Philly-Washington tilt didn't live up to the hype

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:39 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA — In the aftermath of a terribly played game that held few high points for either team a few developments were obvious.

To begin with, the Washington Redskins versus Philadelphia Eagles game which figured to be one of the highlights of NFL Sunday didn’t come close to matching the hype of the return of Donovan McNabb vs Michael Vick. In fact, it never came close.

The game, a 17-12 victory for the ’Skins, lost most of its cache and lustre on the penultimate play of the opening quarter when Vick was sandwiched by two Redskins defenders at the one-yard line, suffered a rib injury and was lost for the remainder of the game.

That development brought Kevin Kolb on to the field and back into the Eagles’ quarterback merry-go-round and over the final three quarters he showed everyone why coach Andy Reid was in such a rush to nail him to the bench and elevate Vick.

Kolb does not look at this point in his young career, as if he can do any heavy lifting, that he is capable of rallying the troops and move the ball when the going gets tough.

McNabb, meanwhile, looked as if he spent the afternoon in a state of shock, and perhaps he was, after receiving a warm standing ovation from the fickle Philly fans when he jogged on to the field prior to the game.

Other than Washington’s second possession, when he moved the Redskins 78 yards in nine plays for their second touchdown, McNabb turned in a performance that would have embarrassed Trent Edwards.

Overall, the former Eagles quarterback was 8-for-19 for 125 yards, one touchdown and one interception. In the entire second half he was 2-for-11 for all of 10 yards.

But somehow the Redskins won.

An ugly win, however, sure beats a loss and after it was over McNabb seemed as relieved that the day was over as he was with the victory.

“I said it all week that I wasn’t going to let any of the hoopla affect what the mindset was and the mindset was for all of us to be focused and ready to go, to come out here and win the game,” he said. “I was overwhelmed a little bit with the standing ovation and the reception that I got, but again when you’re going down there and everything, you have to buckle your chin strap and win the game.”

And that they did thanks to Kolb’s inability to move the ball until it was too late and the Redskins employing a soft prevent defence.

Now McNabb can turn the page and focus on Sunday’s home date against Green Bay.

“I think the relief that I got was the fact that this was over,” McNabb said. “The whole hoopla of coming back — you couldn’t watch TV without people talking about coming back to Philadelphia.

“One thing that I didn’t want my teammates to see was the fact that it became a distraction to me. I tried to go through the same regimen. The guys saw me in the locker room laughing, joking and at the practice field making sure we’re reading the keys and doing the right things. I thought we were a truly focused bunch and now we can sit down and focus on our next opponent and hopefully feel like this again next week.”

If McNabb can toss completions against the Packers like he tosses post-game cliches, it’s in the bag.

One more thought.

The team that made the greatest stride in the division was the one which had a bye week — the Dallas Cowboys.

With the way the Eagles and Redskins performed and the troubles in New York with the Giants, despite their victory over the Bears, the Cowboys have to be laughing all the way to the division title.

They didn’t play and suddenly they look like a sure thing.

mike.rutsey@sunmedia.ca


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