Washington Redskins Week #10 Recap: Vick Bites Back

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*In dog-fighting circles, it was like pitting Benji against Godzilla. Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick, carried off the field in the first game at Lincoln Financial Field with cartilage damage just a month ago, got far more competition in his Leavenworth prison pick-up games than he did tonight. He passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more against a shellshocked Washington Redskins’ defense in a 59-28 rout. For all intents and purposes, the game was over after the opening period. The Eagles scored TDs on all four first-quarter possessions building up a record-breaking 28-0 lead. Philadelphia wasted no time in the second quarter, scoring on the first play of the period on a 48-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin. The Skins showed signs of life on two long bombs to set up two short TD passes by newly-inked quarterback Donovan McNabb to narrow the gap to 35-14. But McNabb’s second interception of the half allowed Vick to score his second rushing touchdown, putting Philly up comfortably 45-14 at the break.

The carnage only got worse in the second half. After the Skins drove the length of the field to score their third touchdown, Michael Vick hit Jason Avant on a three-yard TD strike and Dimitri Patterson’s  forty-yard pick six, McNabb’s third interception of the evening put Philly up 59-14. The 59 points by an away team after three quarters tied the Oakland Raider’s NFL record from earlier this season at Denver. The 59 points broke the record for most points on Monday Night Football (55 points by the Indianapolis Colts). Keiland Williams’ third touchdown, a 32-yard gallop, completed the night’s scoring early in the final stanza. 

The fourth quarter collapse against Detroit was no doubt devastating. But the off week was supposed to allow the Redskins to heal up and get their emotional and physical bearings back heading into the second half of the season. The Eagles played a grueling game against the AFC Champion Colts a week ago. So much for the benefits of the bye. The Skins simply didn’t show up on primetime TV. There were scoring and statistical records set tonight by the Eagles that won’t be broken in your lifetime. The Redskins looked very much like one of the oldest teams in the league. The Eagles ran over and around the Skins’ run defense. The Eagles passed over and through the porous Skins’ secondary. Nearly 600 yards allowed.

Offensively, the shocking pre-game news that Donovan McNabb was inked to a 5-year deal that could net $80,000,000 if incentives are met. A soon-to-be-34-year-old signalcaller who was removed late in the previous game because he lacked the cardio endurance to run the two-minute offense in crunch time. Is General Manager Bruce Allen expecting McNabb to discover the fountain of youth? McNabb is having his worst statisical year since his rookie season. I did not think this deal would ever take place. Tonight’s stats are typical of McNabb’s year to date. He hits on a few long completions to inflate his yardage stats. But still throws more picks than touchdowns. Critical interceptions that rip your team’s heart out. 0 for 10 on 3rd down conversions. Play back the look on head coach Mike Shanahan’s face after McNabb’s last interception tonight. It speaks volumes. This pact makes little sense. The Skins could have gone after the much-younger Michael Vick in free agency at season’s end. The Skins could have gone after one of the NCAA’s young stud quarterbacks like Andrew Luck of Stanford or the soon-to-be-disqualified Cam Newton of Auburn in April’s draft. It is highly unlikely Dononvan McNabb will be in DC beyond the 2011 season. The only cash that matters in this deal is the guaranteed money (likely in the staggering $40,000,000 range). This maneuver is more PR to give Skin fans the illusion of leadership and stability at quarterback. It smacks of desperation for a quarterback well past his prime and brings back memories of Jeff George.

The Skins get lucky next week in that Vince Young appears to be battered for the Tennessee Titans. Even when healthy, he is no Michael Vick. Young is having a hard time beating out the ageless wonder Kerry Collins, whose career likely ended in last week’s blow-out loss in Miami. Journeyman Jerome Harrison (11 carries for 109 yards with one TD) ran all over the Skins tonight. Chris Johnson, the top running back in the conference, must be salivating in anticipation. Randy Moss and Kenny Britt are a formidable receiving tandem. Can the Redskins rebound from this humiliation? They are two games behind both the Eagles and the New York Giants in the NFC East. And while the Giants got humbled by the lowly Dallas Cowboys in the Meadowlands on Sunday, it is unlikely the Skins will catch either team in the standings.

My Skins/Titans preview will be out by mid-week. In the meantime, dry out from this history-making smackdown.

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