Sunday, November 18, 2012

Griffin, Redskins rout sagging Eagles; McCoy has concussion

Special to the Phanatic

Landover, MD -- Robert Griffin III threw for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 14-of-15 efficiency while rushing for 85 more, as the Washington Redskins dispatched the reeling Philadelphia Eagles by a 31-6 count in an NFC East clash at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon.

Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Logan Paulsen and Darrel Young each had a TD reception for the Redskins (4-6), who snapped a three-game slide heading into a traditional matchup in Dallas on Thanksgiving and also picked up their first home win over Philadelphia since 2008.

"Nothing's going to change. Robert's going to go out there and make plays and continue to be special," Moss said of his rookie quarterback. "That's the gift that he has, he's a special guy. He brings that kind of 'specialness.' I don't know if that's a word, but he brings it to our offense."

Starting in place of the concussed Michael Vick, Nick Foles finished 21-of-46 for 204 yards and two interceptions for the Eagles (3-7), who have lost six in a row for the first time under Andy Reid and the first time since dropping seven straight to end the 1994 campaign.

"When you have a guy making his first start in the league, other guys have to elevate their game, and I felt like as a team we didn't do that," said Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin.

Rich Kotite presided over that luckless streak, which dropped the Birds from the lead in the NFC Wild Card race to 7-9 and out of postseason consideration.

Alex Henery's pair of field goals accounted for all of Philadelphia's offense. LeSean McCoy registered 67 yards on six receptions and 45 rushing yards on 15 carries before leaving late after absorbing a hit to the helmet. Reid later reported that the Pitt product suffered a concussion on the play.

"We were trying to catch up and win the game," said Reid when asked why his featured back was still playing in the final minutes of a blowout loss.

The Birds have a chance to right the ship next Monday night at the Linc against one of the few teams left worse off than they, welcoming Cam Newton and the 2-8 Carolina Panthers to prime time.

Misfortune  for the  rookie signal  caller out  of Arizona  came on  the first Eagles  series.  Three plays  in, Foles  was picked off  by DeAngelo Hall, who returned  a tipped ball which fell from tight end Brent Celek's hands 22 yards to  the  Philadelphia 9-yard line. Two  plays later, Griffin lofted a ball for Young  on the  right side  and he  strolled  into the  end zone  for a  6-yard touchdown.

The  Birds reached the  Redskins' 42 on their next series but Foles was picked by  Brandon Meriweather, but the hosts failed to sustain a drive, going three-and-out. The Redskins punted, leaving the visitors on their own 16.

Henery eventually put Philly on the board when he connected from 41 yards away early in the second to cap the ensuing 61-yard, 11-play series.

Washington, however, struck seven plays later when Griffin found Robinson wide open on the right side for a 49-yard touchdown and 14-3 game.

Another  miscue by  the Birds  cost  them three  more points.  McCoy lost  the football  on the  first play of the  Birds' final touch of the first half, and the  hosts took over on the 14. Kai Forbath ended the half with a 25-yard make and it was a 14-point spread for Washington.

Henery  was true from  42 yards away to cap Philly's first series of the third quarter,  but on  the following possession, Moss came down with a Griffin pass in  double coverage and  broke a tackle en route to a 61-yard score and a 24-6 game with 4:50 left in the quarter.

The  rout was on  early in the fourth when Griffin and Paulsen hooked up for a 17-yard score that finished off a 55-yard march.

Philadelphia's penultimate possession resulted in a punt and its final one was a  turnover on  downs when Foles' pass  to Clay Harbor fell incomplete on 4th-and-3 from the Redskins' 34-yard line inside the last minute of play.

"Early turnovers, penalties, drops, giving up the big plays, those are all problems with this game," was all the explanation Reid offered at the start of his usual postgame presser.

Notes: The Redskins outgained the Eagles by a 361-257 margin, including a 169-80 edge on  the  ground ...  The 25-point  margin of victory  most for Washington over Philadelphia  since  a 28-3 decision on  Nov. 15, 1998 ... Redskins linebacker London  Fletcher played in his 234th consecutive game ... Despite the setback, the Eagles are 16-9 vs. the Redskins since 2000, which includes a 10-3 mark in DC ... Alfred Morris picked up 76 yards on 20 carries for Washington ... Riley Cooper ended up with 61 yards on five receptions for Philadelphia.
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