LANDOVER, Md. – No one in the Eagles locker room wanted to reflect on anything but the negative following Saturday's crushing 27-24 loss, least of all the players who did stand out in an otherwise grueling day.
Potentially season-ending loss aside, though, tight end Zach Ertz did set a franchise record against Washington with 15 receptions on the day, totaling 115 yards. Ertz said the Eagles expected opportunities over the middle of the field against the Washington defense, especially with the linebackers accounting for LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles out of the backfield.
Ertz, though, was ready to make a trade when asked about his performance.
"I'd rather take the win over this record any day of the week," he said. "I'll go back to one catch for 5 yards if we win this game or we win the past three games."
Ertz's biggest focus, actually, was lamenting the missed opportunity on the Eagles' final trip to the red zone. On third-and-goal, Mark Sanchez tried to fit the ball into a tight window over the middle for Ertz, who was seemingly triple-covered. The ball ricocheted off Ertz's hand into the back of the end zone, forcing the Eagles to settle for a game-tying field goal, rather than a touchdown.
"I mean, if I can get one hand on it, I have to make the catch," Ertz said.
The star for the Eagles in the red zone on the day was wide receiver Riley Cooper, who caught two touchdowns among his five catches for 53 yards.
Cooper denied that the Eagles gameplanned Cooper specifically as a red zone weapon leading into the game.
"We didn't see anything, we didn't attack anything," Cooper said, "Mark was just making reads and did a really good job."
Cooper, too, was focused on the missed opportunity for his team.
"You can't have a bunch of penalties in the game and turnovers and win football games in this league," Cooper said. "Everyone's so close and every team is so good, all the athletes are so good, you definitely can't have that. I don't know what that is, a lack of focus sometimes, guys getting tired, getting out of position. You can't do it and win football games, I do know that."
The Eagles traveled to Washington to face their NFC East rivals in a crucial Week 16 showdown. Making the affair much more special, is that it's Saturday afternoon football ...