Unlike pro baseball, basketball or hockey…the NFL is a snapshot league. The relation of process and result is much closer the more games you have in the schedule. So the over-reaction factor reigns especially in the first month of the season with such a limited sample size. Is the sky falling in Burgundy and Gold Nation? Not likely. But Monday remains a loss…and a division defeat in September can haunt you in January when it comes to seeding and tiebreakers.

Tale of Two Halves– given the amount of plays Philadelphia ran, it may as well have been two games. The Skins lost the first half 26-7 but won the second half 20-7… coming up short 33-27 to the Eagles. They were outgained 322 to 75 in the first half before dominating the third and fourth quarters 307-121. But they still get an L.

So the “R” stands for “rusty”?– Robert Griffin III took a while to warm up after being inactive for the entire preseason… completing 5 of 11 passes for 53 yards and an interception before halftime, then hitting 25 of 38 for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns after intermission. He certainly wasn’t helped with more than a few drops…and should be in better sync with his receivers in week two.

Mr. Morris to the Principal’s Office– remember when Zack tried to hook up with the tennis pro who liked Screech during “The College Years” episode? Alfred was not so great in the team’s opener… fumbling his first carry and missing a handoff in the endzone en route to a 45 yard effort on 12 carries. A far cry from his 100-yard per game average set during his rookie season. Coach Shanahan won’t turn into Kelly Kapowski and play Morris against Slater (aka Roy Helu Jr.) or pull the plug on his #1 back completely after one week…right?

Hankering for Highlight– Leonard Hankerson figured to be a second-tier receiver in the offense this fall behind the Wideout Firm of Garcon, Morgan & Moss. Not so fast in week one– 5 catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns one of the bright spots in the loss. Will this week one explosion be an isolated incident or the start of something special?

Third and Forever– the Skins went 2 for 10 in moving the chains Monday night… and once again the distance determines destiny. The team went 2-2 on third and short (1-3 yards) while coming up short on all third down and 7+ attempts. RG3 on the money down? A less than ideal 1-8 with two interceptions…and a two yard scramble that ended far from the marker. Also key was failing to convert in the first half…as the Eagles piled up a 19 point lead and left the Skins gassed.

Flying Flags– While we could write off 32 penalties over four preseason games, 10 infractions for 75 yards on opening night was far from the way the Skins wanted to begin the regular season. Eight of those penalties came on offense: 3 holds, 3 false starts (Will Montgomery picking up flags for one of each), an illegal shift and one intentional grounding. The lone defensive penalty went to DeAngelo Hall for that horse-collar tackle that moved the Eagles from the Redskins 46 to the 31; they’d score two plays later. The special teams penalty was an illegal block above the waist that pushed the Skins back from their 11 to the 6. Six of the ten penalties also took place in the second quarter that saw the team go from 5 points down to 19 down.

D gets an INC, or Safety First– the Skins were gashed for 443 yards… but limited the Eagles after halftime while also notching a pair of fumble recoveries. One of which was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by DeAngelo Hall. The key for the defense as they head to Green Bay…will safety Brandon Merriweather finally get back on the field?

Tracking the Triumvirate– Bacarri Rambo notches 10 tackles (6 solo stops) and a sack while David Amerson adds 4 stops (2 solo) and one pass defended. Chase Minnifield was inactive for the game. Somewhere Malcolm Kelly is smiling.

Cobra Kai– Mr. Forbath missed his lone attempt from 40 yards…and much like Johnny only being in the first scene of Karate Kid II, we wonder what sort of showing the Skins kicker will have in the sequel to his dynamic debut. There have been lingering concerns about his kickoffs…and with Sav Rocca subbing in for him in the second half I’m not saying I’d be concerned, but Zabka didn’t even show up for a cameo in KKIII.

Time Zone Twilight– was anybody really that surprised Seattle looked somewhat sluggish in their 12-7 win over Carolina? The game was played at 10am PDT! I’ve long been a proponent of not having West Coast teams play at 1pm Eastern– and it’s not as though the Seahawks were an AFC team that couldn’t play at 4 because of the US Open Finals. Putting West Coast teams (and I throw Denver/Arizona into the mix) on before noon in their home cities not only messes with a team’s body-clock but has to sap the ratings in some way.

Dissecting the Division– Philadelphia gets the tiebreaker after one week over Dallas due to their division win being six points as opposed to the Cowboys’ five point victory over the NY Giants. G-Men officially take third place while the Skins are in last. But the snapshot is even trickier here- the team went from worst to first over the last seven weeks of 2013… and began 2011 in first before sliding to last.

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