Thursday, September 30, 2010, 9:44 PM
By Rich Tandler
The flip side of Donovan McNabb squaring off against the Eagles as a member of the Washington Redskins is that he wont be facing the Redskins this year. Although we dont yet know how well Michael Vick will perform against Washington, it is safe to say that he cant be much harder on the Redskins than McNabb was for the Eagles from 1999 through last year.
McNabb faced the Redskins 19 times in the 22 games that the teams played against each other in those 11 years, all of them during the regular season. He completed 354 of 608 passes (58.55) for 3,949 yards (208 yardsgame) with 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. That comes to a quarterback rating of 81.1. Although his completion percentage, interception percentage (2.5), and quarterback rating against Washington were all slightly below his career averages, that didnt stop McNabb from being able to beat the Redskins on a regular basis; he was 12-7 as a starter against Washington.
Given the Redskins relative lack of success during McNabbs tenure, the teams rarely met late in the year with very much on the line. The loss in November of 2000, detailed below, was a huge blow to Washingtons playoff chances that year and proved to be a stepping stone to Phillys run of success during the decade.
The Redskins did clinch their 2005 season playoff berth in Philadelphia (the game was played on Jan. 2, 2006), but McNabbs season had ended with a torn ACL in November. Mike McMahon started that game for the Eagles. A. J. Feeley (2002) and Jeff Garcia (2006) both won against the Redskins while filling in for an injured McNabb.
Here is a look through the years with some of the highlights (from both the Redskins and Eagles perspectives) of Donovan McNabb vs. the Washington Redskins.
Nov. 14, 1999 Eagles 35, Redskins 28This was McNabbs first NFL start. He didnt post great numbers, going 8-for-21 for 60 yards. In fact, he gained almost as many yards on the ground, 49, as he did passing. But the Eagles, 2-7 going into the game, took advantage of six Redskins turnovers and some ill-timed penalties to overcome a 21-10 second-quarter deficit and take a 35-28 win from the playoff-bound Redskins.
Nov. 28, 1999 Redskins 20, Eagles 17 (OT)This is when the Redskins started to get the idea that this McNabb guy might be a real pain. Two weeks after McNabbs starting debut, the two teams met again at FedExField. The home team appeared to be cruising, leading 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. But McNabb engineered two touchdown drives, both of which culminated in touchdown passes to tight end Luther Broughton. The second one came with 1:52 left to play. The Redskins Brett Conway missed a 28-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation, but he recovered to boot a 27-yard game-winner in overtime.
Nov. 26, 2000 Eagles 23, Redskins 20McNabb threw 30 times to gain 137 yards (4.6 yardsattempt), but he ran for 125 yards. It added up to enough to beat the Redskins. McNabbs 54-yard run set up a 50-yard David Akers field goal in the fourth quarter. The loss was the beginning of the end for Norv Turner, who was fired as head coach a week later after a loss to the Giants.
Nov. 6, 2005 Redskins 17, Eagles 10One of McNabbs best statistical performances against Washington was wasted, at least from the Eagles perspective, in this Sunday night contest. He went 22-for-35 for 304 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The turnover was critical. It came with 90 seconds to play with the Eagles facing fourth-and-four at the Washington seven. Ryan Clark came up with McNabbs pass into traffic, preserving Joe Gibbs first win over McNabb.
Sept. 17, 2007 Redskins 20, Eagles 12McNabb led another Eagles comeback bid that fell just short. The Redskins took a 10-6 halftime lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell to Chris Cooley. At first, Gibbs sent out the field-goal team, but after And Reid called timeout, he reconsidered and sent his offense back out onto the field. The Redskins expanded their lead to 20-9 before McNabb led a comeback effort. One trip to the red zone resulted in a 22-yard Akers field goal to make it 20-12. In the closing minutes, McNabb drove the Eagles close again, but rookie safety LaRon Landry smacked Kevin Curtis to break up a fourth-down pass to preserve the win.
Dec. 21, 2008 Redskins 10, Eagles 3McNabbs last loss to the Redskins almost wasnt. The Redskins took a 10-0 lead in the third quarter on Clinton Portis one-yard run, a score set up when Jason Taylor hit McNabb from the blind side, forcing a fumble that London Fletcher recovered and returned to the Philly 18. The Eagles answered with a 22-yard Akers field goal. The Eagles last gasp almost sent the game into overtime. In the closing minutes McNabb drove them from their own nine to the Washington 18. With no timeouts left, McNabb threw to Reggie Brown just short of the goal line. LaRon Landry hit Brown high and Fred Smoot hit him low, driving the receiver back. The clock hit 0:00 before McNabb could get off another play. After the play survived a replay challenge, the Redskins were able to celebrate.
You can reach Rich by email atRTandlerCSN@comcast.net.Sendhimyourquestionsforourweeklymailbagfeature.
Rich Tandler has beenfollowing the Redskins since 1966. He has written three books on theteam includingGutCheck,TheGloryDaysofCoachJoeGibbs Washington Redskins1981-1992. Fordetails on this and on Richs other available titles, visitwww.RichTandler.com.