Instant Analysis: Redskins 27, Eagles 20

Instant Analysis: Redskins 27, Eagles 20
December 23, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Shanahan: We're not done yet

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Robert Griffin III’s return to the lineup was a triumphant one 

The Redskins’ rookie tossed two touchdown passes a week after sitting out with a sprained knee, and the Redskins escaped with a heart-stopping 27-20 victory over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

With the win, Washington’s sixth in a row, they improved 9-6 and can win their first division title since 1999 with a victory over the Cowboys next Sunday at FedEx Field.

The Redskins secured the win with a pair of touchdowns in the decisive third quarter – and a fortuitous defensive stand in the final moments. Alfred Morris scored from 10 yards out early in the third, then Santana Moss made a spectacular catch late to stake the visitors to a 27-13 lead.

Facing a third and 10 at the Eagles’ 22, Griffin lofted a perfectly placed pass into the end zone and Moss masterfully managed to drag his trail foot as he hauled in the ball.

In the fourth quarter, Philadelphia parlayed a rare Griffin interception into a touchdown when running back Dion Lewis ripped off a 17-yard run to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 27-20.

Philadelphia had one more chance, driving the ball the all the way to the Redskins’ five-yard line. But defensive end Stephen Bowen forced Nick Foles into throwing the ball away as the clock wound down. Although one second remained, Foles was charged with intentional grounding and, by rule, a 10 second run off, ending the game.

The loss was the Eagles’ 10th in their last 11 games. It also might have been Andy Reid’s last game on the sidelines at home.

Kicker Kai Forbath stayed perfect, connecting from 45 and 42 yards in the second quarter. He is 17 of 17 and now owns the record for most consecutive field goals to open an NFL career, surpassing the Saints’ Garrett Hartley’s mark (2008-09). 

Linebackers London Fletcher and Ryan Kerrigan also had big games. Fletcher intercepted his fifth pass of the season, establishing a career-high in his 15thseason. Kerrigan, meantime, notched a pair of sacks in the first half, bringing his season total to 8.5 – one more than had a season ago.

The Redskins held a tenuous 13-10 lead at halftime.

The Eagles converted a pair of fourth downs on their opening drive and took a 7-0 lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles to Jeremy Maclin. It marked only the second time all season Philadelphia scored on its opening drive.

The Redskins answered in the second quarter with a pair of field goals by Kai Forbath, whose kicks trimmed the Eagles’ lead to 7-6.

On the next drive, Fletcher picked off Foles and rumbled to the Philadelphia 25-yard line. Five plays later, Robert Griffin III found Josh Morgan for an 11-yard touchdown reception that put the Redskins ahead 13-7.

But Foles led the Eagles right back down the field, and Alex Henery hit a 38-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining in the half, cutting their deficit to three points at the intermission.