ball".

That's the same thing Zorn said in his post game press conferences just two years earlier.

As we all know "moving the ball" doesn't win games. Scoring does.

A hurt Roy Helu mustered the only Redskin touchdown today, doing so in the third quarter. Again, the only touchdown score on the day.

Michael Vick threw three touchdown passes, including a 62-yarder to DeSean Jackson in the 4th quarter, bringing the team's end of the season win streak to four games in a row.

Vick makes a pass during the first half of the Eagles' win over the Redskins.(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Scoring points (not the Skins' strong point), in addition to acquiring an NFL calibre quarterback, must occur if the Skins stand any chance of being a competitive NFL team that can consistently win games, get to, and progress through the playoffs.

Now, the positives on the day.

Certainly, the loss outweighed anything that seemed positive today, but there were a few, starting with linebacker Brian Orakpo who was credited with a first-quarter sack of Michael Vick. The sack was Orakpo’s eighth of the season and his first full sack against Philadelphia in his career.

Brian Orakpo (98) gets at Eagles' QB Mike Vick, sacking the quarterback during the first half. Washington recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) loss.

Orakpo added another sack in the second quarter, forcing the fifth fumble of his career and his third of the season. Linebacker Perry Riley recovered the fumble, his second recovery of the season and of his career. multi-sack game was his first since Week 4, when Orakpo posted 2.5 sacks at St. Louis on Oct. 2. It was the seventh multi-sack game of his career. Orakpo became the first member of the Redskins to record at least nine sacks in three consecutive seasons since Dexter Manley accomplished the feat across four consecutive seasons from 1983-86.

On today's loss, Orakpo credited the coaching staff, and said the failure was mostly on the players not running the correct schemes.

"We start off well, we just gotta be consistent", said Orakpo. "It's not about physicality. It's about playing assignment football. It's not on the coaches. They're calling a great scheme. We just have to make sure everybody trust each other and everybody plays their assignment."

London Fletcher, perhaps the team's most prolific linebacker to wear a Washington Redskin uniform in the last 15 years, didn't disappoint in today's game. Fletcher, obviously a player any winning NFL team would love to have, (yet continues to stay in Washington) played in his 224th consecutive game. It was also his 179th consecutive start, the most by any active linebacker. Fletcher’s 224th consecutive game played tied him for second-most among defensive players since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Fletcher and Barber are now tied with former LB Derrick Brooks and former DE Kevin Carter and trail only former LB Bill Romanowski (243 consecutive games played).Fletcher was credited with four tackles. He finished the season with 166 tackles according to NFL GSIS, the highest total of his career. His previous high according to NFL GSIS was 157, set in 2005 as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

Other positives.

Running back Evan Royster posted his second consecutive 100-yard rushing performance, rushing 20 times for 113 yards. Royster had a 28-yard run in the second quarter, tying his career long from a week ago.

Running back Roy Helu caught a 47-yard touchdown in the third quarter, the first touchdown reception of his career. The 47-yard reception is the Redskins’ longest by a running back since Dec. 21, 2009, when Rock Cartwight caught a 51-yard pass against the New York Giants. Helu's reception is also the longest by a rookie running back this season and the longest by a rookie running back in team history .

Together, Royster and Helu became the first Redskins running back tandem since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to each post consecutive 100-yard rushing games during a single season.

Now, the quarterback.
Quarterback Rex Grossman surpassed the 10,000-yard career passing mark in the first quarter with a 20-yard completion to fullback Darrel Young in the first quarter. Grossman now has 10,232 passing yards for his career.

Rex Grossman talks to the press after the New Year's Day loss.

Grossman finished the season with 3,151 passing yards in 13 games, only 42 yards shy of matching his career high of 3,193, set in 2006 when he appeared in 16 games as a member of the Chicago Bears.

"I'd love for this to be the place where I end up", Grossman said on if he thinks he'll be asked back next year.

Other player Sunday highlights.

Young had a single-game career-high three receptions. He set single-season career highs in rushing attempts (six), rushing yards (33), receptions (14) and receiving yards (138) during the 2011 season.

Receiver Jabar Gaffney established a single-season career high in receptions, catching four passes to give him 68 receptions for the season, surpassing his previous career high of 65, set last season as a member of the Denver Broncos.

Punter Sav Rocca placed two punts inside the 20-yard line, giving him 28 for the season and tying his career high, set last season. Rocca’s 28 punts downed inside the 20 are the fifth-most in a season in Redskins history and are the most since Tom Tupa had 30 punts downed inside the 20 during the 2004 season. He finished the season with a 39.0-yard net punting average, which trails only Matt Turk’s 1996 and 1997 campaigns (39.2 yards) for the best in team history.

In today's game Skins'safety Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted a fourth-quarter pass from Philly's Mike Vick, his third of the season and his 25th of his career. Atogwe is the 17th active player to reach 25 career interceptions.

Wide receiver Brandon Banks caught his first pass of the season on a 10-yard reception for a first down in the third quarter.

Kicker Graham Gano converted a 27-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, giving him 31 made field goals on the season, a career high. He tied Chip Lohmiller (1991) for second-most in a single season in team history and finished two field goals shy of tying Mark Moseley’s team record of 33 made field goals in a season (1983). He finished the season with 118 points, a career high and the most by a Redskins player since kicker Scott Blanton and running back Terry Allen had 118 points each during the 1996 season.

Tight end Rob Myers got some playing time today, his first NFL game.