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Defense Continues To Dial Up Pressure


Ryan Kerrigan has enjoyed watching teammate Rob Jackson step up and turn in a career year this season in place of the injured Brian Orakpo.

But facing a rookie quarterback on Sunday – and with his team's season on the line for a sixth straight week – Kerrigan was the one that stepped up with the best performance of his career, as the outside linebacker turned in his second-career two-sack game and also forced a fumble in the Redskins' 27-20 victory over the host Philadelphia Eagles.

The win was Washington's sixth straight and sets up a battle for the NFC East title next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField.

"It feels good to have one of my better games in a win, especially a hard-fought win like this where it came down to the last minute," Kerrigan said. "Like I keep saying every week, we've just got keep using this and keep building on for next week."

Kerrigan said getting pressure on Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles was a must entering Sunday's game, as the Redskins' defense was focused on forcing more turnovers and three-and-outs to get its high-powered offense back on the field as much as possible.

The end result was five sacks and two turnovers – a sack-forced fumble by Kerrigan that was recovered by cornerback Richard Crawford and an interception by middle linebacker London Fletcher – as the Redskins (9-6) were able to fluster the Eagles' signal caller.

Foles completed 32-of-48 passes for 345 yards and a touchdown, but many of his completions were dump offs on screens or short routes as the Redskins' secondary protected against the deep ball.

"We did a good job getting pressure on him early, and I think you saw later in the game he started to hesitate a little bit because we had gotten good pressure early in the game," Kerrigan said. "That might've caused some errant passes later."

Sunday's performance for Kerrigan was his first two-sack game since Week 10 last season against the Miami Dolphins. The 2011 first-round pick (16th overall) now has a career-best 8.5 sacks on the season.

Fellow linebackers Perry Riley and Lorenzo Alexander and safety Madieu Williams also had sacks for Washington on Sunday.

"I thought we had a good gameplan," Kerrigan said. "I went in and just executed -- that's all it comes down to. The coaches are going to put you in a good position to make plays, and we just executed today."




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