Three of the four teams in the NFC East each have an opportunity to take the division as games of week 10 of the 2015 season enter the books. The Washington Redskins surprised many with their victory over the New Orleans Saints while the New York Giants fell to the New England Patriots, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.
Problems with the New Orleans Saints defense have made just about every game they’ve played a shoot out. And it appeared that would be the case in this game. But with the score 14-14 the Redskins defense started making some plays preventing the Saints offense from scoring while the Redskins offense continued putting points up on the board.
After the initial kickoff as well as a penalty, the Redskins offense started their first series on their own 4-yard line. The running game, which had been missing for the last few weeks, finally started to gain chucks of yards with each run by starting running back Alfred Morris and rookie back Matt Jones. However, the big play of the first drive was a 42-yard bomb from Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins to wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The play set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Redskins tight end Jordan Reed. The 96-yard drive was the team’s longest in 15 years –- that being a 98-yard drive against the New York Giants in December 2000.
However, the Redskins defense couldn’t stop the Saints’ runners. On the Saints first series after the Redskins’ score running back Mark Ingram broke off a 70 yard run to the Washington 5 yard line and later Brees hit Brandin Cooks with a 4-yard pass for the score.
A mix of short runs by Morris and Jones and passes to Jordan Reed and Jones ultimately led to an 11-yard scoring pass from Cousins to Jamison Crowder for the Redskins’ second score.
The Saints tied the game at 14 on a three-play drive that ended with a 60-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Cooks.
It appeared that the shoot out was on. However, those were the last points the Saints scored for the rest of the game.
The Redskins also scored on a 35-yard pick six by safety Dashon Goldson and on a catch and run of 78-yards by Jones on a screen pass in the second quarter.
Cousins finished with 20 completions on 25 attempts for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns and a perfect quarterback passer rating of 158.3. He was sacked three times. Brees completed 19 of 28 passes for 209 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked twice.
Morris rushed for 92 yards on 15 carries and Jones gained 56 yards on 11 carries and also contributed three receptions for 131 yards and a score. Chris Thompson also rushed for 54 yards on two carries. The ‘Skins offense totaled 537 yards (213 rushing and 324 receiving). The Saints offense collected 367 yards (158 rushing and 209 receiving). REDSKINS 47 SAINTS 14
The New York Giants still lead the division despite their loss to the New England Patriots. The Giants have proven that they have the formula to beat the Patriots and they almost did. However, Pats’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski was successful on a 54-yard field goal with one second remaining.
It appeared that the Giants had the win when kicker Josh Brown booted a 53-yard field goal with 1:47 remaining. The kick was his 27th consecutive field goal, a franchise record.
After the kick Tom Brady engineered a 44-yard drive and converted a fourth down 10 and Gostkowski kicked the winning field goal.
The Patriots scored first on their initial series on a 14-play, 80-yard drive that finished with a 1-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Scott Chandler.
Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. followed Chandler’s score with a touchdown of his own on an 87-yard pass from Eli Manning.
Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski also caught a long touchdown pass of 76-yards and Manning also hit Giants’ receiver Dwayne Harris for a score.
Brady finished with 26 completions on 42 attempts for 334 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked three times.
Manning completed 24 passes on 44 attempts for 361 yards and two touchdowns.
The leading rusher for the Patriots was Legarrette Blount, who collected 66 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. Gronkowski caught five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown; Danny Amendola caught 10 passes for 79 yards; and Brandon LaFell had two receptions for 66 yards.
Beckham caught four passes for 104 yards and one touchdown; Dwayne Harris caught six for 82 yards and a score. PATRIOTS 27 GIANTS 26
The Philadelphia Eagles lost a heartbreaker to the Miami Dolphins when a pass from Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was deflected and the ball still ended up in the hands of Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry for the winning score early in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins’ free agent prize Ndamukong Suh had his best game as a Dolphin getting a sack and collecting three tackles for losses and three quarterback hurries.
Eagles QB Sam Bradford injured his left shoulder and also suffered a concussion on a hit by Chris McCain. Mark Sanchez replaced him. He almost got the victory for the Eagles, when he led them to the Dolphins’ eight-yard line late in the fourth quarter. However, Reshad Jones intercepted a Sanchez pass in the end zone.
Bradford led the Eagles to two touchdowns on the team’s first two possessions. His 60-yard pass to tight end Brent Celek set up the scoring throw to Josh Huff from the 2-yard line.
Dolphins kick returner Damien Williams made a major error when he tried to return a kick from deep in the end zone, fumbled but scooped up the ball on the one and was brought down. Walter Thurmond then sacked Tannehill on a blitz and he fumbled out of the end zone for a safety.
In the Eagles next possession Ryan Matthews scored on a one-yard run making the score 16-3. In the next Eagles’ drive kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a field goal try from the 32-yard line. Sturgis was successful on a 37-yard field goal.
The Eagles then scored 10 points –- three on a 22-yard field goal and six on a touchdown toss of 13-yards to Lamar Miller. A blocked punt on the Eagles 12 set up the score.
After Landry’s catch made the score 20-16 the Eagles could only muster that Sturgis 37-yard boot. Making the score 20-19.
Tannehill completed 21 passes on 36 attempts for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Bradford was 19 for 25 for 236 yards and one touchdown. Sanchez finished 14 for 23 for 156 yards and an interception.
DeMarco Murray was the leading rusher for the Eagles collecting 61 yards on 22 carries and Jay Ajayi led the Dolphins’ rushers with 48 yards on six carries.
Brent Celek led the Eagles’ receivers with 134 yards on four catches; Zach Ertz caught seven passes for 68 yards; and Murray caught six passes for 58 yards.
Richard Matthews led the Miami receivers with 93 yards on five catches. Landry caught seven passes for 52 yards and a touchdown; Lamar Miller caught six passes for 50 yards and a score. DOLPHINS 20 EAGLES 19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston ran for a one-yard score that ultimately beat the Dallas Cowboys. This was the seventh consecutive loss for the Cowboys, who started the season 2-0 before starting quarterback Tony Romo was hurt. Brandon Weeden was the first to replace Romo but lost three games and Matt Cassel followed with four losses.
In one drive the Cowboys made it to the Tampa Bay 44 yard line, but Cassel threw an interception in the end zone on a pass intended for Dez Bryant.
The Bucs drove 56 yards in nine plays for the winning score.
Winston completed 22 passes on 39 attempts for 264 yards. Cassel finished with 19 completions on 31 throws for 186 yards and an interception.
Doug Martin led the Bucs’ rushers with 63 yards on 18 carries. Mike Evans led the receivers with eight catches for 126 yards.
Darren McFadden collected 32 yards on 17 carries. Dez Bryant caught five passes for 45 yards; Jason Witten caught five passes for 42 yards.
Romo is expected to play next week. BUCCANEERS 10 COWBOYS 6
NFC EAST STANDINGS Overall Division
NEW YORK GIANTS 5-5 2-2
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 4-5 1-1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 4-5 2-2
DALLAS COWBOYS 2-7 2-2
NFC EAST SCHEDULE
BUCCANEERS @ EAGLES SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015
COWBOYS @ DOLPHINS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015
REDSKINS @ PANTHERS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015
Courtesy of Sportsonearth.com