Redskins knock Eagles from playoff contention; Eagles fire Chip Kelly

For most, the NFL season is dwindling to a close, but for 12 lucky teams, it’s beginning to heat up. On Saturday, December 26, the Philadelphia Eagles, a local favorite, took on their long-time rivals, the Washington Redskins (disclaimer: the favorite team of this writer) in an intense battle for a spot in the playoffs. The NFC East, the division to which both teams belong, was having a rough season, as evidenced by the pathetic records of all four teams. Going into Week 16, Washington was sitting atop the division at 7-7, with Philadelphia not far behind at 6-8. The New York Giants shared the 6-8 record of the Eagles, and the Dallas Cowboys, who had been without their star quarterback since week 3, were at the back of the pack with a 4-10 record. Needless to say, whichever team ended up winning the division would do so by a small margin.

The stakes were somewhat complicated. If the Redskins claimed victory in the long-anticipated matchup, they would automatically be in the playoffs, no matter what. However, for the Eagles to enter the playoffs, they would have to beat Washington and win their next game against the Giants.

The Redskins, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, looked unsteady early, but quickly made a full recovery on both offense and defense. Cousins proved his excellence as an NFL quarterback by connecting with Chris Thompson, Pierre Garçon, and Jordan Reed (twice). The intensity was accentuated by a fumble that was recovered by Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall and returned for a touchdown. Washington proudly took a 38-24 win back to the nation’s capital.

The Redskins will host a first-round playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Minnesota Vikings, or the Green Bay Packers, depending on how week 17 plays out.

More interestingly, the Eagles announced on December 29 that they have fired coach Chip Kelly, who orchestrated a personnel reshuffling last offseason that seems to have backfired. Kelly was in his third season with the Eagles, but had not made the playoffs since his first.

--Logan Emmert, Special to LSNews.org

Edited: BP

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