With one more week to go in the 2015 NFL regular season, the Washington Redskins clinched the NFC East with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Redskins have now won three games in a row –- a home game against the Buffalo Bills and two road games against the Chicago Bears and the Eagles.
The passing combination of Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed was the reason for the Redskins’ victory. Cousins threw four touchdown passes, two to Reed, one to Chris Thompson, and one to Pierre Garcon, and completed 31 passes on 46 attempts for 365 yards. He was sacked twice. Reed caught nine passes for 129 yards. Garcon grabbed seven passes for 80 yards. Although he did not get a touchdown, DeSean Jackson contributed 40 yards on four catches.
The Redskins’ running game did just well enough so that the Eagles would bite on the play action passes. Alfred Morris rushed for 49 yards on 17 carries and Pierre Thomas, who filled-in for an injured Matt Jones, rushed for 22 yards on four carries and also caught seven passes for 67 yards.
The Redskins’ defense stopped the Eagles’ running game cold. The combination of DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, and Sam Bradford could only collect 45 yards. Redskins’ safety DeAngelo Hall also scooped up a Murray fumble and returned it 17 yards for a score.
The Redskins’ three-game winning streak and decisive win over the Eagles for the NFC East title was due to the steady hand of Cousins. In the last seven games, he has thrown 16 touchdown passes and has been intercepted just two times.
There was a bizarre play in the Eagles’ game that concerned Cousins’ that caused the Redskins at least a field goal. As the clock ticked toward the end of the first half the Redskins were on the Eagles’ six-yard line. Only six seconds remained on the clock, enough time for Cousins to try a pass in the end zone and then a field goal attempt if the pass proved unsuccessful. Instead, Cousins took a knee, ending the play but allowing the clock to tick off the last few seconds. The old Kirk Cousins may have been adversely affected by that play and would have performed badly as a result in the second half. That proved not to be the case with the new, more mature Cousins.
In the beginning of the third quarter Cousins converted on three third-down passes that led to the 12-yard touchdown to Thompson.
With his performance on Saturday, Reed became the first Washington Redskins player with at least 11 touchdowns since Ricky Sanders had 12 in 1988. He is also the first Redskins player with consecutive games of multiple touchdown receptions since Jerry Smith in 1967. Reed’s four games with multiple touchdown receptions ties him with Doug Baldwin, Ted Ginn Jr. and Tyler Eifert for the most such games in the NFL this season.
Eagles’ quarterback Sam Bradford completed 37 passes on 56 tries for 380 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Matthews caught the touchdown pass. Top receivers for the Eagles were Zach Ertz, who caught 12 passes for 122 yards; Matthews, who caught six passes for 104 yards; and Darren Sproles, who had seven receptions for 56 yards. REDSKINS 38 EAGLES 24
At this point the entire 52-man roster as well as the coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys can’t wait for this season to end. They lost their 11th game of the season to the Buffalo Bills.
Bills’ running back Mike Gillislee scored on a 5-yard run with 2:25 remaining and rookie Karlos Williams scored on a one-yard run. The two combined for a total of 236 yards.
Bills’ rookie linebacker A.J. Tarpley, who replaced starter Nigel Bradham, forced Cowboys’ kickoff returner Lucky Whitehead to fumble the kickoff following Gillislee’s score. Tarpley also intercepted a pass.
Kellen Moore was this week’s replacement for injured Tony Romo. It was his first career start. The Cowboys were also without Dez Bryant due to injuries to his ankle and foot. Dan Bailey kicked two field goals for the Cowboys, who have scored only 22 points in their last five games.
Moore completed 13 passes on 31 tries for 186 yards and an interception. Darren McFadden rushed for 99 yards. Leading receivers for the Cowboys were Brice Butler, who caught four passes for 74 yards and Terrance Williams, who caught four passes for 62 yards.
Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor finished with 13 completions on 18 attempts for 179 yards and one interception. It was only his sixth interception of the season. Gillislee ran for 93 yards on nine carries and Williams rushed for 76-yards on 17 carries. The Bills’ leading receiver was Sammy Watkins, who caught five passes for 84 yards. BILLS 16 COWBOYS 6
Adrian Peterson rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown, Jerick McKinnon rushed for 89 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns and Blair Walsh kicked five field goals as the Minnesota Vikings beat the New York Giants and clinched a playoff spot.
Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning gave up three interceptions, one to Harrison Smith who returned it for a score. He finished with 15 completions on 29 attempts for 234 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He was sacked four times. He completed a 50-yard pass to Rashad Jennings that set up a field goal and a 72-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle. Odell Beckham Jr. due to a suspension for bad behavior in the game last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Jennings finished with 14 rushes for 74 yards. Randle caught two passes for 80 yards.
Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished with 15 completions on 25 attempts for 168 yards and a touchdown to Kyle Rudolph. He was sacked three times.
After winning the Super Bowl after the 2011 season, the Giants win-lost record has been 28-35 and they are 12-19 during the past two seasons. VIKINGS 49 GIANTS 17
NFC EAST STANDINGS Overall Division Conference
c-WASHINGTON REDSKINS 8-7 3-2 7-4
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 6-9 2-3 3-8
NEW YORK GIANTS 6-9 2-3 4-7
DALLAS COWBOYS 4-11 3-2 3-8
NFC EAST SCHEDULE
REDSKINS @ COWBOYS SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2016
EAGLES @ GIANTS SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2016