If Andy Reid wanted to criticize the Eagles' defense after Sunday's debilitating 10-3 loss to the Washington Redskins, he could have pointed out that Asante Samuel and Quintin Mikell let interceptions slip through their hands.
Instead, he chose to talk about how his defense started slow.
"I thought the guys played hard," Reid said during his news conference today. "I just didn't think our execution was very good. I thought defensively we started out slow in the first half and weren't able to get off the field, but I thought the second half was a much better display of how we play on defense."
Started slow? Weren't able to get off the field?
The Redskins got one first down on their opening offensive series, which ended with a sack by defensive lineman Victor Abiamiri. They got one more first down on their second offensive series, which ended with a stop on a third-and-one play when Abiamiri got good penetration into the Redskins' backfield. Washington got two first downs on their third offensive series, which ended with a missed 54-yard field goal.
Washington's only sustained drive of the first half was a 16-play series that ended with a Shaun Suisham field goal late in the first half. An offsides penalty against Chris Clemons nullified a Darren Howard sack on a third-and-five play that would have pushed the Redskins out of field goal range. Later on that same series, Mikell let a potential interception slip through his hands that would have kept the Redskins off the board.
But it's still nitpicking to say anything negative about a defense that only allowed three first-half points, especially when Reid's offense managed to run just 21 plays for 66 yards and zero points. Reid was also critical of his offense, but he had every reason to be.
On the injury front, Reid said Abiamiri suffered a mild Lis Franc sprain against the Redskins and will have a difficult time getting back for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. Stewart Bradley has fractured ribs, but Reid said he thought his middle linebacker would be able to play.