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(Sunday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Washington 17, Philadelphia 12
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Donovan McNabb's much-anticipated return to Philadelphia was a triumphant one, as the former franchise quarterback for the Eagles led the Washington Redskins in a 17-12 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
McNabb, who spent the previous 11 seasons quarterbacking the Eagles to five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl appearance, played against his former squad for the first time in his career. Traded in the offseason for what amounted to be safety Nate Allen, McNabb returned to his old stomping grounds to a rousing ovation from the Philadelphia faithful.
"You realize that you spent 11 years here and you knew it was coming," McNabb said. "You didn't expect them to cheer for me the whole game. That just wouldn't be right. I was just happy about the way they gave me a standing ovation early. Then we buckled our chinstraps, and then the boos came."
The Eagles' fans didn't have much to cheer for once the game started, although McNabb struggled throughout. In fact, new Philadelphia starter Michael Vick didn't even last one half, as he exited late in the second quarter with a chest and rib injury and gave way to Week 1 starter Kevin Kolb.
Vick's injury is feared to be somewhat serious, although it has not yet been determined how much time he will miss.
McNabb finished just 8-of-19 for 125 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Redskins (2-2), who won for the first time since a Week 1 victory over the Cowboys. Washington's signal-caller also ran five times for 39 yards, including a crucial 18-yard scamper on 3rd-and-4 that all but sealed the victory late in the fourth.
"You've got to find a way to win," Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said. "Donovan was able to do that. He handled the situation (this week) like a pro throughout the week. He's really a class individual."
Kolb, meanwhile, hit on 22-of-35 throws for 201 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles (2-2), who had a two-game win streak snapped. LeSean McCoy was the focal point of the offense, running 16 times for 64 yards and catching 12 passes for 110 yards.
What killed the Eagles ultimately were penalties, most of which came on the defensive side of the ball. While the Redskins committed only five infractions for 30 yards, Philadelphia was called for eight penalties, totaling 80 yards.
The Eagles, trailing by 11 with under eight minutes remaining, finally found the end zone to make it a one-possession game.
Kolb led the offense 65 yards in nine plays, never facing as much as a third down on the series. A stretch of methodically short passes and rushes brought the Eagles to the five-yard line, and Kolb hit Brent Celek in the front of the end zone to cut the deficit to five with just over four minutes to play.
In an attempt to make it a three-point game, Philadelphia went for two, but Kolb's pass was batted away.
The Redskins attempted to drain the clock on their ensuing possession and faced a 3rd-and-4 from their own 22. McNabb dropped back to pass and scrambled around the right end, going untouched for 18 yards and a critical first down.
Washington was able to maintain control until a minute left, when it punted away to the Eagles.
Kolb needed to travel 74 yards in 1:07 and got the Eagles down to the Redskins' 32 with four seconds left. His last ditch pass into the end zone was initially held by receiver Jason Avant, but he lost possession into the hands of defensive back DeAngelo Hall to seal the outcome.
"We've got to get going a little bit earlier," Kolb said. "The mistakes we made down (in the red zone), that cost us. We put ourselves in a good position in the end, but we can't make mistakes early."
While the Eagles' offense sputtered coming out of the gate, McNabb and the Redskins fired on all cylinders.
Philadelphia went three-and-out to begin the game, and the punt was returned 53 yards to the Eagles' 39. A personal foul on the Eagles put the ball at the 19, and Ryan Torain took it into the end zone from 12 yards away for an early 7-0 lead.
The Eagles barely moved the ball on their next possession and punted again, and McNabb orchestrated a nine-play, 78-yard march that culminated in a perfect 31-yard touchdown toss to Chris Cooley for a 14-0 lead, just over 10 minutes into the contest.
On the following series, Vick guided Philadelphia deep into Redskins territory and scrambled toward the end zone. The play was called back because of holding, but Vick was sandwiched between Hall and defenders near the goal line and safety Kareem Moore was forced to leave the game injured.
Kolb came in to replace him, and David Akers capped the drive with a 49-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.
The Redskins answered with a 26-yard field goal from Graham Gano, and Kolb took over the offense with nine minutes until halftime.
After a shaky first play in which he fumbled a shotgun snap, Kolb methodically led Philadelphia down the field, converting a 3rd-and-10 on a 17-yard pass to Avant to gain the Philadelphia 42. On 2nd-and-18 from the 48, McCoy shifted his way for a 17-yard gain on a screen, then ran for one yard to move the chains.
The Eagles got all the way down to the one-yard line with seconds remaining on a McCoy rush, and the referees reviewed the play to make sure he didn't cross the goal line. Despite the review and an ensuing Philadelphia timeout, the offense -- which intended to try for the touchdown -- was whistled for a delay of game penalty, forcing Akers to kick a 23-yard field goal for a 17-6 halftime score.
"That play initially started off as inches, and it ended up being a yard," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said. "And the clock was well into it. That's my responsibly, no excuses for it at all. The obvious is we've got to start off faster than what we did offensively, defensively and special teams. I goofed."
Philadelphia had a chance to pull closer midway through the third quarter, but McCoy fumbled the ball away inside the Washington 30. The Redskins offense, which scored zero points in the second half, went three-and-out on each of their next two drives, but Philadelphia could not take advantage.
Vick finished 5-for-7 for 49 yards and ran three times for 17 yards...McNabb holds the Eagles' franchise marks in wins, attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and games played by a quarterback...Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson caught just three passes for 19 yards...Torain ran 18 times for 70 yards...Allen recorded an interception, his third of the season...The Eagles garnered 353 total yards of offense, compared to 293 for the Redskins...Clinton Portis gained 55 of Washington's 169 rushing yards.
10/03 21:33:04 ET
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