The Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-24 Saturday evening to clinch their 15th NFC East title in franchise history. How does it feel, Redskins fans?
Your Washington Redskins are 2015 NFC East Division champions.
Washington earned it the hard way, going into Philadelphia Saturday evening and defeating the host Eagles, 38-24, at Lincoln Financial Field.
It's also the franchise's 600th all-time victory, as Washington becomes the fifth team in league history to accomplish that feat.
The Redskins expected a battle out of their divisional rivals, who were clinging to hopes of re-controlling first place heading into the final week of the season.
But Washington put those hopes to bed by earning its second road win of the season Saturday night.
We'll have tons more coverage of Saturday's big win on Redskins.com, but here's how the fourth and final quarter shaped up in Philly:
Kirk Cousins was on the money when he needed to be in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game, and veterans Pierre Thomas and Pierre Garçon were right there to help.
Thomas had several key receptions and runs on the Redskins' first drive of the fourth quarter, while Garçon had the dagger on a 13-yard touchdown reception with nine minutes remaining. After a two-point conversion to Jamison Crowder, Washington led 38-17.
Philadelphia would get an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Jordan Matthews to move the score to 38-24 with 4:34 left, but it would mean nothing.
THIRD QUARTER: Redskins 30, Eagles 17
We're through three quarters in tonight's NFC East showdown between the Washington Redskins and the host Philadelphia Eagles.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Washington leads, 30-17.
A win for the Redskins, and they're NFC East champs. A loss, and the Eagles take control of the division heading into the final week of the regular season.
As you get ready for the final 15 minutes, here's a look at the action throughout the third quarter.
The Redskins got possession to start the second half, but couldn't do anything with it, only getting as far as their own 41 before being forced to punt. Fortunately, the Eagles -- thanks to a key holding penalty -- did the same on their first possession of the third quarter.
Washington took back over at its own 46 and got to the Philadelphia 44-yard line when it faced a 3rd and 10 after a near interception by Kirk Cousins. On the play, Cousins threw a missle to Pierre Garçon, who dove to make the completion for 17 yards and the first down.
Impressive catch by the Redskins' toughest receiver.
They faced yet another 3rd down -- this time with 14 yards to go -- three plays later, but Cousins found running back Pierre Thomas for 15 yards and the first down. A nice play in space by the veteran who just signed with the team just before its Week 14 victory against the Chicago Bears.
Facing a 3rd and 6 from the 12, Cousins and the Redskins came through once again, this time in the form of a touchdown pass to running back Chris Thompson, who ran a nice crossing route to get open and make the catch on the fastball from the quarterback.
You can't help but feel good for Thompson, who has battled a shoulder injury in recent weeks and has been itching to get back on the field. Also, on the play, Cousins tied Redskins great Sammy Baugh for fifth-most passing touchdowns in a season in Redskins history (25).
The drive: 11 plays, 54 yards, 4:05 off the clock. With 6:58 left in the third quarter, the Redskins led 23-10.
The Eagles would get to their 48-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, however, after a 49-yard return by Josh Huff. They'd quickly find themselves at the Washington 11-yard line after a 13-yard pass from Sam Bradford to DeMarco Murray, and then a 16-yard completion to Zach Ertz.
After a neutral zone infraction on Ryan Kerrigan, the Eagles would strike with a four-yard touchdown run by Murray. The extra point brought Philadelphia back within six at 23-17 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, their struggles on offense would continue, as they would be forced to punt again. That kick -- a 57-yard beauty by Tress Way -- was muffed by Darren Sproles, but he recovered at his own 21-yard line.
But the Eagles would hurt themsevles on the ensuing possession with some shaky ball handling. First, Bradford fumbled an exchange with Murray, but he would recover. Two plays later, Bradford fumbled, and the ball was recovered by DeAngelo Hall, who recovered it 17 yards for a touchdown.
What a play at the right time for the Redskins. For Hall, he becomes the first player in NFL history to record five career pick-sixes and five fumble recoveries for touchdowns. What a playmaker.
With 3:22 remaining, the Redskins took a 30-17 lead. And then, their defense forced yet another punt. Great back-to-back possessions for Joe Barry's crew.
HALFTIME: Redskins 16, Eagles 10
As expected, we're in the midst of a dogfight here at Lincoln Financial Field.
At halftime, the Redskins lead the Eagles, 16-10.
As you wait for the second half to kickoff -- which is headed the Redskins' way -- here's some key plays and highlights from the second quarter of action:
The Eagles opened up the frame in prime position, facing a 2nd and 8 from the Washington 33-yard line. But two huge plays by the Washington defense -- a six-yard tackle for loss by Mason Foster, and then a mammoth sack by rookie Preston Smith -- pressed the Eagles to the 45 yard and forced them to punt.
On that Smith sack, not only was he held by Pro Bowler Jason Peters, but he brought Sam Bradford down with one hand. What a display of speed and strength by the Mississippi State product.
The Redskins couldn't get anything going on the ensuing drive, but the Eagles couldn't do anything with their next opportunitiy, either, despite tight end Zach Ertz being left wide open on 3rd and 9 -- though he was overthrown. Rookie cornerback Quinton Dunbar and veteran defensive back DeAngelo Hall had a quick chat after that one to ensure it doesn't happen again.
After another Redskins punt, the Eagles would get back on the board with a 34-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal with six minutes remaining in the first half. The Redskins can breathe a sigh of relief, though, that a Bradford pass in the end zone to Nelson Agholor fell out of the receiver's hands.
The Redskins' offensive drought continued on the ensuing drive, as they were forced to punt yet again. But on the Eagles' first play of their next drive, Bradford passed to Zach Ertz, who fumbled on a nice play by Bashaud Breeland. The ball was recovered by Dashon Goldson, who took it at the Philadelphia 35-yard line.
It was the eighth career fumble recovery, and second of the season, for the veteran Goldson. Philadelphia challenged the call, believing Ertz's knee was down before the ball came out, but the ruling stood.
The Redskins quickly got into the red zone, and then to the 10-yard line thanks to an 8-yard run by Alfred Morris. But that's as far as they would get. Dustin Hopkins' 28-yard field goal was good, and gave his team a 16-10 lead with 1:43 left in the second quarter.
At least it's something, and the Redskins' offense showed a little bit of life after getting zippy on their previous few drives. Also, scoring off turnovers has been an issue for Washington this season, so you'll take it at this point.
The ensuing Philadelphia drive didn't go very far, either, and was highlighted by linebacker Preston Smith's second sack of the game -- the first multi-sack season of his career. The rookie has burned Pro Bowler Jason Peters twice already.
The Redskins took over with 29 seconds to go from their own 29-yard line, and got to the Philadelphia 49-yard line after a 22-yard pass from Cousins to DeSean Jackson, who got out of bounds with 23 seconds left.
The next pass: an impressive, bobbling catch by Pierre Garçon for 25 yards to the Philadelphia 24. Then, a 13-yard pass to Jordan Reed, and, after a delay of game penalty on the Eagles' defense, the Redskins were set up with a 1st and Goal at the 6.
But, on an odd play to end the half, Cousins kneeled with six seconds left, and time expired.
FIRST QUARTER: Redskins 13, Eagles 7
A win for the Redskins tonight against the Eagles, and they're division champs. A loss? And Philadelphia is in the driver's seat heading into the final week of the regular season.
That's really all that needs to be said heading into this one.
The Redskins won the opening coin toss here at Lincoln Financial Field, and elected to defer to the second half. So the opening kickoff headed the Eagles' way, which was a touchback.
Things didn't start well for the Washington defense, which allowed an 18-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage and watched Philadelphia confidently drive into their territory from there.
On a 3rd and 4 from the Philadelphia 44, quarterback Sam Bradford found one of his top targerts, Jordan Matthews, for 11 yards and the first down. The next play: 16 yards from Bradford to Zach Ertz.
And two plays later, after a pass interference call in the end zone on Will Blackmon, Ryan Mathews scored from one yard out to put Philly on the scoreboard first.
With 12:08 left in the first quarter, it's Eagles 7, Redskins 0 after a six-play, 80-yard that took 2:52 off the clock. Too easy. Washington needs to find a way to stop that quick-moving Philadelphia offense, which earned 50 of its 52 yards outside of penalties via the pass.
The Redskins started their first drive from their own 20 after a touchback. Two quick plays later -- an incomplete pass and a three-yard Alfred Morris run -- Washington faced a 3rd and 7 when Kirk Cousins dropped back and found rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder for a six-yard completion. Despite reaching for the marker as he dove out of bounds, Crowder was not given the first down, and the Redskins were forced to punt.
Definitely not the start on both ends the Redskins could've hoped for to begin the game.
Washington would look much better on the Eagles' ensuing drive, as a Will Compton sack -- the first of his career -- would make it impossible for them to get a first down. It was a well-timed sack for the inside linebacker, who found a big hole to bring Bradford down.
The Redskins would use the momentum, as Cousins would find tight end Jordan Reed for a 22-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive. Dustin Hopkins' extra point was wide left, however, so with 5:50 left in the first quarter, the Redskins trailed the Eagles, 7-6.
It was a five-play, 69-yard drive that 2:45 off the clock. Another key play on that drive: yet again to Reed, who had a 28-yard reception. The Florida product becomes the first Redskins player since Gary Clark in 1991 to record 10 touchdown receptions in a single season.
Not too shabby.
The defense brought it on the next Philadelphia drive. Two DeMarco Murray runs resulted in a combined three yards, and then Ryan Kerrigan and Chris Baker forced Bradford into an intentional grounding penalty on third down. That's more like it.
Again, the Redskins would seize the momentum -- again, Cousins would find his guy Reed.
Seven plays, 61 yards and 3:40 seconds into the ensuing drive, Reed caught a 12-yard touchdown to give Washington the lead with a minute left in the first quarter. Hopkins nailed the extra point to make it 13-7.
Reed is simply unstoppable right now, especially in single coverage.
The Eagles are striking again, though, as the first quarter comes to the end, using a 43-yard pass from Bradford to Matthews to get to the Washington 36.