1 - Robert Griffin III’s return to action didn’t provide an immediate jolt to the Redskins, who struggled through the first quarter with little to show for it on offense. Alfred Morris managed just four yards on three carries as Washington spent a good chunk of the quarter watching Nick Foles and the Eagles move the ball. Philly converted on a pair of why-not fourth-and-1s on its opening drive, which Foles capped with a 27-yard TD pass to Jeremy Maclin. It wasn’t until Ryan Kerrigan forced Foles to fumble on the final play of the quarter that Washington had any momentum.
2 - The Redskins looked a bit more like themselves as they got warmed up. That was thanks in large part to the defense coming up with some more big plays, led by big man Barry Cofield in the middle. Aside from showing some serious agility for a nose tackle to defend a pair of screen passes, he also tipped a Foles pass to set up a London Fletcher interception. That led to the lone Redskins TD of the half, with RG3 hitting Joshua Morgan for an 11-yard score that put Washington ahead after two earlier field goals from the unstoppable Kai Forbath.
Play of the game: The touchdown that gave the Redskins their final margin of victory was a thing of beauty, with RG3 showing flawless timing to wait out Santana Moss as he broke toward the left corner of the end zone, then dropping the ball right in the receiver’s arms as Moss dragged his left toe to stay inbounds.
3 - And the offense finally got on track in the third, as Griffin opened the half by moving the Redskins down the field before Morris slashed to a 10-yard TD. The Eagles saw a promising drive that included a nice layout catch by Maclin stall and end in a field goal, and another cut short when Foles tripped behind the line on fourth and 2. Those failures to put more on the scoreboard made Griffin’s gorgeous pass to Moss in the front corner of the end zone a killer for the home team.
4 - It was survive and advance for the Redskins in the final 15 minutes, with the defense shouldering most of the load. The Eagles made things interesting when RG3 was intercepted on a ball that went off Morgan’s hands and Philadelphia quickly turned it into a TD. Washington couldn’t score again and left Foles needing to go 85 yards in 4:15 to tie the game or try to win on a two-point conversion. He came agonizingly close, but an illegal forward pass penalty on the 5-yard line ended the game.
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Marc Lancaster has covered Major League Baseball for the Tampa Tribune and the Cincinnati Post and served as an editor at FanHouse.com and SportsIllustrated.com. A University of Georgia graduate, he began his career as a sportswriter at the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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