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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: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

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

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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

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USA TODAY Sports

Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

More than 100 days remain before the Redskins take the field in meaningful NFL action.

Any and all excitement needs to be tempered, significantly, because what happens on a practice field in May without pads does not represent what will happen in September, October and beyond. 

Still, the Redskins group that took the field this week for OTAs showed promise. 

New quarterback Alex Smith looked crisp, connecting with a variety of wideouts and commanding the huddle. New wideout Paul Richardson made the best play of the session when he streaked down the field past rookie cornerback Greg Stroman and hauled in a deep pass from Smith. The play showed Smith's ability to identify open receivers downfield, as well as Richardson's ability to go up and grab a contested catch. Even Stroman, the seventh-round rookie, positioned himself well, he just fell victim to a perfect pass and tremendous athleticism.

That was only one play in a two-hour session. Again, don't take too much from May, when players don't wear pads or engage in any of the violence that the NFL is predicated upon. But the OTAs do serve a purpose, both for players and coaches, and there were nuggets to absorb and try to project for the fall. Here they are:

  • Jay Gruden made clear he's not concerned about the health of his offensive line. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are recuperating from offseason surgery, but Gruden believes both are on track for when things start to matter. It's a good thing the coach isn't concerned because this was the 'Skins line in OTAs (left to right): Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, John Kling. Should that lineup take the field this fall, there will be trouble. 
     
  • The Redskins lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason, and the secondary depth will be something to watch throughout training camp. At OTAs, newly signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick lined up opposite Josh Norman in the team's base 3-4 defense. In nickel and dime coverage, Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Norman and Scandrick moved to the slot. As things progress, it will be interesting to see if Dunbar surpasses Scandrick in base coverage, and what becomes of 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned.  
     
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice looked every part of the first-round talent many judged him to be before draft season rumors caused him to slide to the late second round. Guice cuts with authority and is able to see holes before they form and patiently wait to hit the open space. Guice also looked fine in pass-catching drills, one area that was a question coming out of LSU (but that says more about LSU's prehistoric offense). Watching the Redskins offense work, it seems clear Guice will be the heaviest used runner this fall.
     
  • That said, don't count out Robert Kelley. He looks leaner and plenty quick, showing a few impressive runs during the session. Byron Marshall also looked good, and Gruden pointed out his success in his post-OTA press conference. The running back group will have plenty of competition all the way through Richmond. 
     
  • Jonathan Allen has switched jersey numbers from 95 to 93. Rookie Daron Payne is now wearing 95. Payne and Allen both went to Alabama, both are huge, and both play defensive line. The number switch will take some getting used to. 
     
  • Zach Brown missed the OTA session as he was moving, and interestingly in his spot with the starting defense was Josh Harvey-Clemons. The second-year pro out of Louisville showed impressive speed in coverage, and remember he played safety in college and performed quite well. He has ball skills and great size to be a coverage linebacker. Some were surprised when the Redskins kept JHC last season at the cut to 53, but his development appears to be paying off for the organization. 
     
  • Another linebacker that made a play was Zach Vigil. He impressed for the Redskins late last season and was running the Washington second-team defensive huddle. At one point, Vigil broke through the line of scrimmage and blew up a run play. That prompted D.J. Swearinger to yell from the sideline, "OK Zach. OK ZACH!"
     
  • Speaking of Swearinger, the Redskins defensive captain seemed in midseason form when it comes to yelling encouragement on the field. Nobody hypes up the defense like Swearinger, particularly when the secondary makes a big play. On one pass Dunbar made a nice diving play to break up a pass, and Swearinger and Josh Norman got very fired up, shouting and jumping around. The entire defense responded. Little stuff like that helps disrupt the monotony of offseason work. 
     
  • Jamison Crowder looks jacked and quick. The end. 

 

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