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November 16 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:
“Thanks to Michael Vick and the Eagles‘ high-flying offense, Sean McDermott’s defense never really got an opportunity to show the Redskins how much their run defense has improved in the 5 weeks since Washington’s 17-12 Week 4 win at the Linc.
You may recall that the Redskins rushed for 169 yards in that game. Ran the ball on nine of their first 11 offensive plays and scored two quick touchdowns, including an impressive 12-yard scoring run by Ryan Torain, who played the role of an 18-wheeler to Quintin Mikell’s Volkswagen Beetle.
Used the run to play keepaway in the fourth quarter when the Eagles desperately were trying to get the ball back.
Since that game, McDermott’s unit has been one of the stingiest run defenses in the league. And that was expected to be a key for them in last night’s rematch at FedEx Field.
But Vick and Co. did to the Redskins what the Redskins did to the Eagles a month-and-half ago. Except they did it in spades. Scored touchdowns on their first five possessions. Had a 35-0 lead before the game was 15 1/2 minutes old. That pretty much took the ground game out of play for the Redskins.
Although it might not have mattered. Neither of the Redskins’ top two runnings backs – Clinton Portis and Torain – suited up last night. Portis missed his fifth straight game with a groin injury. Torain is nursing a hamstring injury.
November 16 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Rich Hofmann:
“Two franchises passed each other in the night, rapidly if not necessarily permanently, because there is no such thing as permanently, not in the NFL, not in 2010.
It really was just one game.
But, man, what a game.
On the day when the Washington Redskins gave Donovan McNabb a $78 million contract extension, the Eagles scored the second-most points in the history of the franchise in a 59-28 bludgeoning administered by Michael Vick at FedEx Field.
Vick hit DeSean Jackson with an 88-yard touchdown strike on the Eagles‘ first play from scrimmage, and that was just the beginning. The Eagles led by 35-0 early in the second quarter and 45-14 at the half. Along the way, Vick did something that no quarterback in the league has done, at least since 1960: He threw for four touchdowns, ran for two touchdowns, threw for more than 300 yards and ran for at least 80 yards.
It was a historic stomping. When Kevin Kolb finally replaced Vick with only 2:13 left in the game, here were the quarterback’s numbers: 20-for-28 for 333 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 150.7. Vick also ran eight times for 80 yards and two more touchdowns. It was savage mastery.
November 16 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Motivation comes in many forms for a professional football player. According to Eagles center Mike McGlynn, after his team’s 59-28 dismantling of the Washington Redskins, the main motivation wore two burgundy-colored uniforms last night: No. 30 and No. 5.
No. 30 is safety LaRon Landry. McGlynn said it was Landry’s attempt to intimidate Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson that prompted a pregame skirmish between the teams. He also says that Landry spit in his face during the game, twice. For his part, Landry denied the spitting.
And even before that, he said that it was Donovan McNabb’s televised assertion after the last Eagles-Redskins game – that the Eagles made a mistake by trading him away – that lit a fire beneath No. 5’s old teammates.
Where to begin?
With the expectoration.
“He spit in my face, and that really fired us all up,” McGlynn said. “We were really looking to put the afterburners on them. It’s good to see. We came out and scored 60 points, almost . . . We want to play the game with all the respect in the world. When people come out and disrespect you like that . . . I think there just has to be more respect for the game than that. That’s just a terrible thing.
“We just looked at it as, ‘Hey, keep pouring it on them,’ ” McGlynn said.
November 16 Philadelphia Daily News:
“When Max Jean-Gilles practiced Saturday and took most of the first-team reps, it sure seemed logical to assume he was starting last night against the Redskins. Particularly since the right guard would be lining up against Albert Haynesworth, Washington’s 6-6, 335-pound pile-shifter.
Jean-Gilles said he supposed he would start. But Jean-Gilles, who suffered a concussion the week before against Indianapolis, was only available as a backup. Nick Cole, whose sore knee has made him a marginal player this season, got the nod. A year ago, Cole probably would have been preferable to Jean-Gilles, if both were healthy, but big Max has worked diligently to improve after undergoing lap-band surgery, and Cole, who has his own weight issues, hasn’t had any kind of year at all.
The only hint of this might have come when Eagles coach Andy Reid spoke following Saturday’s practice, and emphasized that Cole had gotten the bulk of the prep work.
“We’ll just see how things go,” Reid said. “Obviously, Nick’s gotten the most reps this week. We’re comfortable [with both guys]. We know both guys are starting-caliber guards. So we’ll just see how they feel. We have to see how Max does here after this practice. So this was kind of the next step.”
November 16 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Forget about Washington’s 28 points, the 352 yards, and Donovan McNabb’s 289 passing yards in the final three quarters of what became a 59-28 Eagles victory.
Take those numbers, crumple them up, and toss them into the trash along with the time-of-possession statistic.
Now consider these numbers: four three-and-outs, 23 total yards, and zero points. That was the entire Redskins offense in the first quarter. As Michael Vick and the Eagles‘ offense turned the first 15 minutes into a track meet – imagine Usain Bolt racing Albert Haynesworth – the Eagles‘ defense was dominating in the field events.
While the offense will be showered with accolades and there will be proclamations about Vick turning the Eagles into Super Bowl contenders, a solid defensive effort will largely go unnoticed.
For that unit, it was all about the first quarter.
A month ago, it was the exact opposite. The Redskins came into Lincoln Financial Field and stuffed the football down the Eagles‘ throats. They ran right at a porous run defense and jumped out to a 14-0 lead. The Eagles recovered by the second half, but the damage had been done and they fell, 17-12.
“That was a disappointing loss,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said about the Oct. 3 defeat to Washington. “I’m not going to get into what I told them and so on. This was collectively about our team and coming together. . . . But the [defense] did a nice job. They played physical up front.”
November 16 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan:
“As difficult as it is to feel sorry for a man who just signed an eight-figure contract, it happened in the first quarter here Monday night.
Already losing by a shocking 28-0, Donovan McNabb dropped back on third down. He fired a pass toward the right sideline. It hit Joey Galloway, who was a pretty good wide receiver in the misty recesses of time, in his hands and caromed away for yet another incompletion.
McNabb lowered his head and jogged toward the sideline as the punt team ran on. The crowd at FedEx Field, which gave McNabb a roar of encouragement during pregame introductions, jeered his every step. It was like 90,000 people saying “$78 million for this” in dispirited unison.
“I’m embarrassed,” McNabb said after the 59-28 beating. “With everything tied into it, the way things snowballed – the contract is great, but that’s not on my mind right now. At this point, I’m angry.”
This insanely one-sided game represented a strange sort of milestone. It marked the end of the transition. McNabb spent 11 years with the Eagles. He was traded on Easter Sunday. He has now played two games, completing a season series, against his old team. He signed a contract that is likely to see him through to the end of his career with his new team.
That’s that. Once your ex gets remarried, the case is closed. Roll credits. Everyone moves on. It’s not your concern anymore.
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