Monday, October 17, 2016

Redskins ground Eagles with balanced attack

By Moe Murphy
Special to 

LANDOVER, MD- The Washington Redskins used a combination of passing, running and defensive pressure to win their fourth game in a row as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 before a crowd of 78,934 at FedEx Field on Sunday.
Washington (4-2, 2-1) took the lead on a 3 play 66 yard drive near the end of the first quarter when quarterback Kirk Cousins found Jamison Crowder in the right corner of the end zone for a 16 yard touchdown pass. The touchdown tied Cousins with Jason Campbell as 7 on the Redskins all time touchdown passing list with his 55th career touchdown pass. The Redskins never trailed Philadelphia in the game.

Cousins connected with Vernon Davis in the second quarter on a 13 yard strike, to give Davis his first career touchdown reception as a Washington Redskin. Cousins finished the day completing 18 of 34 passes for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception with a quarterback rating of 85.8.

“We need to impose our will and execute at a high level.” Cousins said, “I think we showed what we are capable of, and the challenge will always be to do it from the first whistle to the last. It was a good offensive showing because so many guys contributed and made a difference.”

Philadelphia (3-2, 1-2) struggled on offense all day under tremendous pressure from the Redskins defense. This was the first time this season the Redskins held a team to under 100 yards rushing allowing on 94 yards on the ground. The Redskins held the Eagles to 239 yards, the fewest allowed by the Redskins since holding St. Louis to 213 yards in Week 2 of the 2015 season. They also held the Eagles offense from scoring a touchdown as their two touchdowns came on an 86 yard kickoff return by Wendell Smallwood and a 64 yard interception return by Malcom Jenkins.

“The defense has been outstanding, and they’re doing it in a lot of different ways.” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said, “They’ve mixed up their coverages and stunts and stopped the run game better in the second half.”

The Redskins ground game also came alive and the team gained 230 yards rushing, the most since week 17 of 2012 in a victory over Dallas that gave the Redskins the NFC East championship.
The running game was paced by Matt Jones who rushed for 135 yards on 16 carries including a 1 yard touchdown run and a 57 yard run to seal the game on a 3rd and 7 with 1:22 to go in the game, keeping the Eagles from getting a last chance to tie the game.

“It definitely felt good out there running.” Jones said, “I just felt like my o line took control of the whole game. They wanted to block and just finish up on the second level. It was a great challenge knowing that they were a great defense, and we just stepped up to the challenge.”
Rookie Robert Kelley added 59 yards on 5 carries including a 45 yard rumble. Chris Thompson added 37 yards on 9 carries.

Pierre Garcon led all receivers with 77 yards on 6 receptions. DeSean Jackson grabbed 4 receptions for 55 yards, Jamison Crowder had 3 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown, and Vernon Davis chipped in for 50 yards on 2 receptions and a touchdown.

The defense recorded 5 sacks, Ryan Kerrigan (2), Will Blackmon and Ricky Jean Francois with 1 each and Trent Murphy shared a sack with Preston Smith. Blackmon had 6 combined tackles and Will Compton and Mason Foster each had 5.

The Redskins kicking game remained solid as usual with Tress Way punting 4 times for a 52.8 average and Dustin Hopkins hit on field goals of 32 and 50 yards.

“We can overcome things that happen.” Gruden said, “You know, we gave up a kickoff return and then an interception return back-to-back. Guys staying resilient. Just kept working, kept grinding. That’s pretty much the motto of our team right now.” 

The Redskins will hit the Road travelling to Detroit to face the Lions (3-3) next week before flying to London to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

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