Sunday, December 23, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Redskins 27, Eagles 20
By Dan Graziano
PHILADELPHIA -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' sixth victory in a row and their ninth of the season.
What it means: The Redskins have their first winning season since 2007, and if they beat the Dallas Cowboys at home Sunday, they will be NFC East champions for the first time since 1999. The Redskins also retain a chance to make the playoffs as a wild-card team, though they cannot clinch their playoff spot today. The Eagles have lost 11 games for the first time since 1999 -- Andy Reid's first season as their head coach. They have not lost 12 in a season since 1998, when they finished 3-13 under Rich Kotite.
Gimpy Griffin: There was much speculation going into this game about the ways in which Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III might be limited after missing last week's game with a sprained knee. Griffin wore a brace on the knee, and while the Redskins still ran a lot of the play-action passes that have been such a critical element of their offense, it seemed clear that Griffin's legs were not going to be a significant part of the game plan this week. He carried the ball twice for 4 yards in the first half and not once after that. The Redskins went with a fairly conservative game plan, feeding running back Alfred Morris the ball and picking their spots down the field when the receivers were able to get open in the Philadelphia secondary.
Season of giving: The Redskins were able to get back into the game after a slow start on defense because of two Eagles turnovers. Nick Foles' fumble on Ryan Kerrigan's first sack of the game set up a Redskins field goal drive, and London Fletcher's interception of Foles set up a touchdown drive that put the Redskins on top 13-7 in the second quarter. The Eagles entered the game tied with Kansas City for the worst turnover differential in the league (minus-22). Washington's defense seemed to stiffen after the turnovers, but the Eagles were able to move the ball against them in the fourth quarter after it appeared as though Washington had put the game away. Philadelphia had a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line but could not punch it in.
You never know: Colt Anderson's fourth-quarter interception of Griffin may have been the least likely interception of the year in the NFL. It was the Eagles' first interception in nine games and just the fifth of the season for Griffin in 14 starts.
Record-breaking kicker: The Redskins' Kai Forbath's first two field goals of the day were his 16th and 17th of the year in as many attempts. That broke Garrett Hartley's record of consecutive made field goals (16) to start an NFL career.
What's next: The Redskins host the Cowboys on Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., in a game that stands a decent chance of being picked for that night's prime-time slot. The Eagles travel up the highway to play the Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in what very likely will be Reid's final game as Eagles coach.