The Redskins (9-6) extended their win streak to six consecutive games to take over sole possession of first place in the division and set up a season finale Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys that could seal their first NFC East title since 1999, and their first playoff berth since 2007.
“It’s guys fighting for a full 60 minutes and finding a way get it done,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “That’s what I told everybody — I was really proud with the way they finished. You’ve got to find ways to win those tight games, and they’re not easy unless everybody’s on the same page.”
The current six-game run marks the Redskins’ longest during the regular season since 1996, when they didn’t lose in a seven-game stretch after a season-opening loss. It’s the first six-game streak since the Redskins closed out the 2005 season with five regular season victories and another in the wild-card round.
“Six good wins really feels good, and there’s not much to say,” said wide receiver Santana Moss, a member of the 2005 and 2007 playoff teams, who had two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown Sunday. “What I enjoy about this team is they just keep fighting until the end. We still have another game to play, and we haven’t accomplished our goals till we get to the Super Bowl and win.”
On Sunday, the Redskins fought through a sluggish start on offense before drawing strength from turnovers forced by their defense. The offense recovered to produce 313 yards and score 27 points (the team’s season average is 27.2) although Griffin wasn’t 100 percent healthy. Washington played without starting right tackle Tyler Polumbus, who was out with a concussion and was replaced by second-year pro Maurice Hurt, who had never played a game at that position.
Wearing a bulky, black brace on the right knee he sprained two weeks earlier against Baltimore, Griffin rushed just twice for four yards. But he displayed enough mobility to avoid several sacks, and did the work with his arm, completing 16 of 24 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and a fourth-quarter interception off the hands of wide receiver Josh Morgan.
Providing support for the quarterback were running back Alfred Morris, who rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and topped the 1,400-yard mark for the season; wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who had seven catches for 89 yards; Moss, and Morgan, who had two catches for 21 yards and a touchdown. Despite not having Polumbus, and playing battered starters Will Montgomery (sprained left MCL) at center and Trent Williams (thigh bruise) at left tackle, the line surrendered only one sack.