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Game Balls: 3 Standouts That Helped Washington Clinch The NFC East

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Quarterback Alex Smith, tight end Logan Thomas and defensive end Chase Young helped lead Washington to a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to become the NFC East champs. Here's how they performed during the final regular season game:

Game Ball No. 1: Quarterback Alex Smith

After overcoming what seemed like the impossible, Smith helped lead his team to a divisional title for the first time in five years. Even though Smith was dealing with a calf injury and a week filled with limited practice reps, he powered through and finished the day 22-of-32 for 162 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.

On its first possession of the game, Smith drove the offense down the field from Washington's 9-yard line. Smith then found Terry McLaurin in the left corner of the end zone to give Washington a 7-0 lead. This touchdown marked Washington's first time scoring on an opening possession this season.

"You know everything stacked against us," Smith said. "Going obviously all the way to the offseason, coaching change, new staff. All the COVID stuff. For us to get off to the slow start that we did but to find a way to battle back. Then to finish it off like this I think says a lot about the character we have in the locker room. Good or bad, day in and day out, these guys come to work and put in the effort."

Game Ball No. 2: Tight End Logan Thomas

Thomas has emerged as a reliable tight end for the Washington this season. The 6-foot-6 former quarterback finished the regular season with 72 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns. In the final game of the season, Thomas had three receptions for 37 yards and one impressive touchdown.

Washington was trailing, 14-10, in the second quarter when Smith zipped a pass to Thomas, who jumped up over Philadelphia linebacker T.J. Edwards to make the diving catch to put Washington ahead, 17-14, entering halftime.

Game Ball No. 3: Defensive End Chase Young

Young has made his case as one of the, if not the top candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year this season. Young capped off the game with a sack, a fumble recovery returned for 10 yards and seven quarterback pressures. Young now has 7.5 sacks this season.

Young's only sack of the night came in the second quarter. Once Jalen Hurts took the snap and looked up, Young immediately brought him to the ground for a five-yard loss. After the game, Young made it clear that he was just getting started. At the end of the game. Young left Lincoln Financial Field chanting "Tom Brady, I'm coming. I want Tom."

Young was barely one year old when Brady was drafted in 2000. Fast forward 21 years later, and Young will be squaring off against the one player he said he wanted to bring down back at the 2019 NFL combine. Now the rookie finally has the chance to do so as Washington will be hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first round of the playoffs Saturday night.

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