RG3 leads Redskins over Eagles 27-20

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 24, 2012
With one more win, Robert Griffin III can be called a playoff quarterback. Now that's an adjective he won't mind. Griffin threw a pair of touchdown passes in his first game back from a knee injury and the Washington Redskins held on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 on Sunday to close within a victory of securing their first NFC East title in 13 years. Known as much for his running as passing, Griffin had a season-low 4 yards rushing. But the rookie quarterback made several big throws to lead Washington (9-6). ''That's why they call me quarterback,'' Griffin said. ''It's not abbreviated with a running quarterback before that or whatever else anyone wants to say. They call me quarterback because I lead the team. I'm supposed to go out there and throw the ball.'' Counted out by their own coach six weeks ago, the Redskins can clinch the division with a victory over Dallas at home next Sunday. The game has been flexed to prime time by the NFL. The Redskins haven't won the division since 1999 and last reached the playoffs in 2007. They could still get in as a wild card with a loss, but would need help. ''We're already on to the next one,'' Griffin said. ''You don't have to celebrate wins at this point of the season. You just know what's ahead of you and all that is for us right now is the Cowboys.'' Kai Forbath set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to begin a career to help the Redskins win their sixth straight win. It wasn't over until Nick Foles was called for intentional grounding on the final play from the Redskins 5. Trying to play spoiler, the Eagles (4-11) fell short in what could've been Andy Reid's last game coaching the team at home. Reid is unlikely to return to Philadelphia for his 15th season next year. The Eagles, who are missing the playoffs for the second straight year after coming in with huge expectations, finish at the New York Giants. ''I have nothing to tell you on that,'' Reid said. ''I'm the coach right now.'' A sprained right knee forced Griffin to miss last week's win at Cleveland. Coach Mike Shanahan limited the play calls, taking out the designed run options for Griffin. ''Anytime you wear a brace, it's going to restrict your motion,'' Griffin said. ''It didn't slow me down by any means.'' Griffin was 16 of 24 for 198 yards. He did throw the first interception made by the Eagles in nine games. They hadn't picked off one since Week 6 against Detroit before Colt Anderson intercepted Griffin's tipped pass in the fourth quarter. That set up a 17-yard TD run by Dion Lewis that cut Washington's lead to 27-20 midway through the fourth. The Eagles held on defense, forced a punt and started their last drive at their 15. They were at the Washington 17 when Foles bounced a pass to Jeremy Maclin, who was open in the right corner of the end zone on third down. Foles then hit LeSean McCoy for a 12-yard gain on fourth-and-2 to the 5 with 11 seconds left. After an incompletion where Evan Moore dropped a pass near the goal line, Foles was called for grounding, and the last second was automatically run off the clock. ''In that situation, the clock is the most important thing,'' Foles said. ''I didn't feel like anyone was open and was just trying to make a play. I just have to make sure the ball gets to line of scrimmage. That's on me.'' While the Redskins celebrated, the Eagles ran off the field to a chorus of boos. There was talk in Philadelphia leading up to the game whether fans would give Reid a cheerful send-off. The crowd didn't acknowledge him when he took the field before the pregame introductions, but some chanted ''Andy! Andy!'' in support when he left. ''We have great fans,'' said Reid, who gave a slight wave as he walked into the tunnel. ''I understand the situation. I appreciate everything.'' Griffin was injured late in the fourth quarter of an overtime win against Baltimore two weeks ago. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins stepped in and led the Redskins to the tying and winning scores in that game and then a victory at Cleveland. But having RG3 back, even if he was limited, was a boost for the Redskins. ''He's a guy we count on to lead us,'' receiver Santana Moss said. ''He's a born leader and he came in here with that mentality. We are very fortunate to have him.'' The Redskins and Eagles were both 3-6 when they met last month. Before that game, Shanahan suggested the playoffs were out of reach and it was time to play out the string. It may have motivated his players. The Redskins haven't lost since, beating the Cowboys, Giants and Ravens in the process. ''They know what it means,'' Shanahan said. ''They've been working toward this opportunity to win the division. We haven't accomplished anything yet.'' The Redskins went up 20-10 on the opening drive of the third quarter. Griffin threw a 29-yard pass to Pierre Garcon to get it started and Alfred Morris ran in from the 10 for his 10th TD. Griffin's perfectly thrown 22-yard TD pass to Moss in the left corner of the end zone put the Redskins ahead 27-13 late in the third. McCoy was back in the lineup after missing the last four games with a concussion. He had 45 yards rushing. Michael Vick was inactive, though he was cleared to play after missing five games with a concussion. Forbath hit field goals of 45 and 42 yards in the second quarter. The second was his 17th straight, breaking Garrett Hartley's record for consecutive field goals made to start a career. NOTES: Shanahan has 174 wins, including postseason. He tied Mike Holmgren for 11th all-time in NFL history. ... Morris ran for 96 yards. ... Redskins had a season-high five sacks. ... Only two other times Griffin had less than 10 yards rushing were in losses to Atlanta and Pittsburgh. ... Foles finished 32 of 48 for 345 yards, one TD and one interception. --- Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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