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Redskins keep playoff hopes alive as they eke out win over Eagles

Redskins keep playoff hopes alive as they eke out win over Eagles

PHILADELPHIA— The Redskins can’t do anything the easy way. They went into Lincoln Financial Field, fell behind early, got a rally together and took the lead. But Kirk Cousins threw a pick six in the fourth quarter and things got interesting.

But they were able to hang on and escape Lincoln Financial Field with a 27-22 win that keeps them squarely in the middle of the NFC playoff picture. The winning score came on a 25-yard Chris Thompson touchdown run with 1:53 left.

The key plays were an 80-yard touchdown bomb from Cousins to DeSean Jackson and a botched snap on an Eagles field goal attempt that set up another Redskins touchdown. Those scores turned a 13-7 deficit into a 21-13 lead late in the third quarter.

[MORE: Cousins sets new franchise passing mark]

But then Cousins threw a sideline pass that Leodis McKelvin picked off and returned 29 yards. It was a two-point game after the two-point pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles, however, got the ball back and drove for a field goal that put them up by a point.

It was the Redskins’ turned to respond. A 33-yard pass from Cousins to Jamison Crowder was called incomplete but a successful replay challenge overturned it. A few plays later it was fourth and one and Cousins picked it up with a six-yard pass to the 29. Two plays later Cousins pitched to Chris Thompson and he picked his way through the defense for 25 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles had a last chance to take the win with a late drive. They moved into Washington territory at the 14 but Ryan Kerrigan saved the day with a sack and strip of Wentz. Trent Murphy recovered and the Redskins just had to kneel down once.

The Redskins are 7-5-1 and they host the Panthers next Monday night.

Injury Updates:

LB Su’a Cravens left the game in the first quarter with a bicep injury; his return was listed as questionable. He did not return to the game.

ILB Will Compton left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury, he was announced as out for the game.

RB Mack Brown left the game in the third quarter with a concussion.

Scoring drives:  

First quarter           

FG Sturgis 45

Drive: 10 plays, 46 yards, 5:14

Drive summary: The Eagles took the opening kickoff and moved right in for the score. A pass from Carson Wentz to Zach Ertz picked up 13 yards and then Wentz converted a third and six on a 10-yard pass to Jordan Matthews. They worked their way down to a third and three the 27 before  then Ryan Kerrigan pressured Wentz into an incompletions. Sturgis came in a kicked the field goal.

Eagles 3, Redskins 0 9:46

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Second quarter

FG Sturgis 36

Drive: 10 plays, 53 yards, 5:36

Drive summary: The Eagles got the ball after a missed Dustin Hopkins field goal. The eked out a first down with a two-yard gain on third and two and then Wentz launched a 29-yard strike to Zach Ertz for a first down at the Washington 32. The Eagles were lined up to go for it on fourth and three but after a false start Sturgis came on the field and kicked the tree-pointer.

Eagles 6, Redskins 0

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Kelley 22 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards, 6:18

Drive summary: The Redskins finally scratched the scoreboard with a second-quarter drive. Cousins got the initial first down with a one-yard run on an option play then he passed to Rob Kelley for 11 and to Jordan Reed for 10. Kelley converted a third and one with a five-yard run and then on the next play he popped a 22-yard run off of left tackle into the end zone.

Redskins 7, Eagles 6 4:11

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Sproles 4 pass from Wentz (Sturgis kick)

Drive: 12 plays, 77 yards, 3:43

Drive summary: The Eagles answered the Redskins’ score with a late drive. Wentz went to Jordan Matthews for 14 and then he converted a third and nine with a 16-yard pass to Trey Burton. That put them in Redskins territory at the 43. On third and three at the 36 Wentz threw to Paul Turner for 16 yards. A third-down pass to Burton set up a first and goal at the four. On the next play Wentz threw to Darren Sproles for the touchdown.

Eagles 13, Redskins 7

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Third quarter

Jackson 80 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 2 plays, 81 yards, 0:43

Drive summary: On the second play of their drive Cousins launched a deep pass to DeSean Jackson. Like few others can he tracked the ball down shook the defender, and ran the last 30 yards into the end zone.

Redskins 14, Eagles 13 9:14

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Cousins 15 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 6 plays, 54 yards, 3:14

Drive summary: The Redskins got good field position after the Eagles botched a field goal snap. Starting from their own 46, Cousins went to DeSean Jackson for 21 yards. The receiver made a tiptoe catch on the sideline and the catch survived replay review. Then it was Rob Kelley catching a pass for 14 and then running for 10 for first and goal at the nine. A penalty pushed them back but on second down at the 15 Cousins lofted a pass to Garçon in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

Redskins 21, Eagles 13

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Fourth quarter

McKelvin 29 interception return (pass failed)

Drive: --

Drive summary: Kirk Cousins tried to go to DeSean Jackson on the sideline but McKelvin jumped the route and streaked down the sideline for 29 yards and the touchdown

Redskins 21, Eagles 19

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Cousins 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 11 plays, 37 yards, 6:28

Drive summary: The Eagles got a jump-start on their drive thanks to a personal foul penalty on Deshazor Everett that set up the start of the drive at their own 40. They converted a third and seven on a 14-yard pass from Wentz to Ertz and then Wentz snuck to pick up a fourth and one. They faced another fourth and one at the 24 and this time they kicked the go-ahead field goal with just under five minutes left.

Eagles 22, Redskins 21 4:59

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Thompson 25 run (pass failed)

Drive: 8 plays, 77 yards, 3:06

Drive summary: The Redskins responded to the Eagles’ score. It started with what was originally called an incomplete pass but replay overturned it and it turned into a 33-yard pass from Cousins to Crowder. A few plays later it was fourth and one at the 35. They picked it up with Cousins to Garçon for six yards. Two plays later Cousins pitched to Chris Thompson and he picked his way through the defense for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Redskins 27, Eagles 22

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Gallery: NFL WEEK 14: REDSKINS 27, EAGLES 22​ 

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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

roullier-ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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