Heads-up Play by Young CB Helped Eagles Avert Disaster

It was almost a disaster. 

Early in the fourth quarter Monday night, with the Eagles trying to finish off their second straight win, the Skins faced a 3rd-and-14 on their own 21-yard-line.

Jay Gruden went with a trick play where Mark Sanchez throws to tight end Jordan Reed on his right and then Reed throws across the field to his left to running back Chris Thompson, who presumably has acres of open field and runs for a touchdown.

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It almost worked.

"Almost," Rasul Douglas said.

Reed caught the ball at the 19-yard-line, just a few feet inside the right sideline. He took a couple steps upfield to draw Eagles defenders to that side of the field, then stopped and threw the ball over Malcolm Jenkins' head and all the way across the field to Thompson, who was waiting at the 17-yard-line outside the left hash marks.

With no defenders near him and open field ahead.

But Douglas knew something was up when he saw left tackle Trent Williams running toward the Eagles' sideline to set up blocks for Thompson when the ball was still going toward the Redskins' sideline.

His quick thinking may have saved disaster.

"They ran screen right and then ran screen left to the running back. So as I'm running, I see the tackle running past me and I'm like, ‘Why the heck is he running back this way and the ball's over there?'. So I had to make a split-second decision if I went inside or outside. I think if I kept running to the left there's no way I could have made that play, and there was nobody else over there."

Douglas was the only defender on that side of the field when Thompson took off down the field, but he still didn't have great position. He ran past a blocker and dove at Thompson's feet, grabbing his left ankle and bringing him down for a harmless eight-yard gain and forcing a punt.


It's been an up-and-down season for Douglas, the second-year cornerback. But he played well Monday night in the Eagles' 28-13 win, and that heads-up play in the fourth quarter may have saved a touchdown that would have gotten the Skins back in the game.

"If I didn't see the tackle I think I would have been running to the left like everybody else," Douglas said. "But then I saw him run by my face and I see five (Redskins) waiting (to block).

"Oh man. I just tried to do whatever I could to make the tackle. It could have been bad."

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