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Washington vs. Eagles score: Philly defense pitches shutout in second half, one win away from playoffs


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Washington vs. Eagles score: Philly defense pitches shutout in second half, one win away from playoffs

The Eagles rally in the second half to beat Washington and clinch a winning season

Jeff Kerr
By Jeff Kerr

The Philadelphia Eagles are in position to clinch a playoff berth in Nick Sirianni's first season as a head coach. Philadelphia rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to shut out the Washington Football Team in the second half and hold on for a 20-16 victory. Rodney McLeod intercepted Taylor Heinicke with 30 seconds left to seal the victory, as the Washington quarterback threw the pick from the Eagles' 20-yard line.

Philadelphia got two touchdowns from Boston Scott, who finished with 14 carries for 47 yards and four catches for 39 yards. The Eagles were held to 118 yards on the ground, yet received efficient quarterback play from Jalen Hurts on the afternoon. Hurts finished 17 of 26 for 214 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for 44 yards on seven carries. Jake Elliott kicked a 42-yard field goal with 11:41 left to give the Eagles the lead for good.

Heinicke was 14 for 17 for 170 yards in the first half, yet went just 10 for 19 for 77 yards in the second half. Washington scored on all four of its first half possessions, but none in the second half. Jaret Patterson had the Football Team's lone touchdown, an 11-yard run that capped Washington's first drive to put them up 7-0. 

The Eagles (9-7) keep hold of the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoff race and will clinch a playoff spot Sunday with a Minnesota Vikings loss to the Green Bay Packers later tonight and a San Francisco 49ers win over the Houston Texans or a New Orleans Saints loss to the Carolina Panthers. Washington is eliminated from the playoffs. 

We'll have takeaways from this game shortly, but a recap can be found in our live blog below as Philadelphia improves to 7-2 in its last nine games. 

Why the Eagles won

Philadelphia held Washington to just 81 yards in the second half on 27 plays and no points, this after giving up a score on Washington's first four possessions of the game that led to 16 points. The Eagles' defense was far from perfect, but Washington only scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the game. After that, seven possessions and nine points.

The Eagles held Washington to just 26 yards on the first three possessions in the second half, while Philadelphia's offense outscored them 13-0 on its four possessions during the stretch to open the half. Hurts was 8 of 15 for 98 yards in the second half, but made key throws to extend drives and get Philadelphia in scoring range. The win wasn't pretty, but the Eagles earned the victory. 

Why Washington lost

Washington's offensive line couldn't stop the Eagles front four in the second half, and it affected the play of Heinicke -- who was just 10 for 19 for 77 yards in the second half with an interception. The Football team's offense was efficient in the first half against zone coverage, yet Heinicke was pressured more often and Washington had a stretch where they were held to just 26 yards on 15 plays. That allowed the Eagles to wear down the defense and get back in the game. 

Washington tried to play playoff spoiler, but were undone by erratic quarterback play and an offensive line that collapsed in the second half. That led to no points from an offense that scored 16 in the opening 30 minutes. 

Turning point

Trailing 16-7, the Eagles were facing a third-and-14 in the third quarter from the Washington 31-yard line. Hurts was pressured and used his legs to buy time and direct traffic while rolling to his right and looking for the open receiver. 

Hurts found Greg Ward for 27 yards, another big play from the team's No. 4 wide receiver. The Eagles would score a touchdown on fourth-and-goal four plays later to cut the deficit to 16-14. 

Play of the game

McLeod sealed the victory with a diving interception in the end zone that clinched the winning season for the Eagles -- and put Philadelphia in excellent position to take a playoff spot. Washington was driving up the field as the Football Team got to the Eagles' 20-yard line (Philadelphia was not giving up any play over the top), which is where the Eagles took advantage. 

Anticipating an aggressive throw by Heinicke, McLeod saw the ball travel toward the end zone and made a diving catch with 30 seconds left to preserve the win. The catch was spectacular, capping off a dominant second half by the Eagles' defense. 

The quote

"I'm just happy everybody is safe. That's crazy stuff right there. That's a real dangerous situation. The passion of the Eagles fans. I love it." -- Hurts on the Eagles fans who collapsed from the Washington railing waving to him after the game. 

Hurts checked to see if the fans were OK and greeted them once they all were all right, smiling with them immediately. 

Up next

The Eagles (9-7) conclude the regular season with a home game against the Cowboys. Washington (6-10) faces the Giants to close out the year. 


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Up next

The Eagles (9-7) conclude the regular season with a home game against the Cowboys. Washington (6-10) faces the Giants to close out the year.

God I hope we beat Dallas (and without them resting their starters).  We've lost 6 of the last 8 to them - time to reverse that trend.  :flex:


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