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The Redskins clinch NFC East title after beating Eagles 38-24


The Redskins clinch NFC East title after beating Eagles 38-24

PHILADELPHIA— The Redskins overcame some mistakes and some periods of ineffectiveness, poured it on in the second half, and thumped the Eagles 38-24. The win wrapped up the NFC East title for Washington. The will host a playoff game on the weekend of January 9-10.

The Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead but it was all Redskins after that. They scored on touchdown passes from Cousins to Jordan Reed from 12 and 22 yards out and they never looked back.

Kirk Cousins completed 31 of 46 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his touchdowns went to Reed and one each were to Chris Thompson and Pierre Garçon.

There were a few odd moments for the Redskins. After the Redskins’ first touchdown Dustin Hopkins missed his first extra point of the year. At the end of the first half, Cousins inexplicably took a knee with the Redskins on the Eagles four yard line, losing a chance for at least three points.

But the Redskins were able to overcome all of their errors and walk off with a win.

Key Play: The Redskins were desperately trying to get a working margin in the third quarter, leading 16-10. They embarked on a touchdown drive that included three third-down conversions. The last one was on third and six at the 12 and Cousins fired a dart to Chris Thompson in the end zone for the touchdown. The

Injury Update:

CB Will Blackmon left the game in the third quarter with a hip injury. He returned to the game.

WR DeSean Jackson left the game in the third quarter with cramps. He returned to the game.

CB Bashaud Breeland left the game in the fourth quarter with cramps.

Scoring drives:

First quarter

Mathews 1 run (Sturgis kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 2:52

Key plays: The Eagles got off to a quick start after taking the opening kickoff at their 20. On the first play from scrimmage Bradford found Nelson Agholor for 18 yards and then hit Zach Ertz for 16. They got a hand in the drive when Will Blackmon committed pass interference in the end zone, setting up first and goal at the one. Ryan Mathews powered in on the next play.

Eagles 7, Redskins o


Reed 22 pass from Cousins (kick failed)

Drive: 5 plays, 69 yards, 2:45

Key plays: The drive got off to a quick start with Cousins going to Pierre Thomas for 13 yards and to Jordan Reed for 28 yards into Eagles territory at the 33. Then it was Cousins to DeSean Jackson for seven yards and a first down at the 22. On the next play, Cousins found Reed again wide open over the middle for 22 yards and the touchdown. Hopkins PAT, however, went wide left and the Redskins still trailed.

Eagles 7, Redskins 6


Reed 12 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 7 plays, 61 yards, 3:40

Key plays: The Redskins started in good field position at their own 39 after a punt and they moved in quickly for the score. They got into Eagles territory when Cousins hit Jackson over the middle for 15 yards to the Eagles 46. Then on third and five from the 31 it was Cousins to Reed for 19 yards to the 12. On the very next play the same two hooked up for the touchdown.

Redskins 13, Eagles 7


Second quarter

FG Sturgis 34

Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards, 2:15

Key plays: This was another quick Eagles scoring drive with Bradford utilizing his tight ends. First he went to Zach Ertz for 17 yards and then to Brent Celek for another 17 to the 23. The drive stalled and the Eagles settled for three.

Redskins 13, Eagles 10


FG Hopkins 28

Drive: 8 plays, 25 yards, 2:18

Key plays: The Redskins got possession after Bashaud Breeland forced a fumble and Dashon Goldson recovered and returned it to the Eagles 35. Alfred Morris ran for a couple of first downs. On third and goal at the 10, Cousins threw incomplete for Garçon in the end zone and Hopkins came in and booted the field goal.

Redskins 16, Eagles 10


Third quarter

Thompson 12 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 11 plays, 54 yards, 4:05

Key plays: The Redskins had good field position to start but it wasn’t an easy drive. Cousins had to convert a third and 10 with a pass over the middle to Pierre Garçon and then a third and 14 with a pass to Pierre Thomas. They needed one more third down. On third and six at the 12, Cousins fired to Thompson over the middle for the TD.

Redskins 23, Eagles 10


Murray 4 run (Sturgis kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 52 yards, 2:11

Key plays: The Eagles got the ball at their own 48 after a 49-yard kickoff return. A couple of Demarco Murray runs got them a first down at the 27. Then Bradford went Zach Ertz for 16 yards to the 11. On third and three at the four, Murray went up the middle to the score.

Redskins 23, Eagles 17


Hall 17 fumble return (Hopkins kick)

Drive: No drive

Key plays: On third and two, Bradford attempted to pitch out to Murray. The ball was juggled, fumbled, and Hall scooped it up and rolled into the end zone.

Redskins 30, Eagles 17


Fourth quarter

Garçon 13 pass from Cousins (Cousins pass from Crowder)

Drive: 13 plays, 82 yards, 7:44

Key plays: The Redskins got things going on a 25-yard pass from Cousins to Ryan Grant. Then it became the Pierre Thomas show. He ran nine yards for a first down and then caught passes for nine and 14 yards for two more first downs. Then he went up the middle for nine. On third and goal at the 13, Cousins threw a nice fade to Pierre Garçon for 13 yards and the TD.

Redskins 38, Eagles 17


Matthews 8 pass from Bradford (Sturgis kick)

Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards, 4:21

Key plays: The Eagles got a desperation drive going, converting two fourth downsa long the way. The final strike came from Bradford to Matthews, who just got over the goal line at the pylon for the score.

Redskins 38, Eagles 24


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Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown

Sony Michel

Running back

Sony Michel is a solid north-south runner who also can bounce outside and pick up yardage. He shared playing time with Nick Chubb last year and still ran for 1,277 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per carry, and scored 16 touchdowns against SEC competition. Michel also showed his bona fides in the passing game, catching 64 career passes and showing that he can handle pass protection. 

Height: 5-11
Weight: 220
40-yard dash:4.54

Projected draft round:2

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins have made no secret of their desire to draft an upgrade at running back. They would prefer one who can catch passes out of the backfield and gain yardage between the tackles. Sony Michel can do both as well as pop for yardage on the outside. There is a good chance that he will be on the board when the Redskins draft in the second round. Since they don’t have a third-round pick, this may be the last chance to get an upgrade in this draft. 

Film review: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Alabama

—The first thing to say here is that the Bulldogs had a quality run-blocking offensive line. Michel frequently had big holes to run through. For his part, Michel maximized his gains when he had a big opening, hitting it quickly and working north-south. 

—He also can pick up yards through just a small crease, again by hitting it with urgency and gaining momentum to drive for the final few yards. 

—Michel didn’t do a whole lot of pass protection in the plays I watched, but he was solid when he did. On one play against Notre Dame, he put a blitzing defensive back on the ground. Against Alabama, he got in the way of likely first-round pick Da’Ron Payne long enough to allow the quarterback to get off a deep pass. To be sure, he didn’t blow Payne away but his block was effective.

—Besides the O-line, Michel also got quality blocking from his receivers. Again, he took advantage, reading the blocks and maximizing the gain. 

—He also can get it done without much help. On third and 20 against the vaunted Alabama defense, he headed up the middle and quickly went outside when he saw no running room. He headed to the sideline with four Alabama defenders and no blockers in sight. Michel found another gear and accelerated down the sideline to convert the third and long.  

—He later converted a third and 10 on a draw play, quickly getting up to speed and zipping through traffic to move the sticks. 

Potential issues: Although he has decent speed, he’s not the home run threat you might want in a back taken in the second round. And Michel isn’t really a power back either, although he can fight for extra yards. 

Despite his limitations, there is chatter that Michel might be drafted early in the second round or perhaps even late in the first. It’s hard to separate the smoke and speculation from reality as we sit a week before the draft starts. But he’s a talented back and if Derrius Guice goes off the board earlier than most expect, a run on runners could include Michel. 

Bottom line: Saquon Barkley is the obvious top running back and he surely will be gone when the Redskins pick in the first round. After that, the Redskins have plenty of options. They like Guice but 13 may be too high for him and he is likely to be gone when their pick in the second is on the clock. Michel is one of a few possibilities there, a group that also would include Michel’s former teammate Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones of USC and others. Without a peek at the draft board in Ashburn, we will just have to wait and see. 

Redskins draft countdown

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

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The NFL fills in the blanks on the Redskins' schedule tonight

Since the 2017 regular ended we’ve known who the Redskins will play this coming season and we have known where the games will be played. Tonight we find out the when. 

The NFL schedule will be released tonight at 8 p.m. The NFL will fill in the blanks beside all of the prime time games, the Thanksgiving Day games and the Sunday doubleheader and night games. 

Last year, the Redskins were coming off of an 8-7-1 season where they just missed making a second straight playoff appearance. Kirk Cousins was becoming one of the more recognizable names in the NFL and the schedule makers thought they would be enough of a draw to warrant five prime time slots. They were scheduled for a Sunday night, two Monday nights, and two Thursday nights, including a first-ever home game on Thanksgiving. 

The Redskins may not be as attractive a prime time candidate this year. They went 7-9 and Cousins is gone, although replacement Alex Smith is fairly well-known. It’s nearly a given that two NFC East games will be on prime time. That has been the case every year but one since 2012. We will see what will happen beyond that. 

The prime-time games that the Redskins do have will start a bit earlier than they have in the past. The league announced yesterday that Monday night games will move up from 8:30 p.m. ET to 8:15 p.m. ET and Thursdays will move from an 8:25 p.m. start to 8:20 p.m. Sunday night games move up from 8:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.

There has been speculation that the Redskins will play on Thanksgiving, perhaps at Dallas or against another opponent in the night game. That would make three years in a row on Thanksgiving for them. That is not without precedent although it would be unusual. Besides the Lions and Cowboys, who host Thanksgiving games annually, only two teams played in three straight Thanksgiving games. The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between they played at Dallas on Thanksgiving. 

The availability of FedEx Field should not cause any schedule alterations. There are some events scheduled for the venue but concerts by Taylor Swift and Beyonce & Jay-Z, an international soccer game, and the Maryland-Texas college game are all going to be done before the start of the NFL season. 

Here are the Redskins regular season opponents. 


  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Cardinals
  • Saints
  • Jaguars
  • Titans
  • Bucs


  • Cowboys 
  • Giants
  • Eagles
  • Packers
  • Panthers
  • Colts
  • Falcons
  • Texans

The preseason opponents were announced earlier this month.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.