PHILADELPHIA — RG3 had the defense on its heels until he threw a pass off his.
Robert Griffin III rallied the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter, only to have the comeback fall short when he threw an interception in the final minute Sunday in a 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Nick Foles threw for 298 yards and ran for a touchdown, and LeSean McCoy had two TDs rushing as the Eagles took a 24-0 lead into the final period. Griffin spurred the Redskins (3-7) with TD passes of 62 yards to Darrel Young and 41 yards to Aldrick Robinson, plus a pair of 2-point conversions.
Griffin then drove the Redskins to the Eagles 18 before his pass off his back foot was intercepted by Brandon Boykin in the end zone with 24 seconds left.
“Nobody got open so I was backing up, and in a situation where if you get a sack, that ends the game, I was trying to throw the ball in the back of the end zone,” Griffin said. “It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go. Obviously I was on my heels. Something I can definitely learn from.”
The defending NFC East champs were 3-6 at the same point last season before a victory over the Eagles started a seven-game winning streak that ended with Washington’s first division title since 1999.
That won’t happen this season, but no one is out of it in the mediocre East.
“You never know what’s going to happen at the end of the year,” Griffin said. “You don’t ever tank a season. You don’t ever give up on what you have going because we put too much work into it in the offseason and guys sacrifice too much and risk too much out there every Sunday. If you’re going to do things like that, you shouldn’t be here. I think that’s real cowardly, and I don’t think we have any cowards in the locker room.”
A year after finishing 4-12 under Andy Reid, Chip Kelly’s Eagles (6-5) are in first place. They’re a half-game ahead of idle Dallas (5-5). The defending division champion Redskins fell to 3-7.
“I don’t look at it globally,” Kelly said. “We have five games in December and we put ourselves in position where those games are meaningful. We’ll see where we’re at Dec. 29.”
The Eagles snapped a 10-game home losing streak. They hadn’t won at home in 413 days since defeating the New York Giants on Sept. 30, 2012. They’ll enter their bye week on a three-game winning streak, having turned things around after consecutive home losses last month.
“Not one person on this team was defeated,” Foles said. “Everybody in our locker room believed we can win and if you feel that way, it’s something special. We have to keep the momentum going.”
The Redskins started their last drive at their 4 with 3:26 left after a 70-yard punt by Donnie Jones. Griffin completed a 28-yard pass to Santana Moss on third-and-25 and Washington eventually moved to the 18 before the pick.
Griffin was 17 of 35 for 264 yards and ran for 44 yards.
The Redskins couldn’t generate much offense until Griffin connected with Young after scrambling early in the fourth quarter. He hit Nick Williams on the conversion.
Robinson made a nice adjustment to catch Griffin’s underthrown deep pass for the next score, and RG3 dived in from the 2 for the conversion.
But Washington couldn’t complete the comeback.
“Took us until the fourth quarter to make a couple plays,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “We had our opportunity at the end. Just couldn’t take advantage of it.”
Foles ran in from the 4 for a 7-0 lead, even showing some athleticism with a spin move after getting hit at the 2 and then reaching for the end zone. A 49-yard pass to McCoy set up the score.
One play after Brent Celek turned a tight-end screen pass into a 42-yard gain, McCoy ran in untouched from the 1.
The Redskins drove to the Eagles 8 before Griffin was sacked by Connor Barwin and fumbled. The ball popped straight up and was recovered by Fletcher Cox.
The Eagles turned that into a 24-yard field goal by Alex Henery to make it 17-0.
McCoy left briefly after injuring his right hamstring in the second quarter and scored on a 1-yard run to put the Eagles up 24-0 in the third.
“We have to keep fighting,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “We’re 3-7. We’re not looking at a seven-game winning streak. Just looking for the next one.”
NOTES: Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion), DE Stephen Bowen (knee) and WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) left the game. … The Eagles lost their first four home games this season.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)