NFL Week 13 Recap: NFC East

So the question is, who wants to be champion of the NFC East? The Washington Redskins had a great opportunity to take control of the division if they had only beaten the Dallas Cowboys. They didn’t. As a result, there is a three-way tie for first between the Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants with the Cowboys only one game behind.

So the question is, who wants to be champion of the NFC East?

So the question is, who wants to be champion of the NFC East?

One could say that the Redskins-Cowboys game was a defensive struggle. The Cowboys scored the first touchdown with 74 seconds left to take the lead 16-9. Redskins’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson set the Cowboys up for the score when he fumbled the kickoff after Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey kicked a field goal.

The Redskins knotted the score at 16 in their next drive that concluded with a Kirk Cousins 28-yard touchdown pass to Jackson.

Usually reliable Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins’ kickoff was short of the goal line and Lucky Whitehead returned the ball 46 yards to the Dallas 44 yard line. Cowboys’ quarterback Matt Cassel hit Bryant for a 12-yard completion to the Washington 44 and then hit Bryant again for an eight-yard gain to the Washington 36. Cassel then threw two incomplete passes to intended receiver Jason Witten. Bailey finished the scoring with a 54-yard field goal to win the game with 14 seconds remaining. Hopkins missed a field goal from 43-yards out, but was successful on three field goal attempts for the Redskins.

Cousins finished with 22 completions on 31 attempts for 219 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times. Cassel completed 16 passes on 29 tries for 222 yards and was sacked once.

The Redskins rushed for a total of 73 yards –- 49 yards for Matt Jones and 12 yards for Alfred Morris. Leading receiver was Jackson with 80 yards on six catches and a touchdown. Pierre Garcon caught five passes for 54 yards. Tight end Jordan Reed, who is usually a big playmaker for the Redskins, was held to three catches for 33 yards.

Darren McFadden led the Cowboys rushers with 53 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. Lucky Whitehead had two carries for 35 yards. Leading receivers for the Cowboys were Terrance Williams (two catches for 63 yards), Jason Witten (five catches for 45 yards) and Dez Bryant (three catches for 62 yards). Witten achieved his 1,000th reception of his career. COWBOYS 19 REDSKINS 16

Once considered dead in the division, the Philadelphia Eagles surprised the New England Patriots. The win and Redskins and Giants losses set the Eagles up in a three-way tie for first.

Three big plays helped the Eagles achieve victory –- Najee Goode scored on a blocked punt, Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown and Darren Sproles returned a punt for a score.

The Patriots took an early lead 14-0 and then the Eagles answered with five consecutive touchdowns –- a five-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Zach Ertz, the blocked punt, Jenkins pick six, Sproles punt return, and a 10-yard pass from Bradford to Jordan Matthews.

The Patriots made a late charge. Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to make it a two-score game. The Patriots recovered an onside kick and scored on a one-yard run that cut the differential down to seven points with three minutes left. The Patriots second onside kick failed, but they were able to strip the ball from Kenion Barner on a third down play, which gave Brady a chance. However, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, and Keshawn Martin each dropped passes.

Bradford completed 14 passes on 24 attempts for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked once. Sproles led the Eagles rushers with 66 yards on 15 carries. Matthews led the Eagles receivers with three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. Sproles caught four passes for 34 yards.

Brady had 29 completions on 56 attempts for 312 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked four times. Leading rusher for the Pats was LeGarrette Blount with 54 yards on 13 carries. James White caught 10 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown, Danny Amendola caught seven for 62 yards and a score, and Scott Chandler had four receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. EAGLES 35 PATRIOTS 28

The New York Jets beat their New York City rivals, the New York Giants, on a Randy Bullock 31-yard field goal in overtime. Josh Brown had a chance to tie it for the Giants with 6:33 remaining in OT, but he missed a 48-yard field goal try. Bullock was successful on three earlier field goal attempts.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s nine-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall with 27 seconds left in regulation forced overtime. Fitzpatrick finished with 36 completions on 50 tries for 390 yards. Marshall caught 12 passes for 131 yards. Marshall now leads the Jets’ receivers with more than 1,000 yards so far this season. He is the first to reach 1,000 yards in receiving in a season for four different teams –- the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, and Jets. Fitzpatrick hit Bilal Powell on a 25-yard screen pass for the Jets’ other score.

Dwayne Harris returned a punt 80-yards for a score and Odell Beckham Jr. ran 72-yards with a pass for a score for the Giants. Defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul recovered a fumble that set up a field goal. The Giants were shut out in the second half.

Fitzpatrick finished with 36 completions on 50 passes for 390 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked three times. Leading rusher for the Jets was Chris Ivory, who gained 47 yards on 10 carries. Marshall led the receivers followed by Eric Decker, who caught eight passes for 101 yards; and Powell caught eight passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Eli Manning completed 18 passes on 34 attempts for 297 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked three times. Giants’ running backs were only able to collect 74 yards. Beckham led the receivers with six catches for 149 yards and a touchdown and Will Tye caught three passes for 70 yards. JETS 23 GIANTS 20

Who has the inside track to take the division? With four games left, the Redskins may have the easiest schedule as they play the Bears in Chicago, the Bills in Washington, the Eagles in Philadelphia and the Cowboys in Dallas.

The Giants finish out with the Dolphins in Miami, the Panthers at home, the Vikings in Minneapolis, and the Eagles at home.

The Eagles play the Bills, Cardinals, and Redskins in Philadelphia and the Giants in New Jersey.

The Cowboys, who were considered dead prior to the Monday Night game, finishes their season at Green Bay, against the Jets at home, in Buffalo, and against the Redskins at home.

At this point due to the way the four teams are playing, the NFC East winner is anybody’s guess.


NFC EAST STANDINGS             Overall         Division       Conference
WASHINGTON REDSKINS         5-7                2-2                    5-4
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES            5-7                2-2                    3-6
NEW YORK GIANTS                      5-7                2-3                    4-5
DALLAS COWBOYS                       4-8                3-2                    3-7
BILLS @ EAGLES                         SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
REDSKINS @ BEARS                  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
GIANTS @ DOLPHINS              MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015
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