Landover, Md. - With Donovan McNabb locked up to a long-term deal earlier in the day and the players fresh off a bye week, the consensus was a sellout crowd and a national television audience would see a motivated Washington Redskins team explode out of the tunnel on Monday Night Football. The Philadelphia Eagles had other plans as Michael Vick stole the show from McNabb and made it his night.
Vick accounted for 413 yards of offense and six Eagles touchdowns as the Redskins were beaten in historic fashion 59-28 at a rainy FedEx Field. The 59 points scored by Philadelphia were the most against the Redskins since 1954 and the most scored by any team on Monday Night Football. The Eagles poured on 592 yards of offense, averaging 8.8 yards per play leaving the Redskins defense to ponder a dismal outing.
"It was a nightmare. From the first play to the end of the game we just couldn't recover," said Brian Orakpo following the defeat. "Defensively, this game is on us. We let everybody down and we are going to put this one on us. They came out and flat out beat our [butts]."
The Eagles wasted little time untracking their high-powered offense. Just eighteen seconds in Vick connected with receiver DeSean Jackson for an 88-yard touchdown, stunning a sellout crowd. The Eagles offensive line provided plenty of protection as Vick rolled to his right and hurled it downfield to Jackson who had a step on LaRon Landry. Jackson hauled in the pass to put Philly up 7-0 and the first quarter onslaught was underway.
"That's one play," Said London Fletcher regarding Jackson touchdown. "There's still a lot of football left so you think ‘Okay, we'll recover from this.' Then when it happened again, and again and again; you just never anticipate this happening."
The Eagles offense continued to roll on their second drive as Vick capped off the five play, 63-yard effort with a seven-yard TD run to make it 14-0. On their first six offensive plays, the Eagles had amassed 14 points and 151 yards while McNabb had yet to attempt a pass.
"It staggered [us]," said receiver Anthony Armstrong. "You get punched in the mouth right quick and the bad thing is we just kept getting punched. We didn't get our own punch until a little bit later. We were trying to fight back, but we just kind of fell in a deep hole and there wasn't enough time."
When McNabb did throw on the ensuing possession, a third down pass bounced off of Santana Moss' hands and into the arms of safety Kurt Coleman who was filling in for injured starter Nate Allen. Vick and the Eagles wasted no time adding another score after the interception, surging down the field as running back LeSean McCoy caught an 11-yard TD pass from Vick.
But that wasn't the end to one of the worst quarters in Redskins' history as running back Jerome Harrison weaved his way through a maze of would-be tacklers en route to a 50-yard TD scamper as the Eagles put it away early with a 28-0 lead. As the quarter ended, Philadelphia had 12 first downs and 280 yards of offense compared to zero first downs and 23 yards of offense for Washington.
"Philly obviously did a great job tonight," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. "We got out-played and out-coached in every area. I take full responsibility for it. I should have them prepared better than I did."
After Jeremy Maclin scored on a 48-yard TD pass from Vick to open the second quarter, the Redskins managed a pair of scores. Running backs Darrel Young and Keiland Williams helped make it 35-14 with touchdown receptions, but McNabb's second interception of the night gave the Eagles great field position, setting up their sixth touchdown in one half of play. Vick's six-yard run did the honors and David Akers added a field goal to put the Eagles up 45-14 heading into the locker room. The 45 points scored by the Eagles marked the most ever by the franchise in one half of football.
The Redskins cut the deficit to 45-21 on their opening possession of the half with a four-yard TD run from Williams, but missed an opportunity to swing the momentum in their favor when they failed to recover Jorrick Calvin's fumble on the following kick-off. Philadelphia's offense came out and answered with a commanding 11-play, 71-yard drive, ending in another TD pass from Vick this time to receiver Jason Avant.
McNabb threw a touchdown pass the other way to Eagles defensive back Dimitri Patterson to solidify the win and the Redskins were left shocked on their home field.
McNabb finished the game 17 of 31 for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions; hardly an inspired performance after signing a 5-year, $78 million deal prior to the game. Meanwhile Vick was flawless as he helped the Eagles improve to 6-3 on the season. No player had ever thrown three touchdowns and rushed for two more in one half of play until tonight when Vick did just that.
"Big credit to Michael Vick, he made some plays that I haven't seen a lot of quarterbacks make for a long time," said Shanahan. "When something wasn't there in the passing game, he made plays with his legs. He had a really big time game."
With the loss the Redskins fall to 4-5 and 2-1 in the division with a difficult road game against the Titans next week. No one emphasized the importance of bouncing back more than defensive end Andre Carter.
"Short-term memory man," said Carter. "When we win, short-term memory; when we lose, we've got to have short-term memory. We can't let a loss like this affect us as a team, as a whole. We have a lot of leadership, but we just did not play well as a team. It was a bad game."