RG3 leads Redskins over Eagles 27-20

With one more win, Robert Griffin III can be called a playoff


Now that’s an adjective he won’t mind.

Griffin threw a pair of touchdown passes in his first game back

from a knee injury and the Washington Redskins held on to beat the

Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 on Sunday to close within a victory of

securing their first NFC East title in 13 years.

Known as much for his running as passing, Griffin had a

season-low 4 yards rushing. But the rookie quarterback made several

big throws to lead Washington (9-6).

”That’s why they call me quarterback,” Griffin said. ”It’s

not abbreviated with a running quarterback before that or whatever

else anyone wants to say. They call me quarterback because I lead

the team. I’m supposed to go out there and throw the ball.”

Counted out by their own coach six weeks ago, the Redskins can

clinch the division with a victory over Dallas at home next Sunday.

The game has been flexed to prime time by the NFL.

The Redskins haven’t won the division since 1999 and last

reached the playoffs in 2007. They could still get in as a wild

card with a loss, but would need help.

”We’re already on to the next one,” Griffin said. ”You don’t

have to celebrate wins at this point of the season. You just know

what’s ahead of you and all that is for us right now is the


Kai Forbath set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to

begin a career to help the Redskins win their sixth straight


It wasn’t over until Nick Foles was called for intentional

grounding on the final play from the Redskins 5.

Trying to play spoiler, the Eagles (4-11) fell short in what

could’ve been Andy Reid’s last game coaching the team at home. Reid

is unlikely to return to Philadelphia for his 15th season next

year. The Eagles, who are missing the playoffs for the second

straight year after coming in with huge expectations, finish at the

New York Giants.

”I have nothing to tell you on that,” Reid said. ”I’m the

coach right now.”

A sprained right knee forced Griffin to miss last week’s win at

Cleveland. Coach Mike Shanahan limited the play calls, taking out

the designed run options for Griffin.

”Anytime you wear a brace, it’s going to restrict your

motion,” Griffin said. ”It didn’t slow me down by any


Griffin was 16 of 24 for 198 yards. He did throw the first

interception made by the Eagles in nine games. They hadn’t picked

off one since Week 6 against Detroit before Colt Anderson

intercepted Griffin’s tipped pass in the fourth quarter.

That set up a 17-yard TD run by Dion Lewis that cut Washington’s

lead to 27-20 midway through the fourth.

The Eagles held on defense, forced a punt and started their last

drive at their 15. They were at the Washington 17 when Foles

bounced a pass to Jeremy Maclin, who was open in the right corner

of the end zone on third down. Foles then hit LeSean McCoy for a

12-yard gain on fourth-and-2 to the 5 with 11 seconds left. After

an incompletion where Evan Moore dropped a pass near the goal line,

Foles was called for grounding, and the last second was

automatically run off the clock.

”In that situation, the clock is the most important thing,”

Foles said. ”I didn’t feel like anyone was open and was just

trying to make a play. I just have to make sure the ball gets to

line of scrimmage. That’s on me.”

While the Redskins celebrated, the Eagles ran off the field to a

chorus of boos.

There was talk in Philadelphia leading up to the game whether

fans would give Reid a cheerful send-off. The crowd didn’t

acknowledge him when he took the field before the pregame

introductions, but some chanted ”Andy! Andy!” in support when he


”We have great fans,” said Reid, who gave a slight wave as he

walked into the tunnel. ”I understand the situation. I appreciate


Griffin was injured late in the fourth quarter of an overtime

win against Baltimore two weeks ago. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins

stepped in and led the Redskins to the tying and winning scores in

that game and then a victory at Cleveland.

But having RG3 back, even if he was limited, was a boost for the


”He’s a guy we count on to lead us,” receiver Santana Moss

said. ”He’s a born leader and he came in here with that mentality.

We are very fortunate to have him.”

The Redskins and Eagles were both 3-6 when they met last month.

Before that game, Shanahan suggested the playoffs were out of reach

and it was time to play out the string.

It may have motivated his players. The Redskins haven’t lost

since, beating the Cowboys, Giants and Ravens in the process.

”They know what it means,” Shanahan said. ”They’ve been

working toward this opportunity to win the division. We haven’t

accomplished anything yet.”

The Redskins went up 20-10 on the opening drive of the third

quarter. Griffin threw a 29-yard pass to Pierre Garcon to get it

started and Alfred Morris ran in from the 10 for his 10th TD.

Griffin’s perfectly thrown 22-yard TD pass to Moss in the left

corner of the end zone put the Redskins ahead 27-13 late in the


McCoy was back in the lineup after missing the last four games

with a concussion. He had 45 yards rushing. Michael Vick was

inactive, though he was cleared to play after missing five games

with a concussion.

Forbath hit field goals of 45 and 42 yards in the second

quarter. The second was his 17th straight, breaking Garrett

Hartley’s record for consecutive field goals made to start a


NOTES: Shanahan has 174 wins, including postseason. He tied Mike

Holmgren for 11th all-time in NFL history. … Morris ran for 96

yards. … Redskins had a season-high five sacks. … Only two

other times Griffin had less than 10 yards rushing were in losses

to Atlanta and Pittsburgh. … Foles finished 32 of 48 for 345

yards, one TD and one interception.

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