Redskins top Eagles in an ugly one, 28-3 Philadelphia gifts lift Washington as both teams play to their 2-8 marks

November 16, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- What in the name of Joe Gibbs and Buddy Ryan was going on at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium yesterday?

Back in the days when Gibbs and Ryan were matching wits, Washington Redskins-Philadelphia Eagles games were high-stakes battles played at packed stadiums. Those games were played with such intensity that one of them was dubbed the "Body Bag Game."

The teams are now run by a pair of lame-duck coaches -- Norv Turner and Ray Rhodes, both of whom are likely be fired at the end of the season -- and their game yesterday resembled a pillow fight.

The Redskins won, 28-3, to leave these two downtrodden teams at 2-8. They showed why two of their combined four victories have come against each other. Each team beat the other at home. Neither has won a road game, and the Eagles are 0-13-1 in their last 14 road contests.

Even the score was misleading because the Eagles, who trailed only 7-3 after 29 minutes, gift-wrapped two touchdowns for the Redskins with turnovers.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie used the word "pitiful" a dozen times in a three-minute locker-room interview after the game to describe his team's play. "Today was a day you would rather watch paint dry than watch our team play," he said.

The poorly played game featured overthrown passes and dropped passes.

"It's all fun now because you won, but I don't know what happened with the drops," said Redskins quarterback Trent Green. "There were some areas we could have been more productive."

They didn't have to be because the Eagles were so inept, managing just nine first downs and failing to get a first down on seven possessions.

The Redskins got all the help they needed when rookie Skip Hicks ran for 94 yards and three touchdowns, Brian Mitchell ran for 54 yards and caught four passes for 28, and Cris Dishman intercepted a pair of passes.

A crowd of 67,704 showed up at the stadium that seats 80,000, and they booed in the fourth quarter even though the Redskins were up 21-3.

They were frustrated that the Redskins had a first down at the Eagles' 13 on the final play of the third quarter, lost a yard on three downs and missed a field-goal attempt.

The tone of the game was set on the first series for each team. The Redskins went for it on fourth-and-four at the Eagles' 38. The Eagles went for it on fourth-and-two at the Washington 36. Both teams failed to make it. The Eagles missed three other fourth-down attempts, one each in the final three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles had a third-and-one at their 32. Philadelphia quarterback Bobby Hoying fell down when a lineman stepped on his foot. It was that kind of game. On a third-and-one in the third quarter, Eagles running back Duce Staley was stopped for no gain.

The Redskins got their first touchdown on a 10-yard drive after Hoying couldn't even throw a proper screen pass in the first quarter. He failed to get it over the head of Kelvin Kinney, who tipped it. Defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson intercepted it to set up the touchdown.

The Eagles' first scoring drive was for all of 6 yards after Green fumbled while being sacked and Henry Thomas recovered at the Washington 8.

The Eagles couldn't get into the end zone and settled for a field goal.

After the Eagles failed on a fourth-and-two at the Washington 35 with 1: 25 left, the Redskins drove for their second touchdown.

Three times, Green handed off to Mitchell from the shotgun formation. Mitchell ran for 13, 16 and 7 yards against an Eagles defense that appeared befuddled by the tactic.

A questionable, 21-yard pass-interference call was the other key play in the drive capped by Hicks' 1-yard run.

Green beat an Eagles blitz in the third quarter for a 56-yard scoring pass to Albert Connell.

Pub Date: 11/16/98

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