Redskins.com's Andrew Walker takes a closer look at Saturday afternoon's matchup between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField.
FIRST IMPRESSIONSWith just two games left in the 2014 season, the Washington Redskins entered Saturday's matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles hoping to play the role of spoiler.
Here's an exclusive look from the the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 16 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
After falling last week to the Dallas Cowboys, 38-27, in Philadelphia, the Eagles found themselves at 9-5 and one game behind Dallas for the NFC East lead with two games to go in the regular season. A loss to the Redskins on Saturday, coupled with a Cowboys victory Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia's playoff hopes would be dashed.
With that in mind, the Redskins came to play in front of an announced crowd of 78,897 at FedExField.
Washington and Philadelphia traded blow after blow Saturday, but, in the end, it came down to one final uppercut from the Redskins in the form of a Kai Forbath 26-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the game, as Washington delivered Philadelphia a crushing 27-24 loss heading into the final week of the regular season.
With the victory, the Redskins snap a six-game losing streak, surpass their win total from a season ago and evens the franchise's all-time Saturday record, including postseason play, at 24-24.
PLAY OF THE GAMEBashaud Breeland certainly doesn't play like a rookie.
He made several key plays to help seal off Dez Bryant Week 8 in the Redskins' big overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys, and he came up with one heck of a play late in Saturday's matchup against the Eagles.
The Redskins and Eagles were tied at 24 with 1:36 left in the game when quarterback Mark Sanchez dropped back to pass on 3rd and 4 from the Washington 48-yard line.
Sanchez tried to find wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, but Breeland jumped the route, picking off the low pass and giving his team the ball back at its 42-yard line.
The Redskins' offense would do the rest from there -- aided by a couple Eagles penalties -- to get well within striking distance for Forbath, who nailed his game-winner from 26 yards.
How about Breeland? The Redskins love his physicality, and he's showing that he could be making plays in the Washington secondary for quite some time.
PLAYER OF THE GAMEOne thing is clear: DeSean Jackson enjoys playing against his former team.
After getting cut by the Eagles in late March, Jackson made a statement just a few days later when the he signed with Philadelphia's divisional rival in Washington.
In his first game against the Eagles, Jackson – nursing an injured shoulder at the time – burned his former mates with five catches for 117 yards and an 81-yard touchdown Week 3 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Saturday afternoon against Philadelphia at FedExField, Jackson came to play again, catching 4 passes for 126 yards (31.5 yards per reception).
Obviously the Redskins were thrilled to get a playmaker like Jackson on their side, who had burned Washington for 32 catches, 572 yards and five receiving touchdowns as a member of the Eagles.
Now Jackson is returning the favor in a big way for the Redskins.
Props to two Redskins defenders for taking advantage of their late-season opportunities Saturday against the Eagles.
Outside linebackers Jackson Jeffcoat and Trevardo Williams have each spent time on the Redskins' practice squad at points throughout the season, but, thanks to a series of injuries at the position, each found themselves with plenty of playing time with the active roster Saturday afternoon.
And both notched their first-career sacks.
For Jeffcoat, the play was the culmination of a lot of uncertainty throughout the season for the rookie out of Texas, who went undrafted this year despite being named a first-team All-American and the nation's top defensive end in 2013.
Jeffcoat, who was just promoted to Washington's active roster on Wednesday, got his opportunity Saturday after starting outside linebacker Trent Murphy was knocked out of the game with a hand injury. He made his big play as Philadelphia faced a 3rd and 4 from their own 26 on the first play of the second quarter, bringing down Mark Sanchez and forcing the Eagles punt.
Williams, meanwhile, was just signed to the Redskins' active roster Dec. 9 after signing to the practice squad a week earlier. He logged a couple tackles in last week's game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, but earned the first sack of his career Saturday, also in the second quarter.
Until last week, Williams was yet to even appear in an NFL game. A Connecticut product, he was a fourth-round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2013 NFL Draft, and had bounced around on the Arizona Cardinals' and Indianapolis Colts' practice squads.
WHAT'S NEXTWith today's matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles officially a thing of the past, the Redskins turn their attention to next Sunday's 2014 season finale against an old rival.
Washington plays host to the Dallas Cowboys in a 1 p.m. showdown at FedExField.
The Cowboys entered this week's action with a 10-4 record, putting them atop the NFC East by one game over the Eagles, and take on the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow.
Here's some more facts and figures from next Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys matchup in Landover, Md., courtesy of Redskins Public Relations:
- The Redskins will close their season with a home game against the Cowboys for the second time in three seasons. The teams' last Week 17 meeting came in 2012, a 28-18 win that secured the NFC East championship for Washington.
- Washington is 4-2 in regular season finales against Dallas since the adoption of the 16-game schedule in 1978.
- The Redskins have won three straight season finales against the Cowboys, including victories in 2002, 2007 and 2012.
- The Redskins are 28-28 all-time against the Cowboys at home including postseason play dating back to the teams' first meeting on Oct. 9, 1960.
Each of the Redskins' last two home games against Dallas have featured record-setting performances. In 2012, running back Alfred Morris used a 200-yard rushing effort vs. Dallas to break the team's single-season rushing yardage record (1,613). In 2013, wide receiver Pierre Garçon broke the team's single-season receptions record (113) in the midst of an 11-reception, 144-yard day.