Vick, Eagles embarrass Redskins
Michael Vick, not Donovan McNabb, played like a $78 million US quarterback, accounting for six touchdowns all by himself.
And his Philadelphia Eagles marched down the field in one big chunk after another, doing enough times to put new entries in the various record books.
On a day the Washington Redskins hoped to celebrate McNabb's new contract and set aside the swirl of distractions from his benching two weeks earlier, Vick and the Eagles stormed the party and thoroughly embarrassed their NFC East rivals 59-28 Monday night.
The Eagles scored on an 88-yard pass from Vick to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage, led 35-0 after the first play of the second quarter and barely let up.
Vick completed his first 10 passes and finished 20 for 28 for 333 yards with four touchdowns. He also ran eight times for 80 yards and two scores, moving past Steve Young and into second place in NFL history for yards rushing by a quarterback.
The Eagles set team records for total yards in a game (592), points in a half (45) and had the biggest lead after the first quarter for any NFL road team (28-0) since at least 1950.
"I've had some great games in my day," said Vick. "But I don't think I've had one quite like this one."
Vick became the first player in NFL history with at least 300 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game. He hasn't thrown an interception or lost a fumble this season.
More practically, the win moved Philadelphia (6-3) into a first-place tie with the New York Giants in the division, with both teams two games ahead of the Redskins (4-5). The Eagles are 4-0 when Vick starts and finishes the game.
"We just got embarrassed, from start to finish," Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "It's frustrating to go out there on national TV and play the way we played. … Anybody that was watching that game thought it was a joke."
A few hours before kickoff, the Redskins signed McNabb to a $78-million US, five-year contract extension with $40 million guaranteed, putting to rest any doubts as to whether he would remain the centrepiece of coach Mike Shanahan's rebuilding effort. It was Washington's first game since Shanahan benched McNabb in the final two minutes of a loss to the Detroit, when the coach cited McNabb's less-than-full grasp of the two-minute offence and later the quarterback's lack of "cardiovascular endurance" stemming from sore hamstrings.
McNabb received a standing ovation and applauded the fans in return when he was introduced with the starting lineups, but most of those fans had left by halftime on a rainy night in which they heartily booed offence and defence alike.
McNabb finished 17 for 31 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, nearly all of the yards coming after the Redskins had dug themselves a five-touchdown hole. Dimitri Patterson intercepted McNabb twice, returning one of them 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Interestingly, Shanahan made McNabb finish the entire game this time, even with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
The 45 first-half points allowed by the Redskins tied a franchise record, and the (59) total points were the most allowed by a team coached by Shanahan. It was almost as if the players had decided there was no incentive to play well, given that a teammate who got benched in the last game had just received a mega contract.
Vick was among the players at the forefront of a skirmish between the teams on the field before the game, forcing officials to step in and restore peace. Maybe it fired him and his teammates up, because everything seemed to work early on: The Eagles piled up 280 total yards in the first quarter.
The touchdowns came early and often: the 88-yarder to Jackson, who had time to strut backward into the end zone; a seven-yard scramble by Vick; an 11-yard shovel pass to LeSean McCoy; a 50-yard run by Jerome Harrison, who weaved through missed tackles and around bad angles taken by Redskins defenders; a 48-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin, who made a remarkable grab as fell backward onto the pylon; a six-yard run by Vick on a quarterback draw; a three-yard pass to Jason Avant; and Patterson's interception runback.