NFL Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles moved into playoff race with a 28-13 victory against the Washington Redskins.
In this week 13 contest, little went well for the Redskins – who suffered yet another quarterback injury against the Eagles on Monday.
One of the only bright spots for Washington was a long touchdown by 33-year-old Adrian Peterson as the veteran showed he is in better shape than most by becoming the oldest player in NFL history to rush for a 90-plus yard score.
That was the Redskins' only touchdown in their loss to the Eagles, who stayed alive in the postseason race.
Besides Peterson breaking records, there was also the return of quarterback Mark Sanchez, the resurgence of Golden Tate — and with it Darren Sproles, who returned for his first game since week one— and playoff implications that will weigh heavily on both teams in the coming weeks.
Quarterback woes continue for Washington
Injuries have plagued the players under center in Washington and unfortunately, another Redskins quarterback went down at Lincoln Financial Field. Backup-turned-starter Colt McCoy left the game with a serious lower leg injury in the first half.
Early reports said McCoy, like starting quarterback Alex Smith, would be out for the rest of the season.
This brought in the veteran Sanchez, who recently signed with the Redskins to serve as McCoy's backup.
But, Sanchez experienced his own woes. The one-time first-round draft pick — who was selected fifth overall in 2009 by the New York Jets — had not taken a meaningful snap since 2016, so he rightfully had some rust to work through. He also had the pressure of this must-win game to deal with. These factors made for a less-than-ideal scenario for Sanchez, especially since he had been with the organisation for two weeks.
He showed flashes of what he once had while he was a starter with the Jets and Eagles, but all-in-all, the Redskins will have to make a serious adjustment if they want to have a chance at moving back into the wild-card race.
Sanchez ended the game completing 13 of his 21 pass attempts for 100 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He was also sacked twice.
Tate finally showed up
We are used to big plays from Tate from his time with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions, but prior to this contest he only had 11 catches in three games with the Eagles. Sure, he is new to the organisation but big-time players still make big-time plays, right?
For Tate, that was finally the case on Monday.
He had a game-high 85 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions — he even wowed the crowd with his dance moves.
It was the perfect time for Tate to show up and help tight end Zach Ertz. His impressive touchdown grab put Philadelphia up early in what was a one-point game. He had some more touches late, including two catches on the Eagles' final scoring drive.
Meanwhile, Ertz finished with nine catches for 83 yards. He now has 92 receptions this season, which broke Brian Westbrook's record for most receptions in a single season in franchise history — Westbrook had 90 in 2007.
Sproles, who suffered a hamstring injury in the first game of the season, also returned and made an impact. He ran for 22 yards and one touchdown on four carries.
Let's talk playoffs
We keep hearing "playoff picture" this, "playoff picture" that, but if any game had major playoff implications in week 13, it was certainly this one.
The victory moved Philadelphia to 6-6, a record Washington now also hold. Both teams sit one-game behind the division-leading Dallas Cowboys and the loss boots the Redskins out of the wild-card race ... for now.
Washington fans will have to put loyalties aside and cheer for the Eagles when they face the Cowboys in week 14. In that same week, the Redskins will need a win over the 4-8 New York Giants. Wins from both squads and a Cowboys loss would put the three top teams in the NFC East at 7-6 entering the final few weeks of the season.
The Redskins would have much rather enjoyed a win in this matchup, which would have effectively eliminated the Eagles and put all the pressure on the Cowboys, but now both Washington and Philadelphia will need some magic to happen.
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