Eagles Whitewash ‘Skins, Reach Playoffs
LANDOVER, MD (973espn.com) - In the end winning mattered to the Chicago Bears.
With Josh Johnson playing quarterback for the Washington Redskins, winning was assured for the Philadelphia Eagles and just like that, something that looked impossible with the Birds heading to Los Angeles three weeks ago came to fruition at FedEx Field.
The reigning Super Bowl champions are in the playoffs after a 24-0 whitewash of Washington as the sixth seed and will visit the very team that helped them, the Bears, next weekend.
Chicago dominated Minnesota, 24-10, and earned the No. 3 seed while eliminating the Vikings.
The one issue for the Eagles could be the health of Nick Foles, who tied an NFL record with 25 consecutive completions in the game but was forced to leave early with a chest injury.
Foles has won three consecutive starts after replacing the injured Carson Wentz and finished 28-for-33 for 221 yards with two touchdowns, one each to Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Nate Sudfeld finished up for Foles and also threw his first professional TD toss to Agholor, resulting in the receiver's first two-touchdown performance as a pro.
The defense dominated an overmatched Johnson, who finished 12-of-27 for 91 yards as Philadelphia recorded its first shutout since 2014.
"Just a swarming defense tonight," coach Doug Pederson said. "I think they really got after the quarterback. They controlled the line of scrimmage and shut the run down."
In many ways, the game was secondary to the scoreboard watching after the Eagles defense made it abundantly clear that it was not going to allow the one-dimensional Redskins any breathing room.
The Eagles time of possession in the game was 43:19 to just 16:41 to Washington and the many Philly fans in attendance, who dwarfed the Washington contingent began "Let's Go Bears" chants as it became clear Chicago was going for the throat in Minneapolis.
Ultimately the Eagles outgained the Redskins by a 360 to 89 margin and held Washington to a 0-for-9 mark on third down.
Fletcher Cox finished a brilliant regular season with three sacks and a forced fumble while Michael Bennett added another sack and three tackles for losses as Jim Schwartz's front dominated. Rasul Douglas set the tone for the game with an early interception.
Offensively Wendell Smallwood ended up being the lead back, rushing for 53 yards on 12 carries while Josh Adams added another 50 on 11 totes.
Sudfeld's only pass of the game was a 22-yard TD to Agholor and finished with a perfect 158.3 passer rating but all eyes will be on Foles and his health this week as Chicago's fierce pass rush looms.
Jeffery caught all five of his targets for 59 yards and Agholor caught five of six for 40 yards and the two scores.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen