PHILADELPHIA—One of the topics of conversation this week at Redskins Park was how the team has seemed to have abandoned the running game during their two-game losing streak. Top back Rob Kelley had just 14 carries in the team’s losses to the Cowboys and Cardinals. Even offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who calls the plays, admitted that the team got away from the run when it wasn’t necessary, especially in Arizona.
They didn’t exactly wear Kelley out today against the Eagles but they were balanced on offense and that helped them break that losing streak. McVay called 23 pass plays and 22 runs. The Redskins managed 334 yards of offense, they were able to put together four touchdown drives, and get the win.
Chris Thompson didn’t carry much but he had the winning touchdown run. The Redskins trailed 22-21 at the two-minute warning and had the ball at the Eagles 25. Thompson took a pitch to the left from Kirk Cousins, eluded a tackle from defensive end Vinny Curry, and all of a sudden he found wide open spaces. He said it was because “Trent Williams was out there doing Trent Williams things”, meaning that the Pro Bowl left tackle was out in front blocking defenders in the open field. The speedy Thompson followed the blocking, cut back to his right a bit, and scooted in for the touchdown.
“We were getting man-to-man,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden. “We motioned over there and faked a little jet sweep to DeSean [Jackson]. We just down blocked and pulled our tackle and hopefully get five yards. I was hoping for 5, 6, 7 yards and run the clock down to get a field goal but the touchdown was great.”
For his part, Thompson really wanted no part of a field goal try. He recalled Dustin Hopkins’ 34-yard miss against the Bengals in London. Although scoring on the play did leave the Eagles with enough time to drive deep into Redskins territory, he was happy with it just the same.
“What if the field goal gets blocked?” Thompson asked. “What if the snap gets bobbled or something?”
He didn’t mention it, but Hopkins did miss a 38-yard field goal try by bouncing it off of the left upright earlier in the game. The end zone was the way to go.
Kelley also ran for a touchdown, this one from 22 yards out in the second quarter. The two runs don’t sound like much but it was the first time since at least 2004 that the Redskins have had two touchdown runs of over 20 yards in the same game.
It wasn’t a monster game for the rushing attack in general or for Kelley, who had 16 carries for 63 yards, in particular. But he made some plays and the team won and after what had transpired the last two games the Redskins will take it.
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