PHILADELPHIA -- If it had been a fight, the Philadelphia Eagles would have won on a TKO last night.
It turned out that the Washington Redskins' latest storybook quarterback tale had a nightmarish ending.
Not only did Jeff Rutledge fail to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, but he failed to finish the game.
The tough Philadelphia defense knocked out Rutledge and Stan Humphries last night while battering the Redskins, 28-14.
By the time it was over, Rutledge was out with a sprained thumb, Humphries was sidelined with a sprained knee, rookie Brian Mitchell was playing quarterback and the Redskins were wondering who will start Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
"It was a big setback," coach Joe Gibbs said. "We lost the game and we got a lot of guys hurt."
Mark Rypien, who's been on the injured reserved list since suffering a knee injury on Sept. 23, Gary Hogeboom, who was on the inactive list, and Rutledge are candidates to start next week.
The Eagles exploded for three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the third period to turn the game into a rout.
"No question about it, it was a great game," Eagles coach Buddy Ryan said. "It was probably one of the best defensive games since I've been here."
Rutledge, the career backup who brought the Redskins back from a 21-point deficit against the Detroit Lions a week ago to earn just the 10th start in his 12-year career, had none of the magic he displayed last week.
He was driven out of the game with the thumb injury when he took a blindside hit by Wes Hopkins with 2 minutes, 41 seconds left in the third period. Clyde Simmons picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead.
Humphries replaced Rutledge, but Byron Evans tipped his pass with 1:37 left in the third period and Reggie White caught the ball in the air for an interception and ran it to the Redskins' 9 before Raleigh McKenzie dragged him down. Randall Cunningham then threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Heath Sherman on the final play of the third period to make it 28-7.
White was a virtual one-man wrecking crew. He had complained last week that the Redskins had chop-blocked him when they met last time and said he was going to even the score.
He wasn't done even after the interception. He knocked Humphries out with a sprained knee with 9:55 left in the game when the quarterback tried to run for a first down on a fourth-and-one play at the Eagles' 9 and White dragged him to the ground.
White said, "I don't like to see anybody get hurt, especially by me."
White was needled because an offensive lineman caught him. "That's all right, as long as I got the interception," he said.
Rutledge completed only six of 19 passes for 62 yards before he was knocked out. He is 2-7-1 as a starter.
"It was tough," Rutledge said. "That's a good defensive team."
Mitchell, who finished the game at quarterback and even scored a touchdown, said: "I was nervous. It felt real strange."
When Gibbs gave Rutledge the starting nod, he talked about how he could give the Redskins the same kind of lift that Doug Williams did when he led the team to the Super Bowl in 1987.
But nothing went right for Rutledge last night. His throws were off and the Redskins didn't give him much running help. They gained only 50 yards on the ground on 21 carries and Gerald Riggs went out in the first half with the same kind of arch injury that bothered him much of last season.
While the Redskins had trouble running, Sherman gained 124 yard on 35 carries for the Eagles and caught a touchdown pass.
"I'm not really the man because we have a lot of good people," Sherman said.
Rutledge also didn't get much help from his teammates on the two critical plays of the game -- William Frizell's 30-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter and Hopkins' blindside hit in the third quarter.
On the first play, a back lined up in the wrong formation, and on the second play, Rutledge didn't get the protection from the blindside because nobody picked up Hopkins. He didn't look to his left because it was supposed to be protected.
Besides Rutledge, Humphries and Riggs, the other Redskins injured were Walter Stanley (sprained knee), Greg Manusky (sprained knee), Joe Howard (concussion) and Ed Simmons (sore right knee).
"I can't remember this many things going wrong for us. I haven't seen that since I left Rice," defensive lineman Darryl Grant said.
Defensive lineman Eric Williams said: "It hurts. It just gnaws at you like an ulcer."
The loss left the Redskins in a tie with the Eagles at 5-4 for the first two National Football Conference wild-card spots in the playoffs.