The Eagles had a real late-game opportunity to beat the Redskins. All Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had to do was make a good throw. The receiver was in the clear, in the open area of the zone. He was in back of the cornerback and in front of the safety. It was there for Foles. But the play unfolded the same way the past six weeks have for the Redskins. No one can seem to explain it, but once again, things broke in favor of the Redskins.
With 18 seconds remaining, Foles’ pass landed a yard in front of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Just two plays later, tight end Evan Moore simply dropped a slant pass near the goal line. And on the next play, Foles was called for intentional grounding, ending the contest.
The Redskins winning streak has now reached six with a 27-20 win over the Eagles. A team that was in the habit of losing, is now in the habit of winning. But their playoff fate remains unchanged.
The Redskins are 9-6 and will capture the NFC East division with a win over Dallas on Sunday night in a game that was flexed by NBC. On the other hand, the Cowboys will win the division if they win. If the Redskins lose, then they would need losses by both Chicago (9-6) and Minnesota (9-6) to grab a wild-card spot.
Washington had to work hard to beat Philadelphia (4-11), who have dropped 10 of their last 11 games. Robert Griffin III’s return from a knee injury made a difference as he went 16 of 24 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Alfred Morris had 91 more rushing yards, giving him 1,413 yards on the season and 104 from establishing a new single-season franchise rushing record.
The much-maligned Redskins defense, once again made timely plays. It had two first-half takeaways that the offense converted into 10 points. It sacked Foles five times, assisted by a secondary that confused the rookie quarterback with different looks, causing him to be uncertain regarding his reads. Yet the defense gave up 411 yards. And once again, down the stretch, the opposition had a legitimate chance to win.
If Sunday’s game had been played last season, the Redskins would have probably found a way to lose. Instead, they left the field focusing on next week. Now they not only have an opportunity to make the playoffs, but they have a chance to host a playoff game.