Just as he was winning back the fans, DeMarco Murray's season of frustration was summed up in one botched pitch.

One series after igniting the crowd by scoring his first touchdown since Nov. 8, Murray saw the ball and eventually the NFC East slip through his hands during Saturday's 38-24 loss to the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field.

That clinched the NFC East for the Redskins (8-7), while the Eagles (6-9) will have plenty of time to answer the many offseason questions.

Two offseasons ago the Eagles got rid of DeSean Jackson, who now is a member of the division champion Redskins. Jackson didn't have the explosive plays he did twice last year against the Eagles, but he nonetheless contributed.

In the offseason, Murray, the reigning NFL rushing champion for the Dallas Cowboys, was the Eagles' prized acquisition. Or so they thought.

He had fallen out of favor, with just a total of 21 carries in the last three games, including two in Sunday's 40-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Murray got the Eagles back into the game scoring on a spinning, 4-yard run that cut the Redskins lead to 23-17 with 4 minutes, 47 seconds left in the third quarter.

When Washington was stopped on its next series, the momentum was clearly going the Eagles' way. It all changed on a third-and-2 play from the Eagles' 29.

Sam Bradford pitched to Murray, who dropped the ball. It was then inadvertently kicked by center Jason Kelce, and Redskins safety DeAngelo Hall picked up the ball and scored on a 17-yard return.

That gave Washington a 30-17 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter, enabling the Redskins to assume control for good.

Murray took the blame for the fumbled pitch.

"I took my eyes off of it," he said. "Just going too fast, got to secure the ball, and it was a bad play by me."

Murray finished with 27 yards on five carries, but any good will was erased by the turnover.

"It is always frustrating to turn the ball over, and turnovers kill you, and definitely that one hurt us a lot," Murray said.

As for Jackson, he was a much bigger contributor in the first half, when he had three receptions for 44 yards. (He had one reception for minus-4 yards in the second half.)

Two of the first-half receptions were part of scoring drives.

In Washington's second drive, after going in motion, Jackson was wide open for a 7-yard reception that gave Washington a first down on the Eagles' 22. On the next play, Kirk Cousins hit Jordan Reed for a 22-yard touchdown.

Jackson began Washington's next drive with a 15-yard reception in the middle of the field to the Eagles' 46-yard line. The Redskins would score six plays later on Reed's 12-yard reception.

Last season Jackson had two big games against his former team. During a 37-34 loss in Philadelphia, he had five receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Then, in a late-season 27-24 home win over the Eagles, Jackson caught four passes for 126 yards.

He missed this season's first game between the two, a 23-20 Redskins home win, with a hamstring injury.

Now, two seasons later, Eagles fans are still questioning Jackson's departure, while having the same questions about Murray's arrival.

@sjnard