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Eagles Looking To Change Rivalry Mojo

Posted Sep 3, 2017

It is a rivalry that has turned the wrong way, decidedly in favor of the Washington Redskins. The last time the Eagles beat Washington was 2014, September 21 to be exact, as quarterback Nick Foles tossed three touchdown passes and the teams brawled and the Eagles won a 37-34 thriller at Lincoln Financial Field ...

It is a rivalry that has turned the wrong way, decidedly in favor of the Washington Redskins. The last time the Eagles beat Washington was 2014, September 21 to be exact, as quarterback Nick Foles tossed three touchdown passes and the teams brawled and the Eagles won a 37-34 thriller at Lincoln Financial Field.

Maybe it was the brawl that woke up Washington. Maybe it was the performance from quarterback Kirk Cousins in an impromptu start. He threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns that day, serving notice that maybe, just maybe, he was more than a No. 2 quarterback behind Robert Griffin III.

Oh, how things have changed.

What remains, however, is the Redskins’ run over the Eagles in a rivalry that dates back to 1934. Five straight games have come and gone since that win over Washington and each time the Redskins have found a way to beat the Eagles and frustrate plans for the postseason.

The constants? Cousins, who has a 4-1 record against the Eagles as a starter, completing 64 percent of his passes (124-of-195) for a whopping 1,579 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. On the defensive side, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has been a dominating presence against the Eagles, particularly at FedEx Field, where he has 14 total tackles and three quarterback sacks in the three consecutive wins at Washington starting in 2014.

Let’s take a look back at the games and see where it went wrong for the Eagles:

December 20, 2014: Washington, 27-24

Washington entered the game with six consecutive losses and the Eagles were pushing toward the playoffs – and none of that mattered in this game. Cody Parkey missed a couple of chip-shot field goals. Mark Sanchez turned the ball over twice – his 12th and 13th in seven games – and Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson (it still hurts to type that) caught four passes for 126 yards as the Eagles were knocked out of playoff contention (as Dallas won the next day) on a dreary day at FedEx Field.

It was ugly all around. After starting the season 9-3, the Eagles lost three straight games in December and the sharp descent in the Chip Kelly era was underway.

October 4, 2015: Washington, 23-20

Cousins led Washington on a 90-yard drive capped by a scoring pass to wide receiver Pierre Garçon with 26 seconds remaining in the game and the Eagles fell to 1-3 on the season. The offense was terrible to begin the game and the Eagles trailed 13-0 before quarterback Sam Bradford tossed three touchdown passes in the second half.

It just wasn’t enough to knock Cousins off his game.

Placekicker Caleb Sturgis, new to the team, missed an extra point and a 33-yard field goal, and the running game failed to get anything going. It was a sign of things to come for a team that was about to undergo a huge change.

December 26, 2015: Washington, 38-24

The final game of the Chip Kelly Era was an ugly one at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins threw four touchdown passes and had a season-high 365 passing yards as Washington clinched the NFC East title.

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What else happened in the game? The Eagles dropped passes, missed open receivers, committed penalties, and the defense couldn’t get off the field. The home crowd was not in a good mood, and deservedly so. Washington overwhelmed the Eagles.

October 16, 2016: Washington, 27-20

After a 3-0 start to the season, the Eagles lost the previous week in Detroit and faced Washington without right tackle Lane Johnson, who began his 10-game suspension. That meant a debut for rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who faced Kerrigan and was dominated. Kerrigan had a quarterback sack on the first snap of the game, and that set the tone as Washington’s defense made life miserable for quarterback Carson Wentz.

The Eagles hung in, though, and had chances late in the game. But the offense couldn’t get anything going and the defense allowed 493 yards to Washington’s offense, 231 of them coming from Washington’s three-headed attack on the ground.

December 11, 2016: Washington, 27-22

Kerrigan stepped up late in the game after the Eagles reached the Washington 11-yard line in the final minute of the contest. Kerrigan’s sack and forced fumble ended the Eagles’ threat and continued Washington’s streak in this rivalry.

It was a physical, defensive-oriented game with big plays all around and the Eagles did a much better job against Cousins, but the fourth-quarter inability to hold a lead ultimately doomed the Eagles.

So here we are, a new season to begin, a rivalry to be renewed. The Eagles hope to turn Washington-Philadelphia back in their favor, right now, and start 2017 the right way next Sunday.

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