The Redskins treated the Eagles like a team staggering from five straight losses and starting a rookie quarterback.
In a game they absolutely had to win, Washington's defense intercepted Nick Foles twice in the first quarter and Robert Griffin III tossed a career-high four touchdowns to lift the Redskins to a thorough 31-6 victory at FedEx Field, where the home team breathed life back into their faint playoff hopes while virtually extinguishing Philadelphia’s.
Four days from now, the Redskins will take a 4-6 record into Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day showdown at Cowboys Stadium. The Eagles, meantime, fell to 3-7.
Griffin finished the day 14 of 15 passing for 200 yards. He also rushed for 85 yards on 11 carries. But Griffin’s highlight came via his cannon for an arm in the third quarter, when he put the game out of reach with a 61-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss that staked the Redskins to a 24-6 lead.
Moss snatched the pass in double coverage, then fought his way into the end zone to give the Redskins their highest scoring output since their 38-26 victory over the Vikings on Oct. 14. A year after averaging 18 points per game, Griffin and the Redskins’ offense has now scored 31 or more points four times in 10 games this season.
As well as Griffin played, though, he had to share the spotlight with a resurgent defense that was energized by safety Brandon Meriweather’s (brief) return. Meriweather, playing for the first time this season because of a pair of left knee injuries, departed in the third quarter after appearing to hurt his other knee.
But before he was sidelined, however, Meriweather was a force. He recorded seven tackles, one for a loss, intercepted a pass and defended two others.
Coach Mike Shanahan is expected to provide an update on Meriweather's injury after the game. The veteran spent the remainder of the game watching from the sideline.
DeAngelo Hall also intercepted a pass, while Barry Cofield caused LeSean McCoy to fumble in the second quarter. The maligned unit also sacked Foles four times, with Josh Wilson, Ryan Kerrigan, Rob Jackson and Perry Riley each recording one.
The six points were the lowest total the Redskins had allowed since a 10-3 win over the Eagles in 2008. They had been allowing 27.6 points per game entering the afternoon.
It wasn’t a flawless performance by the Redskins – they were whistled for nine penalties – but it was good enough. More important, it means they’ll head to Dallas this week with a sense of purpose instead of looking ahead to 2013.