But Griffin’s teammates have provided strong support throughout the streak and delivered again against the last-place Eagles.
Alfred Morris (91 yards rushing, one touchdown) continued to carry would-be tacklers while handling the bulk of the work in the running game. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, obviously recognizing Griffin’s limitations, didn’t call the usual assortment of snazzy option plays that have enabled Griffin to terrorize opposing defenses in a season that should end with his being selected as the NFL’s top rookie on offense.
Instead, Washington operated a more traditional, pro-style offense. The Redskins had to work harder to score than they’ve been accustomed to, but Morris was a difference-making workhorse, as usual. Washington’s receivers ran great routes and blocked as if a playoff berth could be on the line.
The defense was no less impressive. For the fifth time in six games, the Redskins collected at least two turnovers. The pass rush, much improved during the run, produced five sacks and pressured Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles from start to finish, forcing an interception and a fumble. The Eagles squandered scoring opportunities and their final drive stalled at the Redskins 5-yard line as time expired.
Washington has its longest winning streak during the regular season since it reeled off seven consecutive victories from Weeks 2 to 9 in the 1996 season. The Redskins (9-6) have rallied from a 3-6 start to move into sole possession of first place in the NFC East. There are no secrets behind this turnaround. It’s just an inspired group effort.
“To win down the stretch, to win the way we have, it takes much more than one guy, no matter how talented he is,” nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “RG has been playing at one level all year. And the moment that everyone else picked it up, the moment that we caught up with him, that’s when we started winning. That’s what you’ve been seeing and that’s what you saw today.”
Of all the unexpected developments during the streak, perhaps none is more surprising than place kicker Kai Forbath’s run of perfection. He just can’t miss, or at least he hasn’t so far.
Forbath connected from 45 and 42 yards in the first half to improve to 17 for 17 on field goals. In the process, he set an NFL mark for most consecutive field goals at the beginning of a career. Garrett Hartley of the New Orleans Saints was successful on his first 16 attempts.