Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Bring on the Cowboys!

Posted by Eric Fisher On December 3

The Redskins’ quarterback for most of Monday night’s game against the Eagles was Mark Sanchez.

Yes, that Mark Sanchez. The former Eagle who hadn’t played in an NFL game since the final week of the 2016 regular season, when he played for the Cowboys at, coincidentally, Lincoln Financial Field.

Sanchez, signed on Nov. 19 after starting quarterback Alex Smith broke his tibia and fibula, was in action at Lincoln Financial Field once again because backup quarterback Colt McCoy broke his right fibula in the waning moments of the first quarter.

The Redskins also lost a pair of guards, who were filling in for the two starters who suffered season-ending injuries a few weeks ago, but the Eagles weren’t apologizing for their 28-13 victory Monday night.

The Eagles will take victories any way they can get them because they need every one they can get.

Monday’s victory improved the Eagles’ record to 6-6, tying them with the Redskins and moving back within one game of the first-place Cowboys (7-5). The Eagles can move into a tie for first place by defeating the Cowboys next Sunday (4:25 p.m.).

Two in a row

The win was also the Eagles’ second in a row, something they hadn’t achieved this season. With significant injuries of their own, particularly in the defensive backfield, the Eagles have no need to apologize for beating the injury-riddled Redskins.

The Redskins actually took the lead on Sanchez’s first play from scrimmage. Adrian Peterson burst through the middle of the line, cut to his left and ran away to daylight for a 90-yard touchdown, the longest against the Eagles in franchise history, to put the Redskins ahead, 10-7, with 9:23 remaining in the second quarter.

That lead stood up until Darren Sproles, playing in his first game since the season opener, ran 14 yards for a touchdown to put the Eagles ahead, 14-10, with 1:46 remaining until halftime. The Eagles had an earlier opportunity to regain the lead, but the Redskins stopped Josh Adams (20 carries for 85 yards) on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line.

Sanchez (13 of 21 for 100 yards, 1 interception) led the Redskins down the field for a field goal with 15 seconds remaining before halftime, reducing the Eagles’ lead to 14-13, but the Redskins barely crossed midfield – reaching the Eagles 49 – the rest of the game.

As was the case during last week’s win over the Giants, the defense rose to the occasion during the second half. The Eagles limited the Redskins to 36 total yards during the second half.

Ertz sets record

Meanwhile, the Eagles offense displayed improvement. Zach Ertz remained a constant, catching nine passes for 83 yards. Ertz has 93 receptions, a single-season franchise record. The new elements – at least for this season – included Darren Sproles rushing for a touchdown and Golden Tate catching a touchdown.

Tate, who has been underutilized since being acquired at the trade deadline, caught seven passes for a team-high 85 yards. Tate opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown reception from Carson Wentz midway through the first quarter.

The Eagles also employed a running game for the second straight week. Josh Adams reached the 20-carry mark for the second straight game, rushing 20 times for 85 yards.

Wentz completed 27 of 39 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns. Not everything, however, was clicking. Wentz threw an interception at the goal line during the third quarter, with the Eagles still clinging to a 14-13 lead. He also overthrew two open receivers downfield.

Wentz was sharper at the start of the fourth quarter when he connected with Jordan Matthews on a slant for a 4-yard touchdown pass and with Tate for the two-point conversion. The Eagles tacked on two field goals for a 13-0 advantage during the fourth quarter.

The victory put the Eagles, despite their struggles, back in the middle of the NFC East race. A win over the Cowboys on Sunday, which would mark three wins in three weeks against a division opponent, would boost the Eagles into a tie for first place, but they would be far from home free.

The remaining schedule includes a road game against the NFC West-leading Rams and a home game against the AFC South-leading Texans, who have won nine straight games. The Eagles finish the regular season on the road against the Redskins.

The Eagles don’t have much margin for error the rest of the season, so they’re not going to apologize for winning – even if the other team is forced to use its third-string quarterback.

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