Wentz, Eagles keep NFC East hopes alive by beating Redskins
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Carson Wentz fumbled the ball away, but recovered in time to keep alive the Philadelphia Eagles’ hopes of winning the NFC East.
Wentz bounced back from a potentially costly mistake by leading a 75-yard, go-ahead scoring drive and throwing his third touchdown pass of the day to keep Philadelphia’s NFC East hopes on track with a 37-27 victory at the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
The Eagles and Cowboys both are 7-7 and face off in Philadelphia next week.
For the second consecutive week, Wentz engineered a late-game scoring drive, this time with the motivation of atoning for his miscue.
“Guys just kept believing,” said Wentz, who fumbled twice and lost one of those in the middle of the fourth quarter. “I didn’t lose faith or confidence at all. I just wanted one more chance. I wanted another chance to go down and the defense gave that to us, and we got it done.”
Wentz threw TD passes to running back Miles Sanders, tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Greg Ward and was 30 of 43 for 266 yards. The 4-yard pass from Wentz to Ward with 26 seconds left put Philadelphia up for good and electrified a stadium full of green-clad Eagles fans. His ability to bounce back from some accuracy issues and a turnover kept the Eagles on pace with the Cowboys.
“We knew what was in front of us,” coach Doug Pederson said. “We dealt ourselves this situation. I don’t think it’s going to take much motivation this week.”
Sanders rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 50 yards. The Eagles’ defense that struggled to stop Washington’s Dwayne Haskins most of the afternoon got him to fumble for a touchdown by Nigel Bradham on the game’s final play, leading fans in the corner to chant, “We want Dallas!”
Coming off an overtime victory against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, a loss to Washington (3-11) could’ve had the Eagles facing elimination next week. Allowing an early 75-yard TD pass from Haskins to Terry McLaurin and falling behind 7-3, 14-10, 21-17 and 27-24 made that a distinct possibility.
“We’ve got to do better,” Pederson said. “We’ve got to look at the tape, make the corrections and we’ve got to tighten some areas up.”
The Redskins made things interesting with late field goals of 43 and 53 yards by Dustin Hopkins, but fell into last place with this loss and the Giants’ victory against Miami. Haskins was 19 of 28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
“We wanted to battle (the Eagles’) aggressiveness with quick throws into zone, blitzes and stuff like that,” Haskins said. “They’re definitely something we worked on this week that looked good.”
PETERSON TIES PAYTON
Adrian Peterson’s 10-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter gave him 110 for his career and tied him with Walter Payton for fourth on the all-time list. Peterson had 16 carries for 66 yards.
SANDERS MAKES HISTORY
Pederson referred to Sanders as “technically a rookie” because so much experience this year has turned the running back into a seasoned pro. But he is a rookie, and as such, set franchise records for the most yards rushing and total yards from scrimmage by a player in his first NFL season.
“This stuff don’t feel real,” Sanders said.
Free agent coach Urban Meyer took in the game from Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s box and watched parts of it with a familiar face from his college past. Meyer at one point could be seen talking and laughing with injured Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, who he coached at Utah.
Meyer has connections to several Redskins players, including Florida products Jordan Reed and Jon Bostic and, of course, Haskins and McLaurin.
“It was good to see him, good to talk to him,” McLaurin said. “That passes football. It had nothing to do with his coaching status at all.”
Eagles: Played without WR Nelson Agholor (knee), RB Jordan Howard (shoulder), RT Lane Johnson (ankle) and DE Derek Barnett (ankle), and put WR Alshon Jeffrey (foot) on injured reserve.
Redskins: Rookie CB Jimmy Moreland left in the third quarter with a foot injury. ... CB Aaron Colvin was injured early in the fourth and CB Fabian Moreau left with a hamstring injury in the final minutes.
Eagles host the Cowboys in what could be the deciding game for who wins the division.
Redskins host the New York Giants in either another Eli Manning swan song game or a showdown between Haskins and Daniel Jones.
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