By Max Harper
Jalen Hurts scrambled like he did before he injured his ankle and Boston Scott rushed for two touchdowns as the Eagles held on to beat Washington 20-16 to move one step closer to the playoffs.
Hurts ran six times for 45 yards and was 17 of 26 passing for 214 yards in leading the Eagles to a fourth consecutive victory. Pending other results around the NFL, they could have an NFC wild-card spot locked up by the end of the night.
Philadelphia (9-7) started slowly yet again, and its league-leading rushing attack was held to a season-low 3.4 yards a carry with Miles Sanders out because of a broken left hand. Twelve days after racking up 238 yards on the ground against Washington (6-10), the Eagles had 119 yards rushing.
But the defense finally got to Taylor Heinicke, and the Eagles wore down a banged-up opponent, erasing a 16-7 deficit. Jake Elliott connected on field goals of 42 and 41 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rodney McLeod picked off Heinicke in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to seal it.
Philadelphia will make the postseason for the first time since 2019 if Minnesota loses at Green Bay and either New Orleans loses to Carolina or San Francisco beats Houston.
Rookie Jaret Patterson rushed for his second career TD for Washington, which was missing top running back Antonio Gibson, left guard Ereck Flowers and punter Tress Way because of COVID-19 protocols. Heinicke flashed some of his trademark elusiveness, evading pressure during a big fourth quarter, but threw an interception for the fifth consecutive game after leading Washington to the Philadelphia 20-yard line.
Ravaged by injuries and virus-related absences, Washington’s faint playoff hopes came to an end with a home loss that felt more like Lincoln Financial Field because of all the Eagles fans in attendance. It’s the team’s fourth consecutive loss after winning the previous four games.
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2022