November 16 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“This was a Mike Tyson-in-his-prime kind of knockout.
After jawing by both teams raised the intensity before the game, the Eagles opened the real action with a head-snapping, message-sending uppercut. It took 18 seconds.
Led by a dominant Michael Vick, the Eagles then poured it on the Redskins in a record-setting offensive display, using the bright lights of Monday Night Football to serve notice that they are a dangerous team that must be counted among the NFC’s elite as the season’s second half begins.
“It sends a message,” said center Mike McGlynn. “We’re here to play.”
Redskins nose tackle Albert Haynesworth agreed. “The Eagles should be ranked No. 1 in the BCS,” he said, referring to the college ranking system.
Said Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, “They just kept scoring. It was shocking.”
There is still a long way to go, but for now the Eagles are 6-3, and have already throttled the only NFC team with a better record, the Falcons. Monday’s 59-28 win pulled the Eagles into a tie with the Giants atop the NFC East. A showdown between the rivals looms Sunday in Philadelphia. The Eagles will roll into that game riding a defense that has steadily improved and an offense that is positively volcanic.
If Monday’s game had been a fight, the Redskins would have been counted out after the first punch. Vick hit DeSean Jackson for an 88-yard touchdown on the game’s first play and the Eagles racked up a 28-0 lead before the first quarter concluded.
Both teams came out charged for the prime-time game, scuffling – mostly shoving and talking – as the Eagles headed to their locker room following pregame warm-ups. McGlynn said Redskins safety LaRon Landry tried to taunt the Eagles and intimidate Jackson. McGlynn said Landry twice spit on him during the game.
“The pregame altercation got it going. It had us ready,” Jackson said. “We were like pit bulls ready to get out the cage.”
The Eagles went right after Landry on their first play, leaving him lying on the field as Jackson went for 88 yards. Vick threw the ball some 63 yards in the air, and Jackson pranced backward for the final 10 yards of an emphatic score, punctuated by a forceful spike.
“I’ll give you that first play,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “Not too many guys can throw that ball. I don’t know how far it went – 65 yards in the air. That’s a great play by Vick and Jackson both.”
“Thirty-one teams need to save their money and try to make a bid on him,” Haynesworth said of Vick.
Vick’s incredible throw set the stage for a remarkable night. He threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for 80 yards and two more scores. His passing and rushing touchdown totals tied career highs. He became the first player in NFL history with 300 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, four passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns in a game.
“I’ve had some great games in my day, but I don’t think I’ve had one quite like this,” Vick said.
“I’m still trying to process, to figure out what happened,” Washington’s Hall said.
Said Haynesworth, “A nightmare. I couldn’t wait for the game to be over.”
Redskins fans shouted their first cheer of the game when the referees announced the end of the first quarter. On the next play, Vick launched a 48-yard rainbow to Jeremy Maclin to pump the lead to 35-0. It wasn’t just the score but the ease with which the Eagles sprinted by the helpless Redskins. It took the Eagles just over 19 minutes of possession to ring up 45 first-half points, setting a team record for most in one half. The Eagles‘ 59 points were second-most in team history.
Donovan McNabb came up with some of the big throws that helped earn him a lucrative contract extension, but the Eagles smothered their opponent in a way the young team had failed to do earlier this year. The Eagles remembered McNabb’s boasts when he beat them in Philadelphia.”
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