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Redskins top Eagles, take NFC East lead

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Redskins' season came down to one play, and fortunately for them, Nick Foles didn't make it.

Foles, the rookie quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was penalized for intentional grounding on what proved to be the final play of the game and the Redskins scored a 27-20 victory at Lincoln Financial Field to take the lead in the NFC East playoff race.

The Redskins were clinging to a seven-point lead and the Eagles had the ball on the Washington 5-yard line with eight seconds left to play when Foles went back to pass and was pressured. He rolled to his left and, with a couple of Redskins in his face, threw the ball short of the line of scrimmage, which brought out a flag and ended the game.

"Initially, I didn't think anything was open, so I was just trying to make a play," Foles said. "I just have to be smarter and make sure it gets past the line of scrimmage. It's on me."

Washington (9-6) earned its seventh consecutive victory, setting up a showdown with the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) next week in the regular-season finale. The winner captures the division title.

The Redskins overcame an early 7-0 deficit to beat the Eagles (4-11) in what is expected to be the final home game for Eagles coach Andy Reid.

Washington took its first lead of the game after an Eagles turnover, their league-leading 35th of the season. Foles was intercepted by linebacker London Fletcher, which gave the Redskins a first down on the Eagles 25. They eventually scored on an 11-yard catch-and-run by receiver Joshua Morgan from quarterback Robert Griffin III that made it 13-7 with 3:30 left in the first half.

"When the defense sets up like that we have to take advantage of it," Morgan said. "That's what winning teams do and that's what we did today. When we work together like that, we're a hard team to beat."

The Redskins delivered the knockout punch late in the third quarter after they stopped the Eagles on fourth-and-1 from the Washington 47. That set up a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III to wide receiver Santana Moss, who dragged his feet in the end zone to make it 27-13 and the Redskins held on from there.

"You practice that kind of catch sometimes at practice or on the sidelines," Moss said. "You want to drag your feet as quick as you can and then worry about catching the ball. I knew I had done that today and I felt great to score."

Eagles safety Colt Anderson was covering Moss on the play, but was powerless to stop the completion.

"He made a great play and I didn't," Anderson said. "I felt like I read it right, but I can't let him get the angle on me like he did. I made a mistake there and it cost us."

The Eagles had nothing to lose in this one and they showed that on their first possession of the game, when they went for it two times on fourth-and-1 and got it both times. That set up Foles' 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who beat cornerback D.J. Johnson to the corner of the end zone to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 10:09 left in the first quarter.

Redskins kicker Kai Forbath made two field goals, from 45 and 42, to make it 7-3 with 11:30 left in the second quarter. Forbath then made it 7-6 with 7:37 left in the quarter when he connected on the 42-yarder.

The Eagles added a 38-yard field goal by Alex Henery with 18 seconds left in the second quarter and the Redskins headed to their locker room at halftime leading 13-10.

Reid is expected to be fired after the season ends next week and some fans gave him a nice ovation as he left the home field for the last time.

"I understand the situation," Reid said, "and I appreciate everything."

NOTES: Redskins MLB London Fletcher played in his 239th straight game, the longest current streak in the league. ... When Eagles safety Colt Anderson intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter it was the Eagles' first INT in nine games, a total of 245 pass attempts. Their last one was vs. the Lions on Oct. 14. ... Redskins kicker Kai Forbath made his first two field-goal attempts, from 45 and 42 yards, and set an NFL record by making the first 17 field-goal attempts of his career. ... Eagles rookie Emil Igwenagu, who was signed off the practice squad just last week, started at fullback for injured Stanley Havili (hamstring). ... Redskins RB Alfred Morris scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter for his 10th TD of the season, which tied the team rookie record set by Hall of Famer Charley Taylor in 1964.
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