McNabb guides Redskins past Eagles

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:39 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — First the crowd gave him a standing ovation and then watched in horror as their worst nightmare came true.

It was neither the reception nor the result that many predicted in Donovan McNabb’s first trip down memory lane.

But for the former Eagles great who spent 11 seasons wearing the Philadelphia white and green, it must have been a delight to beat them black and blue in a 17-12 snorefest where the Eagles showed next to nothing.

As for the much-hyped and anticipated McNabb vs. Michael Vick battle, well that one evaporated quickly as Vick was crushed in a bruising tackle at the Eagles one-yard line on the final play of the opening quarter, suffered an unspecified rib injury and never returned.

“It was never Vick versus McNabb, it was Philadelphia versus Washington,” McNabb said afterwards. “And I never want to see a friend get hurt.”

In the never-ending soap opera that has followed the revolving quarterback controversy in Philadelphia, that meant a return to duty for Kevin Kolb.

Kolb, of course, was earlier in the season the Eagles quarterback of the future after the trading of McNabb then following a concussion suffered in the season opener, lost his job to Vick.

The day, though, clearly belonged to McNabb who in the opening quarter took the crowd out of the game by engineering two touchdown drives on the Redskins first two possessions. As it turned out, that would be enough.

Other than the homecoming and the win, McNabb won’t have any glowing memories about his own play as he was a shoddy 8-for-19 for 125 yards, one touchdown and one interception. In the second half he was a non-factor, going 2-for-11 for 10 yards.

“It’s one I take pride in,” McNabb said of the day. “I’m excited that we’re 2-0 in the division.”

He was surprised though, at the reception he received.

“I said all week I wasn’t going to let it affect me,” McNabb said. “But I was overwhelmed a little by the standing ovation and reception that I got.

“I didn’t expect to be cheered the whole game. I think all the quarterbacks got booed today.”

On that, he was right on the money.

Kolb ended the game 22-for-35 for 201 yards with most of his yardage coming late in the game.

The injury to Vick came on — what else — a scramble where he zigged up the middle and was hit simultaneously by two players at the one. The play was negated by a holding call and after getting to his feet, Vick bent over in pain and was attended to on the field.

After a quick examination at the Eagles bench, he gingerly walked off the field and into the clubhouse taking all the mojo the Eagles had accumulated in their previous two victories with him.

With Vick out of the game, McNabb seemed to lose interest as his second half was more than ratty.

Without Vick the Eagles, now 2-2, were a bungling outfit. In the final seconds of the first half they took a time out at the one, decided to go for it on fourth down and then took too long getting the play off and were penalized for delay of game. “For that I take responsibility,” coach Andy Reid said. “I goofed.”

The Eagles settled for a field goal, but the fans didn’t let them off the hook as they booed them off the field.

It was nothing that McNabb hadn’t seen and heard before in his decade-plus here.

On the Washington sideline McNabb seemed serene, his days of drama and controversy here kicked to the curb.

The page, at least for him, has been turned.


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