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Redskins win over Eagles came down to two pivotal passes

Redskins win over Eagles came down to two pivotal passes

PHILADELPHIA—There are a lot of plays that might determine the outcome of a football game. But you can make a pretty good case that the Redskins’ win over the Eagles would not have happened if not for two pass plays, one long, one short.

The long one came in the third quarter. Late in the second period the Redskins drove for a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead but Philadelphia came right back and scored a TD just before halftime to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room. On the Redskins’ second possession of the half they had second and nine at their own 20. Kirk Cousins dropped back and launched one deep for DeSean Jackson.


“We got just the coverage we wanted,” said Cousins. “It was a great call by Sean [McVay] to give us that play against that coverage.”

It worked just like it was drawn up by the McVay. Jackson got a few steps on his defender, Cousins threw the pass, and, after an adjustment to the ball in the air, Jackson was able to haul it in and complete the 80-yard touchdown play.

“He has a few elite traits and one of them is his ability to track the ball in the air,” said Cousins. “If it’s not an easy catch he can go find it and track the ball better than most receivers and certainly better than most defensive backs.”

Now in five games against his former team, Jackson has three with over 100 yards receiving and touchdown receptions of 80 and 81 yards.

“I wish I could do it every game if you ask me,” said Jackson when asked if he got particular pleasure out of playing well against the team that employed him from 2008-2013. “I’ve just been fortunate that I’ve been able to come back and make some big plays against my former team but regardless of who it is I enjoy doing it.”

Jackson’s long catch would have been an interesting stat line in a loss if the Redskins had not connected on another, much shorter pass with time running out in the fourth quarter. The Redskins were down by two and facing fourth and one at the Eagles 35 with three minutes left. They called timeout to make sure they had the right play in.

Cousins dropped back and fired to Pierre Garçon to his right. The receiver got between cornerback Leodis McKelvin and the ball and secured the catch for the critical first down.

“It was a big play because if we don’t get it we lose the game,” said Cousins. “I think the other point is that Pierre does a great job winning versus man coverage . . . He had a tough job there but he did it and made a great catch and we were able to move the chains.”

Had they failed to get the first down the Eagles would have been able to run some clock. If the Redskins had gotten the ball back it likely would have been far from the goal line with very little time remaining. As it was, two plays later Chris Thompson scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard run.

“He’s so strong, even if the cornerback is on him he has a great ability to come back to the quarterback and use his body and his strong hands to make those tough catches,” said Gruden.

A loss would not have killed the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs but it would have put a severe damper on them. They remain legitimate playoff contenders, thanks to one long pass and one short one.

Gallery: NFL WEEK 14: REDSKINS 27, EAGLES 22

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

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

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks.