He was not the explosive runner he is when healthy, and the Redskins limited his designed runs accordingly.
“We didn’t do everything that we would normally do,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “I did not want to put that pressure on that LCL.”
The Redskins‘ offense started slowly, as it did last week in Cleveland, but the defense provided the spark. Down 7-0 in the first quarter, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan sacked Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles and forced a fumble that reserve cornerback Richard Crawford recovered.
The Redskins scored a field goal on the ensuing drive. Soon they were operating at normal efficiency.
They took a 13-7 lead late in the second quarter on a bubble screen that Joshua Morgan ran 11 yards for a touchdown. He received a key block from receiver Pierre Garcon, typical of the types of contributions that have fueled this winning streak.
“We’ve been playing for each other all year,” Morgan said. “We’ve been doing a great job feeding off each other.”
Morris had only 18 rushing yards on nine carries at halftime, but the zone running game opened in the second half.
Philadelphia’s linebackers aggressively played the run in the first half, but success through the air prompted them to back off a bit, Morris said.
“You grind it out, grind it out, and eventually a couple of them will pop,” left tackle Trent Williams said.
Griffin produced his moment of brilliance with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter. From a clean pocket, he lobbed a perfect 22-yard pass to Santana Moss, who dragged both his feet in bounds in the end zone. It gave the Redskins a 27-13 lead they needed every bit of.
Philadelphia trimmed its deficit to seven after Griffin’s fourth-quarter interception, a high throw that Morgan deflected into the air.
Tight end Evan Moore dropped a potential touchdown on first-and-goal. Then, with one second left, defensive end Stephen Bowen’s pressure resulted in an intentional grounding penalty against Foles. The 10-second runoff ended the game.
“I was thinking about that since the clock said 0:00, when the referee threw the flag, so let’s go and get the Cowboys, man,” fullback Darrel Young said. “There’s nothing else on my mind right now. I want to take the division.”