Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan strip-sacked Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz to stifle a potential game-winning drive, as Washington’s NFL team held on for a dramatic win over the Eagles, 27-22, on Dec. 11 in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia put the first points on the board after kicker Caleb Sturgis made a 45-yard field goal. Washington got off to a slow start, and the offense was not able to capitalize on an early interception of a Wentz pass when Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 38-yard field goal. Philadelphia took advantage of the opportunity to add to their lead by making another field goal thus taking a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Washington Redskins' Rob Kelley runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Washington Redskins’ Rob Kelley runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Washington’s commitment to running the ball, however, paid off with about four minutes left in the first half, when running back Rob Kelley broke two tackles to score a 22-yard touchdown to give Washington the lead.

But, with just 28 seconds left in the half, Wentz floated a four-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Darren Sproles to reclaim the lead, 13-7, at halftime. Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland was out of position on the play.

Six minutes into the second half, Washington receiver DeSean Jackson scored a huge 80-yard touchdown with a twisting, over-the-shoulder catch against his former team. The point after gave Washington a 14-13 lead. After Philadelphia fumbled a field goal attempt, Washington extended the lead to 21-13 with a 15-yard touchdown to receiver Pierre Garcon.

Early in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia cornerback Leodis McKelvin—who was beat on Jackson’s touchdown—intercepted Kirk Cousins and returned the ball for a 29-yard touchdown, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.

A scuffle broke out in the fourth quarter when Washington safety Deshazor Everett ran over the defenseless Sproles and delivered a hard blow to his head. The play drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the teams had a brief altercation; Sproles ultimately left the game with a head injury.

Philadelphia trailed Washington, 21-19, with five minutes left to play and had the ball at Washington’s 24-yard line. After Philadelphia lost regular long snapper Jon Dorembos to a right wrist injury, and backup Brent Celek to a stinger, the team was forced to hold impromptu snapper tryouts among their remaining players. Tight end Trey Burton won the job, and Sturgis was able to hit a 41-yard field goal to reclaim a 22-21 lead for the Eagles.

With less than two minutes to go, Washington fullback Chris Thompson followed left tackle Trent Williams for a 25-yard touchdown run as Washington once again retook the lead, 27-22.

Wentz answered with an urgent, potential game-winning drive and drove the Eagles down the field. But the threat—and Philadelphia’s hopes of a victory—ended when Wentz was sacked in the red zone by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Washington, ending the game.

Washington Redskins’ Kirk Cousins passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cousins threw for 234 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Wentz finished with 314 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Jackson led Washington with three receptions for 102 yards, while Kelley had 16 carries for 63 yards. Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz had ten receptions for 112 yards.

Washington (7-5-1) remained in the playoff mix thanks to the win over their NFC East rival, while Philadelphia fell to 5-8.

Next: Washington will face the Carolina Panthers at home on Dec. 19.

Breana Pitts

Special to the AFRO