Eagles 27 Redskins 17
LANDOVER, Md. — DeSean Jackson scored on a 67-yard run and a 57-yard reception, both in the first half. His night might have been perfect if his tender right ankle hadn’t messed up his touchdown tap dance.
“I was out there having fun, man, honestly,” Jackson said. “My ankle was kind of hurting. I really didn’t feel it, but it did kind of affect my dance a little bit. I could put it to perfection a little bit better than that.”
The Philadelphia Eagles had reason to do the soft shoe Monday night as they rebounded from an embarrassing loss and dispatched the Washington Redskins 27-17. Three turnovers were converted into points as the visitors raced to a 20-point lead in a game that was as lopsided as expected.
Donovan McNabb completed 15 of 25 passes for 156 yards, getting his 200th touchdown pass and surpassing 30,000 yards passing for his career. The defence sacked Jason Campbell six times, and newcomer Will Witherspoon ran back an interception for a touchdown and created another turnover — even though he’s been with the team less than a week.
Nearly all the scoring came in the first half of an injury-filled game as the Eagles (4-2) regained their stride after last week’s jarring loss to the Oakland Raiders. The scariest moment for Philadelphia came when Brian Westbrook left in the first quarter with a concussion. Coach Andy Reid said he expects Westbrook to recover fully but wasn’t certain whether his star running back will play next week.
The news was bad all around for the Redskins (2-5), who got no discernible boost from Sherm Lewis’ debut as a play caller and lost Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley to a broken right ankle. The offensive line is already a mess without Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas, and the team still hasn’t scored more than 17 points in a game this season.
“You can say but so much,” defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said. “You’ve got to actually want to. So once we get to that point — where we want to do something — then we’ll do something. But if we just keep going our separate ways, then we’ll just keep getting slaughtered like we have.”
Jackson scored on the fourth play from scrimmage, scampering on a reverse down the left sideline untouched almost all the way thanks in part to downfield blocking from Jeremy Maclin. It was the longest Philadelphia run of the season by far — the team’s previous best was 25 yards.
Jackson got his second score when he put a double move on Carlos Rogers and got wide open down the left side, turning a third-and-22 at the Philadelphia 43 into six points in the final two minutes of the first half.
Jackson also had a 29-yard punt return and played the second half with a right foot injury that required X-rays at halftime.
“He’s wicked fast,” Redskins coach Jim Zorn said.
Witherspoon, acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday, started at middle linebacker because of Omar Gaither’s season-ending foot injury. The new guy returned an interception 9 yards for a touchdown and knocked the ball away from Campbell for a fumble that set up a field goal. Safety Quintin Mikell helped with both turnovers, blitzing to tip the pass that Witherspoon picked off, and recovering the fumble after Campbell was stripped.
“You can’t expect to get a sack, cause a fumble, turnover, interception for touchdown — whatever,” Witherspoon said. “It’s like, ’What? Who in their right mind would think that in their first game?’ But when it comes down to it, it happened.”
Westbrook was hurt when his helmet collided with linebacker London Fletcher’s right knee at the end of a five-yard run. The running back remained on the ground for several minutes before he was helped up and led off the field directly to the locker room.
“It looked bad,” Mikell said. “Any time a guy is just out like that and not responding, you don’t know what’s going on. We were praying.”
Offensive consultant Lewis has been with the Redskins for only three weeks after being lured out of a retirement consisting of bingo-calling and serving Meals on Wheels — and his first try at calling the plays proved as unsuccessful as when Zorn was handling the task.
Zorn was stripped of the duty by the front office after last week’s loss to Kansas City, causing so much consternation that the front office then felt the need to announce that Zorn won’t be fired any time soon.
It made no difference. The makeshift offensive line again failed to protect Campbell or create room for Clinton Portis, who rushed for only 43 yards and at one point chucked his helmet on the sideline in frustration.
“Well, the result was the same. We got 17 points,” Zorn said. “It was difficult for me. It was difficult to stand and watch. The hard part is to keep your mouth shut.”
Campbell finished 29-for-43 for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He threw his seventh interception of the season, one more than he had all last season. Washington trailed 27-10 at halftime, and Campbell’s consolation touchdown pass to Fred Davis in the final two minutes was the only score of the second half.
“You have to take the bitter with the sweet,” running back Rock Cartwright said. “And right now we’re at a bitter moment.”
NOTES: Former Redskins kick returner Brian Mitchell was inducted into the stadium’s ring of fame before the game. When he thanked owner Dan Snyder during his speech, fans began to boo. “No, don’t do that,” he said. … The Eagles ran the wildcat formation a few times, and Michael Vick also got a handful of plays at quarterback. He completed his only pass for 5 yards and ran three times for nine yards.