Injured at the beginning of the fourth quarter, wide receiver Pierre Garçon re-entered the game on the last drive to make three tough catches to put the Redskins on top.
In some ways, what wide receiver Pierre Garçon achieved in the final minute of the Redskins 23-20 victory over the Eagles wasn't far from expectation, at least to himself, his teammates and coaches.
But for those that saw Garçon exit early in the fourth quarter with a sprained knee, then re-appear on the field for the team's final drive, make a grab between two defenders that only a handful in the NFL might be even willing to try for, and then dive and squeeze a touchdown pass three plays later to effectively win the game, matching expectations was something thrilling to watch.
"That's the big time player we've come to know and love and we expect that out of him," said left tackle Trent Williams. "He's always going to deliver."
"I expect nothing less of Pierre," said running back Alfred Morris. "He's been doing that his whole time here. You know, that's the type of guy that he is. He works hard from whistle to whistle. That's the type of guy you can build a team around."
Indeed, there was nothing flashy about what Garçon overcame during the Redskins' final 90-yard march downfield, sacrificing his body over the middle of the field, already beaten up but not willing to quit on his team that was determined to fight through the adversity of a late-game lead change.
Garçon mentioned after the comeback that his knee flared up on a deep route midway through the second half. But with his team down by four points, he found something in him to get back on the field.
"I definitely want to go out there and give it everything I've got," Garçon said. "Try to make sure that I try to leave it all on the field. I'm glad it didn't give out on me right before the end of the game."
The Redskins were, too.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 on the Eagles' 30-yard line, quarterback Kirk Cousins zipped a 16-yard pass to Garçon over the middle with two defenders converging. He was immediately popped on both sides of the catch, but managed to keep possession on the way down.
"He's fearless," said Cousins. "He makes the tough catch."
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Cousins found him again on the next play, another 12-yard crossing route over the middle that pushed the Redskins to the 4-yard line. Two plays later, Garçon ran a quick out-route, pivoting on the goal-line and stretching out between a duo of Eagles defenders to haul in the deciding score.
"On that last play, it was just a route," Garçon said modestly. "I didn't see exactly where I was at, just knew who was in front of me, had to beat him…I looked and I was glad I was on the other side of the white line, instead of you know, a yard short."
He quickly figured out he had scored when his teammates began bopping him on his head, the kind of beating that made the more painful ones before it all worth it.
"I'm happy for Pierre, I'm happy for Kirk, I'm happy for the whole offense obviously making that last drive and overcoming what we overcame," said head coach Jay Gruden.
Garçon 's 32 yards of offense in that final push increased his total to 55 yards on the day, adding a season-high seven receptions. His final one was the 30th touchdown of his career, becoming the 40th active player to reach that milestone.
"He's one of the greatest competitors on this football team. People feed off that," Gruden said. "Those are some tough catches that he made today. He probably didn't have the type of numbers that he wants after a game, because he's such a great competitor."
Numbers seemed to be the least of Garçon 's worries at the podium, still contemplating the Redskins' fourth quarter comeback and doing everything to credit his teammates and coaches before himself, which was expected.
"I'm glad it all came through at the end of the game when we needed it most."