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Redskins hold on against Eagles in Griffin's return
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Robert Griffin III was limited with a knee brace but still threw two touchdown passes, and the Washington Redskins held on against the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20, to put themselves on the brink of a division title.
The Redskins (9-6), behind Griffin and fellow rookie Alfred Morris, recorded five road wins in one season for the first time since 1991 and can capture their first NFC East crown in 13 years with a home win over the Cowboys in next week's regular season finale.
"We're going to enjoy this win, and right after Christmas it's on to Dallas," Morris said.
Griffin missed last week's win over Cleveland with a sprained right knee and only ran the ball twice on Sunday to go with 198 passing yards and an interception on 16-of-24 attempts.
"Any time you wear a brace...it's going to restrict your motion," Griffin said. "My mobility was down a little bit, but at the same time I was still able to do everything a quarterback's supposed to do."
Morris posted 91 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries for the Redskins, who are currently riding a six-game winning streak that started Nov. 18 against an Eagles club then in the midst of an eight-game slide, the longest in head coach Andy Reid's 14-year tenure.
Philadelphia (4-11) earned a last-second win over the Buccaneers in Week 14 to stop the skid, but has since lost two in row, leading to more speculation that Reid's time on the sideline is soon coming to an end.
In perhaps Reid's final home game as their head coach, the Eagles scored a late touchdown, then reached the Washington 5-yard line in the closing seconds. The comeback came up short, though, as Nick Foles was flagged for intentional grounding with one second left, resulting in a 10-second runoff that ended the game.
"I didn't feel like anything was open, so I was just trying to make a play. I have to be smarter and make sure it gets past the line of scrimmage. It was on me," Foles said of the final play.
Foles, whose first start came against the Redskins last month, threw for 345 yards with one touchdown and an interception on 32-of-48 passing and found Jeremy Maclin eight times for 116 yards and a score.
LeSean McCoy returned from a four-game absence due to a concussion and totaled 122 yards from scrimmage for Philadelphia, including a 21-yard catch-and-run that set up Dion Lewis' 17-yard touchdown run with 8:55 remaining.
That score, which came off a Griffin interception, cut the deficit to 27-20, and the Eagles got the ball back at their own 15 with 4:15 remaining. Armed with all three timeouts, Philadelphia moved into enemy territory, twice converting on third down.
After using the final timeout with 28 seconds remaining, Foles threw a pair of incompletions -- once skipping an open Maclin in the end zone -- to bring up 4th-and-2 from the 17. McCoy then caught a short pass and turned it into a 12- yard gain before getting out of bounds with 11 ticks to play.
Evan Moore dropped a quick slant pass prior to the final snap, which began with eight seconds on the clock. With no one open in the end zone, Foles rolled to his left looking for options, but was pressured and threw a tentative pass into the ground. The ball never reached the line of scrimmage, and despite one second being left on the clock, the game ended as a result of the infraction.
Foles converted a pair of 4th-and-1 chances in the game's opening possession, first moving the chains on a pass to Brent Celek, then on a 3-yard sneak to the Redskins' 27. On the next snap, Foles threw a perfect strike to Maclin on a corner route near the right pylon for a 7-0 lead.
Griffin had more incompletions (two) in his first series than in his first meeting (one) against the Eagles. The rookie's pass on 4th-and-2 from the Eagles' 35 was knocked out of Santana Moss' hands, and the Eagles moved into enemy territory following the turnover on downs.
On the last play of the first quarter, Ryan Kerrigan stripped Foles, and the 'Skins turned the takeaway into Kai Forbath's 45-yard field goal 3:35 into the second.
Washington took over near midfield after a three-and-out and got another three points from the rookie Forbath, whose 42-yarder set a NFL record for most consecutive field goals made to start a career (17).
On the ensuing drive, Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield tipped a Foles pass at the line of scrimmage, and London Fletcher came away with his 23rd career interception. The Redskins needed five plays to go 25 yards, with Josh Morgan doing most of the work for the final 11 when he took a quick screen to the right and followed his blockers across the goal line.
The Eagles took over with 3:30 remaining in the half and managed to pull within 13-10 on Alex Henery's 38-yard field goal just before the break.
The Redskins increased their lead just 2:27 into the second half. Griffin and Pierre Garcon hooked up for a 29-yard play on the first snap of the 72-yard march, and Morris took a handoff to the right four plays later en route to a 10-yard TD.
Completions of 38 and 18 yards on the first two plays of the next Philadelphia series moved the ball to the Washington 24, but the Eagles wound up settling for Henery's 30-yard field goal that cut the lead to 20-13.
Late in the third quarter, Lorenzo Alexander sacked Foles on 4th-and-2 from the Washington 47, and the Redskins took advantage off of the short field. Four runs moved the ball to the 22, and after two incompletions, Griffin lofted a pass to the right and into the end zone for Moss, who hauled in the deep ball and somehow dragged both feet inbounds with 1:31 remaining in the period.
Washington had not won six in a row in the regular season since a seven-game run in 1996 ... Griffin completed 14-of-15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns for a percent 158.3 QB rating in the first meeting ... Garcon led the Redskins with seven catches for 89 yards ... The Saints' Garrett Hartley held the record for most consecutive successful field goals to start a career with 16 from 2008-09 ... Foles now holds the Eagles' rookie record for most passing yards, surpassing the 1,508 John Reaves threw in 1972 ... The Eagles finished 2-6 at home ... Washington swept the Eagles for the first time since 2008.
12/23 19:19:22 ET
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