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'Skins roll it up,then unravel
Redskins vs Eagles

 The Eagles stopped Ladell Betts (46) here, but the Redskin tallied 171 yards on the day.
NICK WASS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 12/11/2006

By ADAM HIMMELSBACH

LANDOVER, Md.--The box score from this game might seem like a conundrum.

It shows that the Redskins gained 152 more yards and six more first downs than the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday. It shows that they had a 15-minute edge in time of possession, and that their running back had a career afternoon.

But the only thing that matters, the only thing Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and his team and most of the 84,164 fans who piled into FedEx Field care about, is that Washington lost the game, 21-19.

And that loss, combined with victories by the Eagles, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, all of whom are 7-6, officially eliminates Washington (4-9) from playoff contention. But that fact was essentially a formality for the Redskins, as this disappointing season continues to turn into a big mud puddle.

After the final whistle yesterday, there was a smattering of boos as the players walked off the field. The noise was more from indifference than anger, as the crowd seemed to come to grips with this team's standing.

"We never expected to be here, but it happened," defensive end Andre Carter said. "To some degree, we've been humbled by the experience."

The Redskins fought back from a 21-3 deficit yesterday and had a chance to take the lead when they had a first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, trailing 21-16. But a messy mix of plays that included a stuffed run, an incomplete pass, a penalty and a sack forced the Redskins to settle for a Shaun Suisham field goal, and the Eagles offense managed to run out the clock.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles seemed destined for the same drudgery as the Redskins. They were 5-6, and their star quarterback, Donovan McNabb, was out for the season because of a torn Achilles tendon. But 36-year-old veteran signal-caller Jeff Garcia has guided Philadelphia back into playoff contention.

Garcia was 15-for-23 for 164 yards and two touchdowns yesterday, and in the past three weeks has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions.

"We're a team that's not necessarily playing perfect football at times, but we're competitive and battling," Garcia said. "I think that's what you have to appreciate about these guys."


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Eagles 21, Redskins 19