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Redskins rough up Wentz, down Eagles

LANDOVER, Md. -- Riding an energized defense and a more balanced offense, the Washington Redskins find themselves in the thick of the NFC East race. Kirk Cousins threw a pair of touchdown passes, the Redskins' defense kept the Philadelphia offens...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) is sacked by Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) during the first half at FedEx Field on Sunday. Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) is sacked by Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) during the first half at FedEx Field on Sunday. Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

LANDOVER, Md. - Riding an energized defense and a more balanced offense, the Washington Redskins find themselves in the thick of the NFC East race.

Kirk Cousins threw a pair of touchdown passes, the Redskins' defense kept the Philadelphia offense out of the end zone, and the Redskins defeated the Eagles 27-20 on Sunday for their fourth straight win.

The Redskins rushed for 230 yards, led by Matt Jones, who had 16 carries for 135 yards, including a 57-yarder with 1:27 left that iced the win for Washington.

"If you hit the panic button in this business, you don't belong in this business," Cousins said. "We just try to stay the course, work very hard, prepare very well and trust that if we do that good things will happen in the long run."

The Redskins (4-2), playing without leading receiver Jordan Reed, got six catches for 77 yards from Pierre Garcon and the Washington defense recorded five sacks of Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. He faced a barrage of blitzes and completed 11 of 22 passes for 179 yards.

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Cousins completed 18 of 34 passes and was intercepted once.

Philadelphia's touchdowns came on Wendell Smallwood's 86-yard kickoff return and a 64-yard interception return by Malcolm Jenkins.

"It was awesome to see it kind of fully come together for us defensively today," said linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who had two sacks. "Didn't allow them in the end zone, didn't allow them across midfield until late in the game."

The Redskins defense has not allowed a second-half touchdown in their last four games.

"They've been outstanding," head coach Jay Gruden said. "And they're doing it a lot of different ways. They've mixed up their coverages and stunts and stopped the run game better in the second half."

Philadelphia (3-2) has dropped two in a row.

After being called for 14 penalties for 111 yards in last week's loss to Detroit, the Eagles were penalized 13 times for 114 yards Sunday.

"It's killing us, killing us, killing us," Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said. "You can't have 13 penalties in this league. It's hard enough to win, and when you kill yourself with penalties it's even harder."

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The Eagles reached the Redskins' 42-yard line on what proved to be their final drive, but Wentz was sacked on second and third downs and Philadelphia punted with 1:44 left.

Failing to score after getting inside the Washington 10, the Eagles pulled to within 27-20 on a 28-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal with 5:20 left.

A 32-yard Dustin Hopkins field goal made it 24-14 midway through the third quarter.

Despite being outgained 285-41 and having the ball for just 10:25, the Eagles trailed just 21-14 at halftime.

Rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, starting in place of the suspended Lane Johnson, was beaten by Kerrigan for a sack that killed the Eagles' first drive.

"I think it was just tough for us to get in the groove today," Wentz said. "It didn't feel like we were in sync very well, especially in the first half."

After the teams exchanged five punts, the Redskins covered 66 yards in three plays to take the lead.

On first down, Cousins found DeSean Jackson downfield for 35 yards. After Jones rumbled 15 yards to the Eagles 16, Cousins lofted a pass to Jamison Crowder in the left corner for the touchdown.

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After another Kerrigan sack led to a three-and-out on the Eagles' next drive, the Redskins took over on their 10. Rookie running back Robert Kelly went up the middle for 45 yards to the Eagles 33 and Cousins later hit tight end Vernon Davis across the middle for a 13-yard touchdown, making it 14-0.

Davis took a jump shot with the football and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct that quickly hurt the Redskins.

Hopkins, usually good for a touchback, kicked from the 25 and Smallwood fielded it at the 14. Smallwood found an opening and scampered down the left sideline for the touchdown.

The Redskins were driving on their next possession when Cousins, under pressure, threw off his back foot toward Davis. Jenkins stepped in front for the interception and raced 64 yards for the tying touchdown.

Washington went 75 yards in 3:49 and scored with six seconds left to lead 21-14 at halftime. Given a fresh set of downs on the 2 after Fletcher Cox's roughing the passer penalty erased what would have been fourth-and-goal from the 4, the Redskins went ahead when Jones scored from 1 yard out.

The Eagles' offense was on the field for only a kneel-down play over the final 13:19 of the first half and Washington then held the ball for over six minutes to start the third quarter.

"We weren't on the field a lot, but when we get on the field we've got to make something happen," Eagles running back Darren Sproles said. "We just weren't making it happen today."

Carson Wentz hurries a pass as he's pressured during the first half at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sunday. Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Carson Wentz hurries a pass as he's pressured during the first half at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Sunday. Photo by Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Related Topics: CARSON WENTZ
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