Searching for playoff push, Redskins head to Philadelphia

Posted at 5:45 AM, Dec 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-11 10:59:21-05

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - With only four weeks left in the NFL regular season, 19 of the league's 32 teams are either in-line for a postseason berth or within one game of a playoff spot. The Redskins are one of those teams, however Washington is on the outside looking in at the NFC wild card picture.

One half game out of the second and final wild card playoff spot in the NFC, Washington attempts to end a two-game slide when it travels to face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. Kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

Head coach Jay Gruden looks on. (Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Head coach Jay Gruden looks on. (Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The Redskins have earned victories in each of their last four contests against the Eagles, dating back to 2014. A win on Sunday would give the Redskins five straight victories against Philadelphia for the first time since a six-game streak across the 1981-84 seasons.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has played better against Philadelphia (336.3 passing yards/game) than any other team in the league.

“I think every game is its own entity and I don’t know that the sample size is large enough really to say there’s a correlation," Cousins said, downplaying his success vs. the Eagles. "I just think that each game you see what can happen and you never know. So I think there’s starting to become a familiarity from both sides. I think they’re starting to figure me out and I’m starting to learn more about them as individual players. So that always counts for something as you get more familiar and that will be a challenge as they start to learn my play better and better.”

The 'Skins are in an eerily similar position here in 2016 as they were last season. In 2015, Washington lost its first December game to drop to 5-and-7 overall. The Redskins then rattled off four straight victories to win the NFC East and earn a playoff berth.

"We understand the importance of the last four or five games around here, whether you’re in position to control your own destiny or not," head coach Jay Gruden said. "And there’s a lot of teams that have the ability to make the playoffs this year in the NFC so right now we’re in a great position, but we have to finish it. And we finished strong last year and hopefully that will carry over to this year, but we still have to go out and do it. I like the fact that it feels like we’re ascending. I know we lost last week but I feel like we’re playing good football right now."

A big, literally BIG, boost for Washington this week? The return of 6' 5", 320 pound All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. He missed the last four games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy and program on substance abuse.

"It’s great to get Trent back under any circumstances, but when so many people are banged up, it’s a real needed shot in the arm," Cousins said about Williams' return to a depleted offensive line. "So, glad to have one of our best players back and I know he’s ready to go and love to see his urgency and excitement coming back.”

News 3, Hampton Roads' home of the Redskins, will be in Philadelphia for the crucial match-up between the 'Skins and Eagles. Sports Director Adam Winkler will have a live report from Lincoln Financial Field during News 3 at 6:30 and complete coverage on News 3 at 10 on WGNT and News 3 at 11 on WTKR.