PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles
took over first place in NFC East and all but eliminated the defending divisional champions in the process as they beat the Washington Redskins 24-16 on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles (6-5) moved a half-game ahead of the idle Dallas Cowboys
(4-5) and Washington fell to 3-7 -- last season, the Redskins were also 3-6 going into Week 11 and they won the rest of their games to win the NFC East title.
The Redskins had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but an up-for-grabs pass by quarterback Robert Griffin III was intercepted by cornerback Brandon Boykin in the end zone and the Eagles held on for the victory.
The Eagles scored first and the Redskins, who did a good job holding running back LeSean McCoy
in check on the ground in the early going couldn't keep up with him in the passing game. McCoy ran a curl pattern out of the end zone and beat linebacker Ryan Kerrigan down the right sideline and quarterback Nick Foles' pass hit him in stride.
McCoy gained 49 yards, to the Washington 4-yard line, and on second down Foles kept the ball to the right side and stretched into the end zone to make it 7-0 with 2:48 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles made it 14-0 on their next possession and once again a big play was the key. On first-and-10 from the Washington 43, Foles flipped a screen pass to tight end Brent Celek, who put on a burst of speed to split the Redskins' defense and took it 41 yards, to the 1.
On the next play, McCoy cruised through a huge hole in the middle of the defense and the Eagles had a two-touchdown lead with 14:31 left in the second quarter.
Those two quick strikes gave the Eagles 19 touchdown drives on the season that have lasted less than two minutes.
It appeared the Redskins were going to cut into that lead on their next possession, after a 24-yard run by Roy Helu Jr. helped them push the ball to the Eagles 5-yard line. But on second-and-goal Griffin was blindsided by linebacker Connor Barwin and fumbled the ball, and Fletcher Cox recovered for the Eagles.
The Eagles made them pay for that by driving for a 24-yard field goal by Alex Henery, which made it 17-0 at halftime. Then the Eagles came out in the second half and appeared to put the game away with an 80-yard, 13-play touchdown drive that made it 24-0 -- McCoy scored on a 1-yard -- that took 5:19, the Eagles' longest touchdown drive of the year. Their previous long scoring drive was 3:58 in a 49-20 victory over Oakland in Week 9.
But the Redskins answered with two fourth-quarter touchdowns and two two-point conversions and this time it was the Eagles who were burned by big plays. The first TD came on a 36-yard catch and run by fullback Darrel Young and the second on a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson with 5:57 left to play.
NOTES: Eagles QB Michael Vick was deactivated for the fifth time in the last six weeks because of a sore hamstring. ... The Eagles were without two injured starters -- LB Mychal Kendrick (knee) and CB Bradley Fletcher (pectoral). Starting in their place were Najee Goode and Roc Carmichael, respectively. ... Redskins DE Stephen Bowen and WR Leonard Hankerson left the game in the first half with knee injuries and TE Jordan Reed left with a concussion and they did not return. ... Eagles DE Trent Cole had two sacks, the 17th time in his career he's had multiple sacks in a game.
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