Jalen Hurts broke out of trouble but showed no adverse effects from a recent ankle injury, Boston Scott rushed to two touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles held on to Washington at 8:16 pm on Sunday to move one step closer to the playoffs.
Hurts ran 45 yards six times and was 17 of 26 passes for 214 yards, leading the Eagles to a fourth straight win. In anticipation of other results in the NFL, they could have banned an NFC wildcard spot by the end of the night.
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Philadelphia (9-7) started slowly again, and their league-leading rushing attack was kept at a season low of 3.4 yards a carry while Miles Sanders was out with a broken left hand. Twelve days after the Eagles hit 238 yards on the ground against Washington (6-10), the Eagles were 119 yards in a rush.
But the defense eventually came to Taylor Heinicke, and the Eagles worn down a battered opponent to level a 16-7 deficit. Jake Elliott scored in the fourth quarter with field goals of 42 and 41 yards, and Rodney McLeod picked Heinicke in the end zone with 24 seconds to go to seal it.
Philadelphia will play the postseason for the first time since 2019, when Minnesota loses in Green Bay and either New Orleans loses to Carolina or San Francisco beats Houston.
Rookie Jaret Patterson rushed to his second career TD for Washington, missing top running back Antonio Gibson, left security guard Ereck Flowers and punter Tress Way due to COVID-19 logs. Flashing some of his signature volatility, Heinicke dodged the pressure for a great fourth quarter but intercepted for the fifth straight time after leading Washington to the Philadelphia’s 20-yard line.
Devastated by injuries and virus-related absences, Washington’s sluggish playoff hopes ended in a home loss that felt more like Lincoln Financial Field with all the Eagles fans in attendance. It’s the fourth straight loss after the team won their last four games.
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The Eagles were 10-0 down after the first quarter, continuing a current trend. In the last five games, they have been beaten 35-7 in the first quarter but have won four of them. It is the third game in a row without points in the first.
Scott’s second touchdown gave the Eagles 24 points on the ground that season. That’s the most in the league and most in a season since 1949.
Eagles: Right guard Nate Herbig injured his left ankle in the end of the second quarter but returned in the third quarter. … LB Shaun Bradley was inactive due to a shoulder injury.
Washington: Tight End Ricky Seals-Jones injured his neck in a violent collision with a cameraman on the sidelines in the second quarter. Seals-Jones had his neck stabilized before being lifted onto a stretcher and carried away. The cameraman had a cut on his nose but kept working.
Eagles: Hosts NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys this coming Sunday.
Washington: Next Sunday with the New York Giants.