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'Skins roll it up,then unravel

December 11, 2006 12:50 am

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The Eagles stopped Ladell Betts (46) here, but the Redskin tallied 171 yards on the day.

By ADAM HIMMELSBACH
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."

Redskins running back Ladell Betts, who on Friday signed a contract extension, continued to be one of his team's few bright spots. Filling in for the injured Clinton Portis, Betts set a career high for the second consecutive week, rushing for 171 yards on 31 carries.

Making his fourth career start, Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell rebounded from a tough first half (8-for-15, 82 yards, two interceptions) to finish with a respectable second (6-for-12, 100 yards, one touchdown).

But, as it turned out, the Redskins were unable to overcome those two interceptions. The first gaffe came with 5:26 left in the opening quarter, when Campbell looked for wide receiver Santana Moss but instead found Eagles linebacker Omar Gaither.

Philadelphia took possession at the Redskins' 31, and five plays later Garcia hit tight end L.J. Smith for a 10-yard touchdown.

With 11:10 left in the second quarter, a pass by Campbell that was intended for tight end Chris Cooley was batted into the air and intercepted by Philadelphia's Michael Lewis. The safety returned the ball 77 yards for a touchdown, making it 14-3.

"There really wasn't much you could do about that one," Campbell said. "You throw it in there and the DB tipped it in the air."

After the Eagles took a 21-3 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Donte Stallworth, the Redskins made it 21-9 with a pair of Suisham field goals, the second coming with 10:35 left in the third period.

Later in that quarter, the Redskins put together a nine-play, 90-yard drive that was capped by Campbell's 34-yard touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle El.

With 6:15 left in the game, the Redskins trailed 21-16 and faced first-and-goal from the 3. Backup running back T.J. Duckett was stuffed on first down and Campbell's second-down pass fell incomplete. Redskins center Casey Rabach suffered a broken hand during this drive, and the confusion with his replacements resulted in a 12-men-in-the-huddle penalty.

On third down from the 8, Campbell was sacked by Brian Dawkins, and the Redskins settled for another Suisham boot.

"We felt like with where we were at as an offense," Campbell said, "we should have gone down there and scored."

Redskins wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was replaced in the starting lineup by Randle El yesterday. Late in the Redskins' loss to the Atlanta Falcons last weekend, Lloyd was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when in frustration he threw his helmet after a Redskins interception.

Lloyd met with Gibbs on Tuesday, and yesterday admitted that Gibbs told him during that meeting that he would not start. Lloyd, who has not scored a touchdown this season, did not have a pass thrown his way until he hauled in a 40-yard toss from Randle El in the fourth quarter.

"[Coming off the bench] wouldn't be OK if I felt we were taking a step back," Lloyd said. "But we've got four receivers that are capable of starting on this football team."

EAGLES 21, REDSKINS 19

Philadelphia

7

14

0

0

--

21

Washington

3

3

10

3

--

19

First Quarter

Was--FG Suisham 31, 8:50.

Phi--L.Smith 10 pass from Garcia (Akers kick), 3:09.

Second Quarter

Phi--M.Lewis 84 interception return (Akers kick), 10:54.

Phi--Stallworth 3 pass from Garcia (Akers kick), 4:40.

Was--FG Suisham 45, :56.

Third Quarter

Was--FG Suisham 32, 10:30.

Was--Randle El 34 pass from J.Campbell (Suisham kick), :23.

Fourth Quarter

Was--FG Suisham 35, 4:58.

A--84,164.

TEAM STATISTICS

Phi

Was

First downs

14

20

Total Net Yards

263

415

Rushes-yards

22-99

40-210

Passing

164

205

Punt Returns

2-4

3-10

Kickoff Returns

6-114

3-79

Interceptions Ret.

2-100

0-0

Comp-Att-Int

15-23-0

16-28-2

Sacked-Yards Lost

0-0

2-17

Punts

5-44.6

3-48.0

Fumbles-Lost

1-1

0-0

Penalties-Yards

2-20

11-68

Time of Possession

22:14

37:46

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING--Philadelphia, Westbrook 17-88, Garcia 4-7, Buckhalter 1-4. Washington, Betts 33-171, J.Campbell 4-38, Duckett 3-1.

PASSING--Philadelphia, Garcia 15-23-0-164. Washington, J.Campbell 15-27-2-182, Randle El 1-1-0-40.

RECEIVING--Philadelphia, R.Brown 3-73, Westbrook 3-38, Stallworth 3-31, L.Smith 3-10, G.Lewis 1-7, Tapeh 1-4, Schobel 1-1. Washington, Randle El 6-85, Cooley 4-46, Moss 2-34, Betts 2-14, Lloyd 1-40, Sellers 1-3.

MISSED FIELD GOALS--None.

To reach ADAM HIMMELSBACH: 540/374-5442
Email: ahimmelsbach@freelancestar.com




Eagles 21, Redskins 19




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