NFL Wire News

Eagles-Redskins: What we learned

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LANDOVER, Md. — Washington had lost six straight games. Philadelphia needed to win to avoid the chance of losing the NFC East title with a Dallas victory on Sunday.

The Eagles overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but Redskins rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland made a diving interception of quarterback Mark Sanchez with 91 seconds to go at the Washington 42-yard line. Six plays and 86 seconds later, Kai Forbath kicked a 26-yard field goal that gave the Redskins the 27-24 upset win on Saturday.

“That dude has ice cold veins,” Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen said about Breeland, who has become Washington’s top corner in the absence of injured three-time Pro Bowl pick DeAngelo Hall.

While Washington improved to 4-11, Philadelphia fell to 9-6 with its third straight loss, this one to a cellar-dweller. The Eagles need the Cowboys to lose Sunday to Indianapolis and again at Washington next week while they beat the New York Giants in order to repeat as division champions for second-year coach Chip Kelly. Philadelphia converted nine of 16 third downs and outgained Washington 495-305 but still lost.

“We can’t blame that on the refs,” said defensive end Vinny Curry, who was flagged twice for late hits on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III as the Eagles committed 13 penalties for 102 yards. “We brought this on ourselves. We gave these guys the game.”

What the Eagles said:

“It’s very frustrating for us to be in this situation knowing that at 9-3, we controlled our own destiny.” — TE Zach Ertz, on Philadelphia falling to 9-6 with a third straight defeat and needing help to make the playoffs.

“We invented ways to lose this game.” — S Malcolm Jenkins.

What the Redskins said:

“We wanted to spoil their Christmas and send them home and we did our part. You’d think a 3-11 football team would just quit. But we’re not (quitting). That shows the character that we have. I don’t want to be anywhere else.” — QB Robert Griffin III, who hadn’t won a game in which he played the whole way since Week 9 of 2013, losing 10 straight.

“It was great to see Robert compete. He looked like he had a lot of fun out there and the players responded to him. (It’s) huge to get a win for him.” — Coach Jay Gruden, who has had a rocky relationship with his quarterback this year, including a benching for Week 13.

What we learned about the Eagles:

1) Their gambling style on defense has come back to bite them. After Dallas receiver Dez Bryant burned them for three touchdowns last week, ex-teammate DeSean Jackson set up two Washington touchdowns on catches of 51 and 55 yards when he was left in one-on-one coverage with cornerback Bradley Fletcher.

2) Tight end Zach Ertz is a heck of an underneath receiver, catching a team-record 15 catches for 115 yards after hauling in 75 balls for 1,000 yards in his 30 previous career games.

–QBs Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles are the second pair of NFL teammates to each throw for over 2,000 yards in the same season, joining St. Louis’ Kurt Warner and Trent Green in 2000.

–PK Cody Parkey’s six points gave him 140, just four shy of David Akers’ franchise record and Kevin Butler’s NFL rookie mark.

–WR Riley Cooper joined teammates Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews in catching his 50th pass of the year, giving Philadelphia three such receivers for just the second time in franchise history. Jackson, Maclin and Jason Avant did so in 2011.

What we learned about the Redskins:

1) They’re better in tight games than one-sided ones. Their 27-24 victory over the Eagles was their third on their final snap, raising their record to 3-3 in one-score games compared to 1-8 otherwise.

2) They can blow a fourth-quarter lead and still win. Washington led 24-14 after three quarters, allowed 10 points in the next 9:43 but still managed to pull out the 27-24 victory.

–LB Ryan Kerrigan has 13 1/2 sacks. The only Redskins with more sacks in a season are former DEs Dexter Manley and Charles Mann.

–RB Alfred Morris joined Stephen Davis (1999-2001) as the only Redskins to gain 1,000 yards in three straight years.

–LBs Jackson Jeffcoat and Trevardo Williams each recorded his first career sack.


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