Redskins drop 3-2 after Sunday loss
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - The sign behind one end zone read: "HEY DREAM TEAM REID THIS: 1-5." Michael Vick wasn't far from that sign when he chased yet another Philadelphia Eagles blunder, an errant snap that rolled to a stop near the goal line.
Vick reached the ball first, got rid of it with enough oomph to avoid an intentional grounding penalty and even drew a 15-yard penalty when linebacker Brian Orakpo hit him in the helmet. Instead of committing yet another turnover, coach Andy Reid's Eagles turned the drive into the game's opening touchdown in Sunday's season-saving 20-13 win over the Washington Redskins.
The bounces finally started going Philadelphia's way as the Eagles raced to a 20-0 second-quarter lead on their way to ending a four-game skid. Vick completed 18 of 31 passes for 237 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Kurt Coleman intercepted Rex Grossman three times as the Eagles (2-4) at last started to resemble - at least somewhat - the team picked to win the NFC East.
This was all but a must-win - it's been 41 years since a team made the playoffs after starting 1-5 - and it brought to a sudden halt the momentum of the Redskins (3-2), the division's surprise solo leaders.
Philadelphia has won 10 of 12 at Washington, although this wasn't as lopsided as last year's 59-28 laugher. The Eagles led the NFL with 15 giveaways coming into the game and committed two more, but Grossman had twice as many. He was benched after throwing his fourth interception late in the third quarter as coach Mike Shanahan answered the fans' chants of "We Want Beck!" by giving John Beck his first regular-season appearance since 2007.
Beck got the Redskins back into the game on a 2-yard quarterback draw to cap an 80-yard drive that pulled the Redskins within seven points with 2:44 remaining. But the Eagles ran out the clock on their next drive, with LeSean McCoy rushing for 20 of his 126 yards.
Beck completed 8 of 15 passes for 117 yards. Grossman went 9 for 22 for 143 yards, 45 yards coming on a flea flicker to Jabar Gaffney, the longest Redskins completion this season. Washington was outgained 422-287 and converted only one of 10 third-down attempts.
The Eagles scored on Vick's 7-yard touchdown pass to Brent Celek in the first quarter, McCoy's 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, and a pair of second-quarter field goals from Alex Henery. McCoy is the first Philadelphia player to score a touchdown in six consecutive games at the start of a season.
But one drive in the second quarter told the Philadelphia story best. McCoy lost the ball at the end of a run on the first play, but was ruled down. Two plays later, Celek made an incredible 21-yard reception, tipping the ball with two hands, then reaching back to tip it with his right hand before catching it while falling on his back and getting hit by two defenders. Four plays later, Vick had a passed tipped high into the air inside Washington's 10, but it floated to one of his teammates instead of a defender.
Those would have been three turnovers the way the Eagles were playing during their losing streak. Instead, they got a field goal out of the drive to take a 17-0 lead.
Vick did throw one interception, a ball tipped by a lineman in the third quarter. He also left the game for two plays later in the quarter after getting hit by Ryan Kerrigan and LaRon Landry after a scramble. Vince Young filled in, making his Eagles debut, and threw a bad interception that gave the Redskins the ball at the 18.
No need to worry for the Eagles. Coleman picked off Grossman two plays later, giving Philadelphia the type of momentum swing it had been missing much of the year.