Redskins winning with balanced offense, clutch defense


The absence of right tackle Lane Johnson Sunday had a damaging impact on not just the offensive line, but the entire Philadelphia Eagles operation. The Eagles have not indicated whether or not they will consider doing this down the road, but it may just be a better option than sticking with Vaitai.

Filling in for the suspended Lane Johnson, rookie right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was activated for the first time, knows how poorly he played without his quarterback rolling him under the back end of the bus after everyone had seen Washington's pass rushers crush him with the front half.

A defense that surrendered 230 rushing yards on the day was unable to fully to put the clamps on Washington, however, and a late comeback attempt was thwarted when Wentz was sacked on back-to-back plays around the two-minute mark to stall the drive.

Carson Wentz finished 11 of 22 for 179 yards.

Jones led the team with 135 yards, but rookie Robert Kelley provided a spark early in the game when he busted a 45-yard dash.

The play gave the Eagles some momentum and they kept it going when they were on defense.

During the team's four-game winning streak, however, the unit has been lights out in the second half.

This marks Jones' second 100-yard game in the last three weeks and brings his average yards-per-carry up to almost 5 yards a pop on the season.

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Philadelphia also had to keep its ruining backs back in pass protection, eliminating the screen play. After an Eagles three-and-out, the Redskins went 90 yards on nine plays. Rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai saw his first National Football League action, starting in place of suspended Lane Johnson.

"I'd like to thank the offense for keeping us off the field for what felt like the whole second quarter", Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said.

Wentz has gotten most of the attention, but Fletcher Cox is still the best player on the Eagles. At that point, Wentz kneeled down to end the half. For 2 weeks in a row, the Eagles clawed their way back into a game, but just couldn't overcome double-digit deficit in the 2nd half.

That had a major impact as Smallwood caught the ball at the 14 and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown to get the Eagles on the board. The Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins were driving down the field and looked like they were going to score for a third time on the day.

For the second quarter, Washington held the ball for 13:02, the Eagles just 1:58, and still, the Eagles were within a touchdown.

Though the final score says the Eagles were in the game until the end, the naked eye told a different story. Fifty-four of the yards came on a pass to wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

The rest of the quarter devolved into a field position battle until Jackson got free for a 35-yard crossing pattern. Washington had three first downs by penalty of the five called before halftime.

Despite their loss to the Lions, the Eagles are still rated as the number two team in football by DVOA.