PHILADELPHIA — Well, it wasn’t pretty. But a win’s a win.
Facing a make-or-break situation entering the final month of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a 28-13 victory over the Washington Redskins, who as losers of three straight are reeling while plagued by major injuries.
Here are three things that we learned in this contest.
1. It’s not a good year to be a Redskins QB: Two weeks after losing Alex Smith to a broken fibula and tibia, the Washington Redskins lost Colt McCoy for the remainder of the season to a fractured right fibula. McCoy suffered the injury early in the second quarter and made way for Mark Sanchez, who signed with the team just two weeks ago. Sanchez, who hadn’t played a down of football since Jan. 1, 2017, had a pretty feeble Redskins debut (13-for-21 for 100 yards and an interception and a 53.7 quarterback rating). And just like that, Washington’s postseason hopes appear to have shattered. The likelihood of them legitimately competing in the final four weeks of the season aren’t very good. They’ll bring in other quarterbacks this week (two weeks ago, in addition to Sanchez, they worked out EJ Manuel and T.J. Yates), but whoever they sign will be behind Sanchez in knowledge of the offense and isn’t likely of difference-making caliber. As if it was unclear prior to Monday night, Washington’s top offseason priority is to find a quarterback, or quarterbacks. They’ll likely have to both draft and sign a free-agent quarterback.
2. Eagles receiving valuable, yet painful, lesson: Sure, the Eagles got the win, but they had to fight a lot harder to pick up the W than they should have. Had they faced a squad that wasn’t down to its third-string quarterback, and third- and fourth-string offensive guards, the Eagles probably lose that game. They had some flashes, but were wildly inconsistent, and miscues were plentiful. It’s been a frustrating year for the Eagles. None of the magic from their Super Bowl run has carried over into this season. The razor-sharp focus and rock-solid cohesion that paved the way for success last season has been missing. Members of the organization admit that maintaining all of those intangibles and hunger after winning a Super Bowl has been extremely challenging. The struggles of this season have given the Eagles a greater appreciation for the Patriots, who contend for Super Bowls on a yearly basis.
3. Dallas in the drivers’ seat: With Washington losing and dropping to 6-6 (with more losses very likely) and Philadelphia also owning a 6-6 record, the Cowboys stand alone as the only team in the NFC East with a winning record. At 7-5, and winners of four straight, Dallas is poised to win this division. They’re not perfect, but they’re healthier than Washington and more consistent than the Eagles. The Cowboys host Philadelphia on Sunday and can increase their hold on the division lead with a victory. Meanwhile, although neither are eliminated, it appears highly unlikely that Washington or Philly will manage to secure a wild-card berth. The Seahawks (7-5) and Vikings (6-5-1) currently have a leg up on each.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.
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