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LANDOVER, Md. (CBS) – The expectations were a little exaggerated. Then they quickly plummeted to the bottom the first month of the Eagles’ “all-in” season. Somewhere in the middle of the haze from the first five games, and factoring in Philadelphia’s winning performance against Washington, lie the real Eagles.
For the time being, the Eagles will need to wait a few weeks if what they showed on Sunday was an aberration or the reality everyone was expecting since August, after the Birds survived a late scare from the Redskins with a 20-13 victory.
The win snapped a four-game losing skid, which matched the longest losing spell in Eagles’ coach Andy Reid’s 13-year tenure. But was it enough to erase the way the Eagles played during that four-game stretch?
That’s a question that still needs to be answered. What is certain is that the Eagles are a talented team that is just beginning to dig out of the hole they created for themselves.
The Eagles had the game won by halftime, taking a 20-3 lead into intermission. Michael Vick completed 12 of 20 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, while LeSean McCoy ripped through the porous Washington defense for 78 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. McCoy finished with a game-high 126 yards on 28 carries.
Meanwhile, Redskins’ quarterback Rex Grossman came crashing back to being Rex Grossman. He was 9 for 22 for 143 yards and four interceptions. Grossman had a bad habit of throwing to Eagles’ safety Kurt Coleman, who had a career game with three interceptions. Grossman was later pulled for John Beck.
The Eagles didn’t score in the second half, but Vick finished by completing 18 of 31 for 237 yards. The Eagles even converted a crucial third-and-short as the two-minute warning approached.
“I wanted this win so bad, and I felt I had a lot of momentum coming into this game,” said Coleman, who became the first Eagle to intercept three passes in a game since 1966. “We made them throw the ball today and forced them into our strength.”
Reid was relieved entering the bye week with a victory. He had been taking some heat as the losses mounted and it’s something he addressed directly.
“Listen, I don’t care about that, I’m okay with that,” Reid said. “I’ve said it plenty of times, if you don’t win you deserve [the criticism]. In the National Football League, they’re all must wins. This is a tough place to play, and my hat’s off to the guys for battling. They came in with the right attitude and they have a week to rest. This beats the other way around. This is big. When the momentum switched there, they bulled up and shut it down. That was a big thing to do.”
Reported by: Joseph Santoliquito