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Redskins rumble to victory over Eagles behind Matt Jones, run game

Redskins rumble to victory over Eagles behind Matt Jones, run game

LANDOVER, MD— The Redskins jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the Eagles, allowed them to come back, and then they retook control and held on for a 27-20 win at FedEx Field. The win is their fourth straight after an 0-2 start to the season

The Redskins got a big day out of Kirk Cousins, who passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns, and out of their running game. Matt Jones rushed 16 times for 135 yards and Chris Thompson and Robert Kelley also chipped in with 59 and 37 yards, respectively.

The home team got out to a 14-0 lead and appeared to be ready to put the game on cruise control in the second quarter.

The trouble started innocently enough. Vernon Davis caught his first touchdown pass as a Redskin and it gave his team a 14-0 lead. The veteran celebrated by using the football as a basketball and “shooting” it over the goal post. That drew a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff from the enforcers of the NFL’s “no fun” edict. With the kickoff pushed back Wendell Smallwood fielded the kickoff at the 14 and rolled down the left sideline 86 yards for a touchdown.

The Redskins were moving on their subsequent possession but Kirk Cousins threw an ill-advised pass under pressure. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins picked it off and cruised 64 yards to tie the game at 14.

The Redskins regained control, scoring on back-to-back possessions in the second and third quarters to take a 24-14 lead. The teams exchanged field goals and the Eagles got the ball back trailing by seven at their own 30 with 4:05 to go.

The Eagles got moving into Redskins territory. A sack by Ricky Jean Francois set up a third and 16 at the Eagles 49. Another sack, this one by Trent Murphy and Preston Smith, forced the Eagles to punt and try to play defense. But on third and seven at the 26, Jones had a huge hole and he bolted 58 yards down to the 26. One kneel down later the game was over.

Scoring drives:  

First quarter            

Crowder 16 pass from Cousins (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 3 plays, 71 yards, 1:31

Drive summary: The Redskins’ stagnant offense got a spark when Kirk Cousins found DeSean Jackson open on the right side for 35 yards down to the Eagles 31. After Matt Jones powered for 15 yards, Cousins hit Crowder with a beautiful pass in the left corner of the end zone for the touchdown.

Redskins 7, Eagles 0 0:51            

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Second quarter

Davis 13 pass from Cousins

Drive: 9 plays, 90 yards, 5:31

Drive summary: The Redskins started in a hole at their own 10. Cousins got the initial first down with a nice scramble for nine yards on third and seven. Rookie Robert Kelley then headed left, got through the line, cut back to the right, and rumbled 45 yards to the Eagles 33. Runs by Kelley and Chris Thompson set up another first down at the 18. Three plays later on third and five, Cousins found Vernon Davis all alone in the middle of the end zone for the touchdown.

Redskins 14, Eagles 0 7:48          

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Smallwood 86 kickoff return (Sturgis kick)

Drive: --

Drive summary: After a celebration penalty on Vernon Davis’ touchdown the Redskins kicked off from their own 20. Smallwood took it at the 14 headed straight up the left side and bolted 86 yards for the touchdown

Redskins 14, Eagles 7 7:37

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Jenkins 66 interception return

Drive: --

Drive summary: The Redskins had a nice drive going until Cousins tried to throw to Davis under duress. Malcolm Jenkins was all over the receiver and picked off the pass. Cousins was the only obstacle between Jenkins and the end zone and he easily eluded the quarterback for the 64-yard return.

Redskins 14, Eagles 14 3:55       

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Jones 1 run (Hopkins kick)

Drive: 13 plays, 75 yards, 3:49

Drive summary: The Redskins got going with a 22-yard run by Matt Jones. Then Jones ran for another six and Robert Kelley fought for six more and another first down. On third and five at the 32 Cousins found Garçon open for a gain of 13 to the 19. Then Cousins went to Garcon over the middle for 15 yards to the four. On third and goal from the four, Cousins threw incomplete but the Eagles were flagged for roughing the passer. It took three plays to get it in from the two but Jones went wide left on third and goal at the one for the touchdown.

Redskins 21, Eagles 14 0:06

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Third quarter

FG Hopkins 32

Drive: 12 plays, 66 yards, 6:20

Drive summary: The Redskins got going when they converted a third and eight with a short Cousins pass to Pierre Garçon that the receiver turned into a 22-yard game. A screen to Thompson gained 10 yards to the Eagles 42. Matt Jones followed that up with a 16-yard run to the 19. Washington lost 10 yards on an illegal block penalty but got it right back when the Eagles committed a facemask to set up first and 10 at the 13. On third down from there, Cousins was pressured and threw high for Garçon. Dustin Hopkins came in and booted the field goal to extend the Washington lead.

Redskins 24, Eagles 14 8:40       

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Fourth quarter

FG Sturgis 38

Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards, 3:50

Drive summary: It looked like the drive was done before it got started but Wentz hit Jordan Matthews with a long bomb on third and 14. That was good for 54 yards to the Redskins 26. But they went nowhere after that and Sturgis came in and booted the field goal to make it a one-score game.

Redskins 24, Eagles 17 12:56     

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FG Hopkins 50

Drive: 7 plays, 58 yards, 3:13

Drive summary: The Redskins got another long drive rolling with Matt Jones picking up 13 yards to the 23. Then Cousins dropped a perfect pass into Vernon Davis’ arms and the tight end scampered up the left sideline for 37 yards to the Eagles 40. An offside penalty got another first down but they could get no further and Hopkins came in a booted the field goal.

Redskins 27, Eagles 17 9:43       

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FG Sturgis 28

Drive: 8 plays 69 yards, 4:23

Drive summary: The Eagles executed a quick drive to answer the Redskins’ score. Ryan Matthews bolted for 22 yards and then Wentz passed to Dorial Green-Beckham for 23 yards and to Zach Ertz for 22. Darrel Sproles ran 12 yards to set up first and goal at the 10. But they couldn’t punch it in and Sturgis kicked the field goal to again make it a one-score game.

Redskins 27, Eagles 20 5:20       

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 MORE REDSKINS: Vernon Davis penalized for "excessive" celebration

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Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

What should the Redskins do with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? 

Some believe Washington has an easy choice and should take Chase Young. Some think they should consider taking Tua Tagovailoa despite drafting Dwayne Haskins a year ago. ESPN's Mel Kiper is a proponent of both.

"You can have all the Chase Young's you want," Kiper said Thursday. "This is a quarterback league all the way.

"If the medical staff clears [Tagovailoa], and the medical staff is going to be key to this," he continued. "If they sign off, you take Tua at No. 2. You don't trade the pick, you don't take Chase Young. And if Haskins turns out to better, than great then we can trade Tua."

This goes against what Kiper said just a month ago. In a mock draft from January 24, Kiper wrote, "If you scanned Washington's depth chart, you probably wouldn't pick out an edge rusher as its top need. It might not even be in the top three. And yet, the Redskins absolutely can't pass on Young -- unless they get bowled over with an offer from a team trading up."

Anyway, The Sports Junkies took time to react to Kiper's comments on their Friday show. Eric Bickel, J.P. Flaim and Jason Bishop had particularly interesting takes on whether the Redskins should consider drafting a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back years.

That's preposterous," Bickel said. "That's the part where it falls apart."

"You can't draft quarterbacks back to back in the first round and have them battle it out," Bishop said. 

"It would be just like what happened in Arizona," Bickel said in response. "They'd have to unload Haskins and get what they could."

The Cardinals did exactly what Kiper is proposing for the Redskins last season when they took Kyler Murray with the first pick despite drafting Josh Rosen in the top-10 the year prior. Arizona, similar to the Redskins this year, hired a new head coach after taking Rosen. 

The Cardinals then traded Rosen to the Dolphins on Day 2 of the draft last year in exchange for a second-round pick (Andy Isabella) and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rosen only made three starts for the Dolphins in 2019. 

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and if the Redskins believe Tagovailoa gives them a better chance to compete for a Super Bowl than Dwayne Haskins, then they shouldn't worry about taking a quarterback in back-to-back drafts. It's certainly worked out for the Cardinals so far. But there are no certainties in the draft, as Flaim points out. 

"I think [Kiper's] just saying that," Flaim said. "The reality is if you really believe Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Like, if you're evaluation is Tua's going to be a Russell Wilson, he's going to be an Aaron Rodgers, he's going to be an elite quarterback in the league, and Haskins is just going to be a guy, he could be a starter, then you take Tua. But it's so inexact you have no idea."

Washington's interest in Tagovailoa is unknown at this point, though they will be meeting with him and Joe Burrow prior to the draft. Head coach Ron Rivera did say however, the Redskins are, 'just doing our due diligence,' in meeting with the top two quarterbacks in this year's draft. 

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Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Trent Williams reportedly made his demands clear. He either wants a new contract or he wants to be traded, according to a report from NFL Network on Thursday. 

As the situation for the disgruntled left tackle continues to play out, the Redskins haven't received any trade inquiries about Williams, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver.

"Has there been any trade interest around the league? So far, no," Silver said on an NFL Network appearance Friday. "Nobody has called Washington saying 'We'd like to talk about coming and getting Trent Williams.' Maybe that'll change."

Following up on earlier reports, Silver acknowledged that there has been a line of communication between Williams and new head coach Ron Rivera after changes to the medical staff — the root cause of the offensive lineman's original rife and distrust with the team. 

Rivera is widely regarded as a coach that players can trust and enjoy playing for. Silver commented on how that may impact Washington's direction with Williams' future.

"I think organizationally the feeling is 'Look, if Trent Williams doesn't feel comfortable with this situation, and doesn't want to be there for Ron Rivera, we're not going to spend a lot of time trying to appease him," Silver said.

After sitting out for the entirety of the 2019 season, Williams has one year remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $14.5 million, none of which is guaranteed.

When Williams signed the deal in 2015, he set an NFL record for the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history. But as value has increased, the seven-time Pro Bowler has slid further down the list of highest-paid tackles, currently ranking eighth in highest average salary, according to Over the Cap.

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