By: Ryan Fowler
Headline Photo Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network
LANDOVER, Md. — Nick Foles‘ magic stretched all the way back to Minnesota.
Foles did it again, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 24-0 victory over the Redskins and the defending Super Bowl champions earned the NFC’s final wild-card berth when Chicago beat the Vikings on Sunday.
The Eagles (9-7) will play at the Bears (12-4) next weekend.
“We’re not sneaking in. We’re here to do some damage,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said.
Foles, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a chest injury is expected to play on Sunday when they visit Soldier Field and the Bears in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. Foles said he’s sore near his ribs, but will be good to go come kickoff.
“I’m optimistic,” Foles said.
It felt like a home game for the Eagles. Philadelphia fans filled FedEx Field, sang “Fly! Eagles! Fly!” and chanted “Let’s Go Bears!” There were several thousand empty seats and Redskins fans could only cheer for the Vikings to spite Eagles fans.
“I looked away,” Foles said about seeing the Bears-Vikings score on the scoreboard. “I didn’t want to know. I wanted to stay focused on winning this game.”
Some players noticed the score while others didn’t. They watched the final minutes together in the locker room and then celebrated.
“It was exciting,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “A lot of hard work that just paid off. It’s what we set out to do. Obviously on this journey we didn’t meet a lot of our goals, but one of them is to get into the postseason and we were able to do that, and so we’re excited.”
Foles, the Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia’s win over New England last February, is 6-0 in must-win games filling in for Carson Wentz.
Foles stepped in after Wentz was sidelined by a back injury earlier this month and guided Philadelphia to an upset on the road against the Rams as a 13 1/2-point underdog. He set a franchise record for yards passing in a game with 471 in a 32-30 comeback win last week against Houston.
The Eagles dominated the Redskins, controlling the ball for 43:19. Philadelphia’s defense held Washington to only 89 yards total offense.
The Redskins (7-9) lost six of seven after leading the NFC East at 6-3.
“It just wasn’t a good enough year for us,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “Hopefully we’ll regain that (fan) support sometime soon, very soon. Until then, we have a lot of work to do.”
Foles finished 28 of 33 for 221 yards, two TDs and one interception.
He tossed a 2-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery to cap a 19-play, 87-yard drive that took 11:49 in the second quarter, giving Philadelphia a 10-0 lead. Foles was 10 of 10 on the drive and the Eagles converted three times on third downs and once on fourth-and-1.
Foles connected with Nelson Agholor on a 6-yard pass to make it 17-0 late in the third quarter. On the previous play, Foles had a chance to break the completion record but misfired on a pass to Agholor.
Sudfeld hit Agholor on a catch-and-run TD to extend the lead to 24-0 in the fourth.
“They did what good teams do and took care of business,” Johnson said.
Rasul Douglas intercepted Johnson on the first play from scrimmage.
The Redskins hadn’t been shut out since losing 24-0 to the Rams on Dec. 7, 2014. It was Philadelphia’s first shutout since a 27-0 win over the Giants on Oct. 12, 2014.
The nearly 12-minute drive by Philadelphia was the longest in the NFL since the Browns had a field-goal drive that lasted 12:01 against the Chiefs in 2015. The 19 plays were the most in a drive against Washington since 1999.
Redskins punter Tress Way threw a 7-yard pass to Jehu Chesson on a fake punt on fourth-and-2, but Johnson followed with three straight incomplete passes and Way had to punt. It was Way’s 2nd career NFL completion.
Redskins: Came into the game with 23 players on Injured Reserve, the most in the NFL. RG Tony Bergstrom left with a knee injury.
Redskins: Finished third in NFC East and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
Eagles: Play at Chicago in a wild-card game next weekend.