Kirk Cousins, Redskins drop hammer on Wentz, Eagles

The Washington Redskins (4-2) leaned on a ferocious pass rush and a balanced, clock-draining offense to drop a 27-20 hammer on the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at FedExField. Here's what we learned:

  1. Kirk Cousins has suffered endless criticism this season, but the Redskins quarterback deserves credit for making his share of pretty throws on Sunday. Even with productive tight end Jordan Reed out of the lineup, Cousins looked strong directing a clock-chewing attack that, midway through the third period, had outgained Philly 341 yards to 41. Cousins (18-of-34 passing for 263 yards with two scores and a pick six) led long touchdown drives that covered 71, 90 and 75 yards before the break. Take away Philly's kneel-down to end the first half and Washington at one point owned the ball for an outrageous 38 straight plays against an Eagles team that entered Sunday leading the NFL in time of possession. Washington's four-game win streak has plenty to do with Cousins, who sports an 8-to-3 touchdown-to-pick ratio over his past four starts after a 1-to-3 mark to start the year.
  1. All seven of Carson Wentz's touchdown strikes as a rookie have come against defensive fronts ignoring the blitz. The Redskins on Sunday chose a different route, going after the Eagles quarterback from wire to wire. The suspension of stout right tackle Lane Johnson hurt right away, as fill-in blocker Halapoulivaati Vaitai gave up a heat-seeking sack to Ryan Kerrigan on Philly's opening drive, a march that saw Wentz absorb a pair of takedowns. The Eagles' offense was a ghost for much of the afternoon, opening the game with four straight punts as Wentz (11-of-22 passing for 179 yards) played only two snaps in the second quarter and dialed up just 12 passing yards over the first 30 minutes, the lowest output for Philly since 2010. Wentz at one stage didn't throw a pass for 20-plus minutes of game time before heating up late to lead the team to a pair of field goals. The rookie had a chance to tie the game inside the two-minute warning, but the Redskins barreled through Philly's line for their fourth and fifth sacks of the day to put the game away.
  1. The Redskins have been a mixed bag on the ground, but Matt Jones and from-the-wilderness rookie Rob Kelley were brilliant on Sunday, helping Washington to 230 rushing yards at a wild 7.0 yards per tote. The Eagles rolled into FedEx having allowed just five touchdowns all season, but they failed to control the trenches against the Redskins in this divisional bout.
  1. The Eagles hung around thanks to help from unusual places, as safety Malcolm Jenkins scored on a pick-six just minutes after rookie Wendell Smallwood ripped off a gorgeous 86-yard kick return touchdown midway through the second quarter. The team hurt itself repeatedly, though, with 114 yards in penalties off a ridiculous 13 flags. The Eagles have suffered back-to-back games with 110-plus penalty yardage for the first time since 1952.
  1. Jamison Crowder is a fascinating athlete who notched his third touchdown of the season after shredding the Ravens last week with an 85-yard punt return to the house. Sunday's score -- a beautiful 16-yard grab in the back-left corner of the end zone -- marked the fourth touchdown of the year for a Redskins wideout now serving as a core member of Washington's air attack.
  1. It gets no easier for the skidding Eagles, who play eight of their final 11 games against clubs that currently have a winning record, including the Vikings, Cowboys, Falcons, Seahawks, Packers, Redskins, Ravens and Cowboys.
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