The Philadelphia Eagles came up inches short of extending the three-game winning streak. With a relatively balanced attack the Washington Redskins managed to cool off the red-hot Birds.
Donavan McNabb completed 26 of his 46 attempts for 230 yards while adding 45 more yards on the ground.
Brian Westbrook had a quiet game, touching the ball only 16 times for 116 all-purpose yards (45 rushing and 71 receiving). The lion’s share of his yards came on a 47-yard pass up the sideline at a time when the Eagles desperately needed motivation.
This game did not get exciting until Philly had their backs against the wall in the fourth quarter. Prior to the game-ending 90-yard drive, the Eagles had four straight possessions that went 3-and-out for a total of 20 yards. Rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson was a major factor in the Eagles’ stagnation.
Jackson pled his case to be the spark his team so desperately needed, but when given the opportunity, he came up empty-handed twice.
After McNabb failed to see a wide-open Jackson, the rookie receiver expressed his discontent. Jackson quickly got his wish, as he became the target of a deep pass down the left sideline, but failed to convert. The flashy receiver let the ball bounce off of his chest and land incomplete.
This did not shake the veteran quarterback. He went right back to Jackson with a deep throw to the endzone, but once again, Jackson came up with nothing.
Jackson’s dropsies put his team in a do-or-die situation.
With 3:48 left in the game the Eagles embarked on the longest drive of the night. Donavan led his team the length of the field armed with one timeout and the two-minute warning. After a spike left the Eagles with 12 seconds, McNabb connected with Reggie Brown for a 17 yard pass that put them less than a yard shy of the touchdown and no way to stop the clock from reaching its final destination.
Brown was so close to the goal line that the booth reviewed the play to see if the ball broke the plane, but when the referee confirmed the ruling on the field FedEx Field simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief and erupted into a stadium-shaking roar.
The lifeless Eagles had multiple chances to get back in the game. Defensive captain Brian Dawkins patrolled the sideline getting in each person’s face to try to elicit some emotion. Even while on the field he approached every member of the secondary, beseeching them to make a play that could turn the game around. His efforts, however, went unrewarded.
The Eagles now find themselves in the middle of the air-tight Wild Card race. Philly was given loads of help as the Ravens topped the Dallas Cowboys and the Falcons defeated the Buccaneers. However, with this loss, they no longer control their own destiny.
In order for Philly to reach the post-season they must defeat the Cowboys next week at Lincoln Financial Field. They also need the Oakland Raiders to continue playing the type of football that they played this week in order to knock off Tampa Bay.