The last time the Redskins went to Philadelphia for a late season game with heavy playoff implications for them but not for the Eagles, it was 2005. Washington was 9-6 and needed a win over the 6-9 Eagles in the season finale to wrap up a wild card berth in the postseason.
In the first quarter, Washington took a 7-3 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Mike Sellers. With Donovan McNabb sidelined with an injury, Mike McMahon was the Eagles QB and he threw two touchdown passes to Reggie Brown to put Philly up 17-7 in the second quarter.
It looked like the playoff berth was slipping away but the Redskins battled back. They took a 24-20 fourth-quarter lead on a 22-yard Clinton Portis touchdown run one play after linebacker Lemar Marshall picked off a pass. They wrapped it up later when Sean Taylor dove across the goal line to complete a 39-yard fumble return to make the final 31-20.
I think we will see a similar game on Sunday. Sometimes coaches talk about how talented the upcoming opponent is and they are stretching their credibility. Not so with the Eagles. They have a lot of good players but they have been hit with a lot of injuries and the talent they have doesn’t really mesh together very well. The former is not the fault of coach Andy Reid; the latter is and because of that this will be Reid’s last home game after 14 years at the helm.
The players like Reid and they will come out and play hard in honor of the coach’s Philly farewell. They could well build up an early lead. Robert Griffin III may be a bit rusty after missing last week with a knee injury.
But the emotion will only carry the Eagles so far. Eventually RG3 will get it going, the Washington defense will force Nick Foles into a couple of turnovers and the Redskins remain in control of their playoff scenario. In a game that is closer than the final score would indicate:
Redskins 31, Eagles 20