Cousins threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns, the running game churned out a season-high 230 yards and the defense contained Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz as the Redskins held on for a 27-20 win. Here are four initial takeaways from the fourth straight victory which jumped the Redskins (4-2) past the Eagles (3-2) in the NFC East standings.
Let's start with this: The Eagles offense didn't enter Redskins territory until the first minute of the fourth quarter. Ryan Kerrigan wowed early with 2 1/2 sacks as Washington often took advantage of Philadelphia's rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Two more sacks came on Philadelphia's final drive. Though the Eagles averaged 4.5 yards per carry, they were never truly dominate on the ground the way other opponents have against the Redskins. Wentz (11 of 22 for 179 yards) impressed with his mobility, instincts and creativity, but the defense applied enough pressure and coverage to thwart any touchdown hopes. Washington hasn't allowed a second-half defensive touchdown in four straight games and seven consecutive quarters.
Matt Jones (135 rushing yards), Chris Thompson (37) and Robert Kelley (59) all had key moments in the win as Washington finished with 235 rushing yards, its most since Week 10 last season against New Orleans (209). Jones scored a 1-yard touchdown and put the Redskins in kneel down mode with a 57-yard run on 3rd and 7, Kelley impressed with a 45-yard burst and Thompson added 29 yards as a receiver. Balanced offense has helped fuel the winning streak.
The historic knock on Kirk Cousins, at least before midway through his breakout 2015 campaign, was that he turned tentative after mistakes. Throwing an interception while back-pedaling in the second quarter was one of those mistakes. Maybe Vernon Davis should have come back for the pass, but he didn't and Malcolm Jenkins returned the interception 36 yards, tying the game at 14-14. Cousins, who was more playmaker than mistake-maker before the turnover, remained poised. On the next drive,which ended with a touchdown, he completed a 13-yard pass to Pierre Garcon on 3rd and 4 to Philadelphia's 13. The QB directed another scoring drive opening the third quarter as the Redskins led 24-14.
The Redskins lost a 14-point without giving up a defensive touchdown. Vernon Davis was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration following his 13-yard touchdown. That led to the first kickoff from Dustin Hopkins that didn't reach the endzone. Wendell Smallwood took advantage and returned the kickoff 86 yards. The Cousins pick-six came on the next possession. However, the Redskins essentially ran out the clock with a 75-yard drive capped by a Matt Jones 1-yard touchdown and then turned the opening kickoff of the second half into a Hopkins field goal. In real time, that meant...
Note the timestamp.
Oh, speaking of that Davis 15-yard penalty for miming a basketball shot, Josh Norman had some postgame thoughts. As a reminder, the corner was fined for his bow-and-arrow routine earlier this season by the NFL.
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