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Redskins edge rival Eagles to stay alive in playoff race

The Eagles (5-8) gave the Washington Redskins everything they had, but a lack of depth across the offensive line and cornerback finally took its toll in a 27-22 loss to their division rivals. Here's what we learned:

  1. The Redskins (7-5-1) live to fight another day. There may not have been an opponent Washington needed more at this point. The Eagles gave them a fierce, emotional 60 minutes which can catapult sleepwalking teams in need of a jolt. The Redskins have broken their two-game losing streak and are firmly in the playoff picture with games against Carolina, at Chicago and the Giants left to play. The NFC East is setting itself up to be one of the more explosive divisions over the final three weeks of the season.
  1. Coaches always have to be prepared with an emergency quarterback. But what about a second emergency long-snapper? With magic man Jon Dorenbos going down with a wrist injury and backup long snapper, tight end Brent Celek, also getting hurt in the fourth quarter the Eagles were holding frantic sideline tryouts to see if anyone could get the ball back to the kicker. Celek botched a previous attempt that resulted in Eagles holder Donnie Jones getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
  1. With rumors circulating that DeSean Jackson may one day become a Philadelphia Eagle again, Jackson played a signature DeSean Game in his former home town. What does that entail? Three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, with the 80-yard score representing a momentary turning point for Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense. Of course Jackson slow-jogged into the end zone to prove his point. In many ways, he represents the still-great untapped potential of this offense and they're running out of time. It would be hard to imagine general manager Scot McCloughan doling out cash for both Jackson and Pierre Garcon this offseason while Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are on the roster and under their rookie deals.
  1. People should not be diving off the Wentz wagon. The rookie sensation had the Eagles within 14 yards of a game-winning touchdown with 12 seconds to go before Redskins defensive end Ryan Kerrigan blew by third-string offensive tackle Matt Tobin for the sack-fumble. Should Wentz have anticipated the rush? Perhaps. It did not come from his blind side. But at that point, the team needs a touchdown, has no timeouts left and receivers aren't breaking open. Quarterbacks can probably get a break for holding the ball a little longer there in search of the big play.
  1. Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan is a savant. Some of the running plays drawn up for Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson were basically unstoppable -- even for a very good Eagles defensive line. People forget that, over the last seven years, his hands have been on some of the most effective running games in football. His last three stops? The Jets from 2008-11 with LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. Then, it was on to Dallas with DeMarco Murray. Of course, talent has something to do with it, but don't count out some fantastic design.
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