Jalen Hurts ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, helping the Philadelphia Eagles come back from an early deficit to beat virus-ravaged Washington 27-17 Tuesday night in a critical showdown with NFC playoff implications.
In his first game back from an ankle injury, Hurts scored on a pair of 1-yard QB sneaks to set the single-season franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 10 and connected with Greg Ward on a 19-yard TD pass. He was 20 of 26 for 296 yards passing with the TD and a bad-luck interception when Dallas Goedert dropped a catchable pass and the ball bounced off his right foot and into the hands of Washington’s Landon Collins.
That was a bad bounce for Philadelphia that helped stake Washington (6-8) to a 10-point lead after the first quarter. Behind a dominant effort from their offensive line, it was all Eagles (7-7) from there: They outgained Washington 435-136 the rest of the way and shut down an opponent missing a handful of starters because of COVID-19 protocol.
Miles Sanders exploited the holes in Washington’s defense left by those absences and additional injuries, carrying the ball 18 times for a career-high 131 yards. He became the first Eagles player with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since LeSean McCoy in 2014.
Well-rested coming off its bye week, Philadelphia finished with 238 yards rushing, becoming the first team with 175-plus yards on the ground in seven consecutive games since the 1985 Chicago Bears. That’s also a first in Eagles franchise history.
Goedert made up for his early blunder and a later drop by catching seven passes for 135 yards, including a 45-yard completion.
Despite the game getting pushed back 54 hours because of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak, the delay did not allow starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke or backup Kyle Allen to clear protocol in time to play. Garrett Gilbert, who signed Friday, completed nine of his first 13 passes and finished 20 of 31 for 194 yards.
Second-year running back Antonio Gibson ran for Washington’s first touchdown and had 20 of his 26 rushing yards on that drive, when he got the ball on all seven plays. He was slowed by a toe injury, the same thing that derailed his rookie season, and Jaret Patterson had the team’s other rushing TD.
Washington played without five starters who remained in NFL COVID-19 protocol: Heinicke, 2020 All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff, center Tyler Larsen, cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Kamren Curl. Reserve defensive tackle Tim Settle and third-string tight end Sammis Reyes were cleared but inactive.
RAMS 20, SEAHAWKS 10
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP)Cooper Kupp caught two touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford in the second half, and Los Angeles held off Seattle in a rescheduled game between two COVID-19-depleted teams.
Kupp broke Isaac Bruce’s single-season Rams receptions record in the third quarter with a 6-yard TD catch that was also the 120th of his spectacular year. The NFL’s receiving leader then scored a tiebreaking 29-yard touchdown with 10:48 to play on a picture-perfect throw over the middle from Stafford to cap an 88-yard drive.
Stafford passed for 244 yards and Sony Michel rushed for 92 for the Rams (10-4) in a game postponed from Sunday, while Kupp had nine catches for 136 yards in the third straight victory for Los Angeles following a winless November.
With its third victory over Seattle in 2021, Los Angeles pulled even with Arizona atop the NFC West with three games to play, although the Cardinals hold the tiebreaker on division record.
DeeJay Dallas rushed for a touchdown for the Seahawks (5-9), whose streak of nine consecutive winning seasons under coach Pete Carroll ended. Seattle is still mathematically alive for its ninth playoff appearance in those 10 seasons, but will regret losing an eminently winnable game at SoFi Stadium.
Both defenses excelled in a meeting of two teams with significant COVID-19-related absences. The Rams were without starting right tackle Rob Havenstein, leading tackler Jordan Fuller, tight end Tyler Higbee and a host of backups after 10 days of roster turmoil, while the Seahawks were without leading receiver Tyler Lockett, starting cornerback D.J. Reed and leading rusher Alex Collins.
Carlos Dunlap had three of the Seahawks’ four sacks of Stafford, who didn’t get comfortable behind a reconfigured offensive line. Seattle just couldn’t get enough late stops or big plays from Russell Wilson, who went 17 of 31 for 156 yards and underthrew DK Metcalf on a key play in the fourth quarter, allowing Jalen Ramsey to break it up.
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