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10/17/2011 8:54 AM EDT
Eagles beat Redskins 20-13 to end losing skid at 4
PHILADELPHIA 20, WASHINGTON 13
By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles know a thing or two
about turnovers, having committed more than their share during a
four-game losing streak.
This time, they got the other team in the act.
Using Rex Grossman as a foil, the defense picked off four passes
- more than doubling its total for the season - to pull off what
was essentially a must-win while simultaneously creating a fresh
quarterback controversy for a division rival.
Kurt Coleman had three interceptions, and the so-called dream
team of the NFC East proved it isn't buried quite yet. Sunday's
20-13 victory over the Washington Redskins gives the Eagles some
momentum headed into a bye week that's followed by three
straight home games.
"We know we have a long road to go," Coleman said. "But if we
continue to play like we did today, then I think we're on our
The Eagles (2-4) raced to a 20-0 second-quarter lead before
regressing a bit in the second half. Any hopes for that evasive
turnover-free day from the offense came to an end when Michael
Vick had a tipped pass intercepted near Washington's goal line
in the third quarter.
Then, when Vick left the game for two plays after getting dirt
in his eye, Vince Young made his Eagles debut and threw a pick
that gave the Redskins the ball at the Philadelphia 18.
But Grossman returned the favor two plays later, with Coleman
capitalizing on a pass intended for tight end Fred Davis over
the middle. The Eagles led the NFL with 15 giveaways coming into
the game and added two more - but Grossman was twice as
"We need to reduce them more; that's still too many," Eagles
coach Andy Reid said. "Now they had a few which helped the cause
there, but we need to keep working at that."
Fans started chanting "We want Beck!" after Grossman threw
interception No. 4. Coach Mike Shanahan obliged by putting John
Beck in the game for the fourth quarter, the quarterback's first
action in a regular season game since 2007.
Beck looked understandably rusty, but he got the Redskins back
into the game with a 2-yard quarterback draw to cap an 80-yard
drive that pulled Washington within seven points with 2:44
remaining. The Eagles then ran out the clock with the tail end
of a 126-yard day from LeSean McCoy, who had a career-high 28
carries and excitedly punched Reid in the chest during the
game's final moments.
Reid didn't mind at all.
"Andy, we're like his kids," McCoy said of his stout coach.
"We're still young. I kind of punched him. ... A lot of cushion
Grossman now has 18 turnovers in eight Redskins starts,
including nine interceptions and two fumbles in five games this
year. Shanahan said he went with Beck because the team "needed a
spark." The coach wouldn't say who will start at Carolina next
week, when Washington (3-2) will try to recover after getting
knocked out of first place.
The Redskins also lost left guard Kory Lichtensteiger with a
right knee injury that "doesn't look good," according to
Shanahan. Left tackle Trent Williams severely sprained his right
ankle, and tight end Chris Cooley broke his left index finger
and will need surgery.
The Eagles had already shuffled their offensive line. King
Dunlap's back spasms and Jason Peters' hamstring injury left
them with two healthy tackles: Winston Justice, who hadn't
played a snap on offense this season; and Todd Herremans, the
usual right tackle who started on the left side for the first
time since he was a rookie in 2005.
Coleman got the call at safety because Jarrad Page was out with
a stinger. Coleman started the first three games before getting
benched; now he's the first Eagles player with three
interceptions in a game since Joe Scarpati in 1966.
"I wasn't getting it done, and that was apparent," Coleman said.
"It was a humbling experience. God taught me a lesson, and I
just worked my butt off the last couple weeks."
Vick completed 18 of 31 passes for 237 yards with one touchdown.
He also ran for 54 yards on seven carries, including a 31-yard
scamper on a third-and-10 after which he kicked a stray ball
that nearly hit a Redskins cheerleader. He paused, holding his
hand to his heart to display his remorse.
"It was very inappropriate to kick the ball," Vick said. "Sorry
about that. I apologize to the cheerleaders."
Notes: Philadelphia has won 10 of 12 at Washington, including a
59-28 laugher a year ago. ... McCoy is the first Eagles player
score a TD in six consecutive games since Ricky Watters in 1995.
... The Eagles, 30th in run defense entering the game, allowed
just 42 yards rushing. ... Washington's inactives include CB
Phillip Buchanon (neck) and WR Anthony Armstrong (hamstring).
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
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