Saturday, October 22, 2016

Redskins beat up Eagles' defense on way to 27-20 victory

Missing their biggest offensive target and facing one of the NFL's top defenses, the Washington Redskins looked as in command as they've been all season.
Kirk Cousins threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns, the three-headed running attack of Matt Jones, Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson combined for 231 yards and a touchdown and the Redskins ran roughshod over the Philadelphia Eagles in a 27-20 victory on Sunday.
The Redskins (4-2) put up 493 offensive yards against the Eagles (3-2), who came in allowing of 266.8 yards and 12.6 points as the league's second-best defense.
"In spurts today I think we showed what we're capable of. The challenge will always be to do it from the first whistle to the last," said Cousins, who was 18 of 34. "But it was a good offensive showing because so many guys contributed and made a difference."
Cousins rebounded when Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins intercepted him and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown, and Washington showed restraint and balance offensively without tight end Jordan Reed, who was out with a concussion . After starting the season 0-2, the Redskins have their best record through six games since 2008.
Cousins connected with Jamison Crowder on a 16-yard touchdown and with Vernon Davis on a 13-yard touchdown. Jones ran for a 1-yard touchdown and sealed the victory with a 57-yard run on third down with 1:27 left as part of his 135-yard day.
The Redskins defense made things difficult for rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, sacking him five times. Wentz was 11 of 22 for 179 yards, and the Eagles finished with 239 total yards.
"I've got to be better, especially late in the game," Wentz said. "You've got to learn from it. It's all about how you react and respond to losses."
Philadelphia got its points on an 86-yard kickoff return touchdown by Wendell Smallwood, Jenkins' interception return and two field goals by Caleb Sturgis. The Eagles opened the season with three wins before losing two straight.
After his touchdown, Davis mimicked a jump shot and treated the football like a basketball. He was flagged for excessive celebration, setting Washington back 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden showed players video of illegal celebrations, but that wasn't on the film.
"I don't think that's taunting. You're just celebrating, right?" Davis said. "All I can do is correct it next time and not shoot."
That had a major impact as Smallwood caught the ball at the 14 and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown to get the Eagles on the board.
The Eagles ran four offensive plays from scrimmage in the second quarter, and one of them was Wentz kneeling with 6 seconds left. Because of Smallwood's kickoff return touchdown and Jenkins' pick-six, they scored 14 points in the quarter.
Philadelphia went into halftime with just 41 yards - 29 rushing and 12 passing - and three first downs.
With Lane Johnson beginning a 10-game performance-enhancing drugs suspension , Halapoulivaati Vaitaistarted at right tackle and had an afternoon to forget. Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan beat Vaitai and sacked Wentz twice in the first half.
"He had a couple missed assignments early and felt like he settled into the game as the game wore on," coach Doug Pederson said. "He'll learn from it and be ready for next week."
The Eagles committed 13 penalties for 114 yards, a week after they were called for 14 penalties for 111 yards in a loss to the Detroit Lions.
"It's tough to win in this league, as it is, and when you have that many penalties, it's dang near impossible to win.
Jenkins: "You can look at every area today of our defense and I don't know if there's any area you'd feel good about. The runs were really leaky. Tackling wasn't that great. Coverage wasn't that great. Pass rush. Everything. We've got a lot to get done."
Cousins on winning four in a row: "You can never hit the panic button in this game. ... You just keep playing. If you hit the panic button in this business, you don't belong in this business.

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