Redskins qualify for playoffs with win in Philadelphia

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Monday, January 2, 2006

The Washington Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 31-20 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. With the win, the Redskins advance to the NFL playoffs for the first time in six years.

The Redskins pulled ahead in the first quarter, but the Eagles answered with Mike McMahon throwing two touchdowns to rookie wide receiver Reggie Brown.

Washington evened the score at 17 on the opening drive of the third quarter, thanks to a 54-yard pass to wide receivcer Santana Moss and a 6-yard running play by running back Clinton Portis. David Akers put the Eagles in the lead again with a 35-yard field goal on the next drive.

McMahon then made a crucial mistake, when a bad pass was intercepted by line backer Lemar Mashall at the Philadelphia 22 yard line. Portis ran the ball up the sidelines on the next play for his second touchdown of the game, putting Washington ahead 24-20. Free safety Sean Taylor clinched the victory for the Redskins with a 39-yard fumble return.

Portis ran for a total of 112 yards in the game and set a franchise rushing record of 1,432 yards. This is the fifth win in a row for the Redskins, who finish the regular season with a 10-6 record.

"Looking back to 5-6, we talked at that time that if we lost another game we'd be out," said Washington head coach Joe Gibbs. "Trying to win five straight is a tough deal, but our guys seemed to understand what it would take. We went back to the basics."

The Redskins go on to play the Buccaneers (11-5) in Tampa Bay next Saturday at 4:30pm in the wildcard round. The other NFC wild game has the Carolina Panthers (11-5) visiting the New York Giants (11-5). The winners of the wild card round will face the Seattle Seahawks (13-3) or the Chicago Bears (11-5) in the divisional round.