Redskins' defense falters after strong start in loss at Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Redskins' blueprint for success this season stemmed largely from a defense they felt would control teams. If that doesn't happen, the result is what took place Sunday in Week 1: a blown lead and a disappointing loss.

The Redskins blew a 17-point lead in their 32-27 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles. They did so in part because the defense suddenly couldn't stop the Eagles' offense. The Eagles gained 134 yards and scored seven points in the first half; they gained 303 yards and scored 25 points in the second. There were blown coverages, missed tackles -- and an offense that stopped helping them out. There was bad play at times by the cornerbacks. Washington will struggle to win if the defense doesn't play better for entire games -- not halves.

QB breakdown: It depends on the half: In the first two quarters, Case Keenum was outstanding. In the second? Not so much. It wasn't all on Keenum; the Redskins couldn't run the ball at all. But the numbers told the story of the offense: Keenum threw for 257 yards in the first half but only 123 in the second. He was aggressive over the middle, mainly because he had time in the pocket. But he missed rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin on a deep ball that would have been a touchdown in the second. Keenum overall was solid, but if Washington needs him to carry the offense, it will be in trouble.

Troubling trend: One game does not make a trend, but the run game was terrible. Derrius Guice managed 18 yards on 10 carries and never found much room to run. It wasn't just because of the left side of the offensive line with tackle Donald Penn and guard Ereck Flowers. There were missed backside blocks -- by the right side of the line and by the tight ends -- that disrupted plays routinely, and Guice didn't have a chance to show his burst or cutting ability. The run-game numbers will be more scrutinized in part because Adrian Peterson was declared inactive and a healthy scratch for the first time in his pro career. The Redskins had a 17-point lead and couldn't run the ball. That's unacceptable.

Pivotal play: Take your pick of DeSean Jackson touchdown catches. But we'll go with the first one, mainly because it enabled Philadelphia to get a little momentum in the first half and to stay close. Jackson, who finished with eight catches for 154 yards, beat corner Josh Norman on a 51-yard toss in the first half. That cut the score to 17-7, but it gave the Eagles' offense life, and that clearly is all they needed. The Eagles scored on four of their next five possessions, one of which ended in a 53-yard Jackson catch.

Silver lining: The Redskins' young players showed they might just provide a good foundation moving forward. They used five rookies in key roles, with at least two of them showing they could provide legitimate help now and in the future. McLaurin's speed was the difference on his 69-yard touchdown catch -- and he was open for what would have been another one had the ball not been overthrown. McLaurin caught five passes for 125 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown. Linebacker Cole Holcomb was terrific versus the run at times, showing speed and instincts.