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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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The five key plays in the Redskins’ win over the Panthers

The five key plays in the Redskins’ win over the Panthers

Every play in an NFL game is important but some matter to the outcome more than others. Here are the key plays in the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Panthers.

1. Q1, 10:41 — Tress Way punts 51 yards to CAR 21, D.J. Moore to CAR 22 for 1 yard (Shaun Dion Hamilton). FUMBLES (Hamilton), RECOVERED by WAS-Jeremy Sprinkle at CAR 21. Sprinkle to CAR 22 for -1 yard. 

The Redskins did not get off to a promising start on offense as they went three and out on their first possession and punted. Panthers rookie D.J. Moore fielded the punt and tried to find some running room. He found Hamilton, who stripped the ball away and Sprinkle pounced on it.

It only took one play for the Redskins to cash in as Alex Smith found Vernon Davis wide open—as in nobody else in the picture open—for a touchdown to put the home team up 7-0. 

2. Q1, 8:50 — Alex Smith pass short middle to Jordan Reed to WAS 45 for 7 yards 

The Redskins were looking to add to their lead on their possession following the Davis touchdown. On third and eight at their own 38, Smith threw for Reed in the middle of the field. The pass was high and inside, forcing Reed to jump, reach back and stab the ball with his right hand. It was a true one-handed catch because he never touched the ball with his left hand. 

The only thing Reed did wrong on that play was to signal for a first down. It was short, but Smith got the first with a sneak on the next play. Some Adrian Peterson runs and a 21-yard pass from Smith to Davis helped get the Redskins down to the two-yard line. On third down from there, Smith found Paul Richardson for a TD to make it 14-0.

3. Q2, 11:32 — Cam Newton pass short middle to Moore to WAS 37 for 17 yards (Josh Norman). FUMBLES (Norman), RECOVERED by WAS -Mason Foster at WAS 33. 

Norman got his first interception since 2016 earlier in the second quarter but the offense couldn’t do anything with the possession. The next time the Panthers had the ball, Newton went to Moore on a crossing Pattern. He had some running room and it looked like the Panthers would advance well into Redskins territory. But as defenders converged on Moore, Norman reached in and stripped the ball out. “He never saw me coming,” said Norman. Foster recovered, and the Redskins drove for a field goal to go up 17-0. 

4. Q4, 13:43 — Alex Smith sacked at CAR 46 for -6 yards (Julius Peppers). FUMBLES (Peppers), recovered by WAS-Trent Williams at CAR 46. Williams to CAR 38 for 8 yards.

The Panthers had rallied to make it a one-score game at 17-9. On third and seven from the Carolina 40, Smith was immediately swarmed by the pass rush. The ball popped out and it fell into the hands of Williams to the left of the scrum. Going on sheer instinct, Williams headed upfield. Starting from six yards behind the line of scrimmage Williams rumbled eight yards for a net gain of two. That’s not much but it was enough to have Jay Gruden send Dustin Hopkins into the game to attempt a 56-yard field goal. The boot just made it over the uprights and Hopkins’ career-long kick had the Redskins up by two scores at 20-9. 

5. Q4, 0:38 — Cam Newton pass incomplete short right to Jarius Wright.

After the Redskins kicked a field goal to go up by six, Newton led a final drive that kept everyone on edge. Starting with 3:15 to play, Newton was sharp, completing six of seven passes for 50 yards to move the Panthers from their own 16 to second and five at the Washington 16. The Washington defense finally stiffened, and Newton’s next three passes fell incomplete. The last one went harmlessly to the ground, not particularly close to Wright or any other receiver. The Redskins and their fans could finally exhale and celebrate. 

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Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down vs. Panthers

Need to Know: Redskins stock up-stock down vs. Panthers

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 15, six days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.

Talking points

Here are the players who saw their stock go up against the Panthers on Sunday and others who saw their stocks drop. 

Stock up—A few days ago, CB Josh Norman was a penny stock. He had mixed up assignments in the blowout loss to the Saints and take a ton of criticism after the game, much of it warranted. During the Panthers game, he was a blue chip. Norman got his first interception in 20 games and he forced a fumble. There is still a lot of season to be played but for now, at least it’s good to be Josh Norman.

Stock down—They won the game and that’s the quarterback’s main job. But for the second straight game, Alex Smith did not play up to his $18.4 million cap number. He passed for 163 yards. At times you really wondered where he was throwing the ball and/or to whom he was throwing it. They were able to win thanks to Adrian Peterson’s rushing and three takeaways. To Smith’s credit, he protected the ball well and it should be noted he was without favorite targets, Chris Thompson and Jamison Crowder. Regardless, it was not a sharp performance by Smith. 

Stock upPeterson came into the game with an injured ankle, knee, and shoulder. Not only did he fight through the pain, he thrived. Six days after he rushed for just six yards against the Saints and sat out most of the second half, he picked up 97 yards on 17 carries, an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Peterson did rip off a 19-yard run but mostly it was three yards here, six yards there. It was what the Redskins were expecting when the signed him. 

Stock down—With Thompson out, Kapri Bibbs had his big chance to show what he can do. He didn’t do much. Bibbs, who was promoted from the practice squad earlier this season, picked up 11 yards rushing on two carries and he caught one pass for six yards. There were some high hopes for Bibbs among Redskins fans. For today, he didn’t live up to them. 

Stock up—I know that Daron Payne didn’t make a ton of plays and his streak of games with at least one sack ended at two. But he was part of a defensive front that held Christian McCaffrey, who came into the game averaging 82.3 rushing yards per game (fourth in the NFL) and 5.2 yards per attempt, to 20 yards on eight attempts, a 2.5 per carry average. And he made a remarkable play, which is becoming routine for him, when he made the tackle on a tight end who had taken a screen pass well outside of the numbers. He’s a special talent and his stock will continue to rise. 

The agenda

Today: Open locker room 11:30; Jay Gruden press conference 3:00 

Upcoming: Cowboys @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Giants 13; Redskins @ Eagles 49

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