For the first time all season, the Washington Redskins won consecutive games and now control their playoff destiny. Washington sits in first place of the NFC East at 7-7 and can clinch the division next week by defeating the divisional nemesis Philadelphia Eagles, who are in second place in the division. The Redskins are coming off a 35-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills while the Eagles are licking their wounds after a 41-17 loss at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals.
Washington looked good in the victory over Buffalo, especially quarterback Kirk Cousins who completed 22 of 28 passes for 319 yards and five total touchdowns, four coming through the air. An even more impressive statistic: zero turnovers. Cousins found matchup-nightmare tight end Jordan Reed seven times for 84 yards and two touchdowns. DeSean Jackson also benefitted from Cousins’ big day to the tune of six receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown. Washington scored on the first three possessions for the first time since 1999. The defense was still prone to giving up the big play, but did enough to win the game and be put into position to win the division. Cousins has shown the ability to step up in big moments and is looking like the quarterback going into next season and beyond. Now, how much the organization is willing to spend on him is a whole other discussion.
The NFC East has been a lousy division all season long and it looked like nobody wanted to win it. However, the Redskins have emerged and have a chance to win three straight games and the division. Philadelphia will look to keep its playoff hopes alive as they need beat Washington first and foremost and then win in week 17. The ‘skins will travel to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, with a road record of 1-5. This matchup will be a physical battle and it’s time to see what the Redskins are really made of. Eagles’ linebacker Mychal Kendricks added a little fuel to this fire on Sunday night by saying “I mean, if I know this team and I know myself and the guys in here, man, the Redskins have something coming to them.” Not that this game needed any more motivation. For Kendricks’ sake, he better hope he and his teammates can figure out a way to stop Reed, who causes problems wherever he lines up on the field.
If Kirk Cousins plays the way he did this past weekend against the Bills, this team will have a real good shot of winning the division. Can Washington overcome their road woes and claim the division or will they let the drama all unfold in the final week of the season?