Redskins making plays, catching breaks

Redskins making plays, catching breaks
December 23, 2012, 7:30 pm
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Shanahan: We're not done yet

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- In summary: As the clock wound down at Lincoln Financial Field, Darrel Young stood on the sideline, preparing himself for the worst 

The Redskins’ fullback had seen so many afternoons unfold just as this one looked as though it would: play well enough to win, but blow it in the end. 

Then the breaks started to go Washington’s way, just as they have throughout the team’s improbable winning streak. The visitors escaped with a 27-20 victory, giving Young and Co. six wins in a row and a shot at their first NFC East title since 1999 when they host the Cowboys next Sunday.

“I was almost having a heart attack at the end of the game when they were driving to score,” Young said. “We seemed to lose many of those close games in the past.”

But Nick Foles bounced a pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was wide open in the end zone. Two plays later, tight end Evan Moore dropped a sure touchdown at the goal line. Then, as time expired, Redskins’ defense end Stephen Bowen, playing with a torn tendon in his right biceps, forced a flustered Foles to ground the ball intentionally.

Game over. 

“With this team,” Young said. “We seem to win the close games now.”

Turning point: With the Redskins clinging to a 20-13 lead in the third quarter and facing a third and 10 at the Eagles’ 22, Griffin lofted a perfect pass to Santana Moss. The veteran dragged his trail foot just long enough to score a scintillating touchdown and put the Redskins ahead 27-13. 

“You practice that kind of catch sometimes at practice or on the sidelines,” Moss said. “You want to drag your feet, then worry about catching the ball.”

Offensive play of the game: Trailing 7-6 in the second quarter, the Redskins were at the Eagles’ 11-yard line when Josh Morgan went in motion and then caught a screen pass. Morgan ran over safety Colt Anderson before bowling his way into the end zone for a touchdown that put the Redskins ahead 13-7. 

Defensive play of the game: Midway through the second quarter, the Redskins were behind 7-6 when London Fletcher snagged his career-best fifth interception of the season. The 37-year-old has an interception in each of the past three games and four in the last five.

On Fletcher’s pick Sunday, nose tackle Barry Cofield tipped the ball before it landed in his hands.

“It’s been a combination of rush and coverage,” Fletcher said. “They go hand-in-hand. Good coverage leads to sacks and good pressure leads to interceptions.”

Special teams play of the game: Although the punt only traveled 33 yards, it was exactly what the Redskins needed late in the fourth quarter. Sav Rocca booted the ball high, giving his coverage team enough time to get downfield and force Damaris Johnson to call for a fair catch at the Philadelphia 15-yard line. The Eagles drove all the way down to Redskins’ 5-yard line but ran out of time. 

Game ball: Kai Forbath gets it. He connected on kicks of 45 and 42 to improve to 17 of 17 on the season and set a new NFL record for consecutive field goals to start an NFL career. He passed Saints kicker Garrett Hartley, who had made 16 in row spanning the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

“It’s awesome,” Forbath said before addressing long snapper Nick Sundberg’s superstitions. “Today, in our warm-up, [Sundberg] got upset because I wanted to do one extra kick in our warm-up. He thought that was breaking our routine.”

As it turned out, it didn’t matter one bit.

Injury report: Safety DeJon Gomes has a sprained MCL in his left knee. He’ll have an MRI on Monday. …Cornerback Josh Wilson went to the sideline after aggravating a shoulder injury, but returned four snaps later. …Defensive end Kedric Golston suffered a stinger in his left shoulder late in the game and did not return. He said afterward that feeling was returning to his arm and that he expects to be “okay.” …Morgan had his right hand examined by team doctors after the game. He said he injured himself when he landed awkwardly while leaping for an overthrown pass. Morgan said he doesn’t believe the injury is serious.

Quote of the day: After hauling in his first reception of the season, Chris Cooley praised Griffin: “I think this team and all of DC really believe that Griffin is the MVP of this season. He has had a great year, and even with some of the other first year quarterbacks out there, he definitely gets my vote.”

Quote of the day, No. 2: Morgan took the blame for Griffin’s interception, saying with a smile: “That’s my fault. I have to jump higher next time. I have to turn my 40-inch vertical into a 45-inch vertical.”

By the numbers: Alfred Morris needs 104 yards next week against the Cowboys to break the Redskins’ single-season record for rushing yards, a mark currently held by Clinton Portis (1,516 in 2005).

By the numbers, No. 2: Led by Ryan Kerrigan’s two sacks, the Redskins racked up five in the game – the team’s highest total since Week 4 of last season. Perry Riley, Lorenzo Alexander, and Madieu Williams also registered sacks.