Redskins QB Donovan McNabb received the game-ball for his triumphant return to Philadelphia that produced a 17-12 win for the ‘Skins
It wasn’t Picasso, but it was the best of both worlds for Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb in his Philadelphia homecoming. The game started with the Philadelphia faithful saluting their former hero when he was announced — ironically he was loudly “booed” when he took the field under center — then like he had done 11 years prior, McNabb found a way to win.
The Redskins (2-2) took home a big 17-12 win over the Eagles (2-2) to take sole possesion of first place in the NFC East. McNabb’s numbers showed that he did not have one of his best games statistically (8-19, 125 yards, 1 TD, and 1INT plus 39 rushing yards). But it was his intangibles of leadership and moving the sticks when needed that mattered most.
When the game was on the line, Big 5 converted a crucial first down by scampering for 18 yards on a 3rd and 4 play to help wind the clock. The win had to be glorifying for McNabb, but after the game he really was focused more on a team win and the Redskins next opponent, rather than passing out “I told you so” comments.
The Redskins knew they could run the ball on the Eagles smallish defensive front and they were successful as they produced 169 yards rushing. Leading the way was Ryan Torain with 70 yards and a bruising 12-yard touchdown run, where he trucked Eagles safety Quintin Mikell and veteran Clinton Portis who added 55 rushing yards before leaving with a groin injury.
An unfortunate part of the Eagles-Redskins games was that a highly anticipated McNabb-Vick showdown turned into the McNabb-Kolb after Vick left the game in the first quarter with a rib/chest injury — hurt on a 23-yard run that was called back on a Max Jean-Giles penalty. As for Kolb, he seem rather “tentative in my opinion as he went for checkdowns several times rather than throwing the ball downfield.
An odd play that showed the Eagles glaring weakness with clock managment was at the Redskins’ 1-yard line in the final minute of the first half. After Head Coach Andy Reid called a timeout, his offense still got called for delay of game on a crucial 4th down. To the dismay of the Eagles’ sellout crowd, the Birds settled for a David Akers 23-yarder to cut the score to 17-6.
Reid tried to explain the strange series of events after the game by saying, “We had a play called. I wasn’t surprised the clock was moving, but I was surprised it was moving as quick as when it was started with the spot”.
However the game was not over until the very last play when Kolb threw a “Hail Mary” pass into the Eagles endzone that bounced out of receiver Jason Avant’s hands and was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall.
McNabb said after the game, “It’s about winning ballgames, and that’s one that I take pride in.”
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