Final

Eagles 37

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Redskins 7

(1-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: ABC

9:00 PM ET, September 16, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 14 9 7 737
WSH 0 7 0 07

McNabb's Eagles provide offensive fireworks

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- On an odd night -- when the field was cleared because of pepper spray -- Steve Spurrier's offense didn't score a single point.

The coach's Monday night NFL debut turned into his worst loss in more than six years as both of his quarterbacks sputtered in the Washington Redskins' 37-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Donovan McNabb felt the effects when pepper spray was dispensed into the crowd in the fourth quarter, causing a game delay.

The bad night for the Redskins turned bizarre in the fourth quarter when the smell of pepper spray used by police to break up a fight the stands spread to the Eagles bench. At least one player vomited, but the spray soon dissipated and play resumed after an eight-minute delay.

The Eagles beat Spurrier at his own game. They went long on their first play and stayed aggressive, keeping the Redskins' defense off guard with a mixture of formations.

"We got clobbered,'' Spurrier said. "We never could go anywhere. They beat us every which way.''

Donovan McNabb threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, completing 26 of 38 passes for 292 yards. He also ran for 36 yards on five carries.

It was a change of pace from last week, when the Eagles built a 24-10 lead and blew it by going conservative in the second half in a 27-24 loss to Tennessee.

"We started fast and we finished strong, which is something we had to do after last week's extravaganza,'' Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said.

The Redskins' best field position to start a drive was their own 29, and they never got beyond Philadelphia's 35. Washington's only score came on Jacquez Green's 90-yard punt return in the second quarter.

It was Spurrier's worst defeat as a coach since Florida's 62-24 loss to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 1996. He had only one other loss by 30 or more points with the Gators: 45-3 at Tennessee in 1990.

"I've had my butt kicked before,'' Spurrier said, "so we're not going to be shell-shocked. Sometimes it helps to lose.''

It didn't matter who the quarterback was. Danny Wuerffel played the second half after Shane Matthews had his non-throwing shoulder bruised late in the first half. Matthews was 10-of-22 for 62 yards and an interception, while Wuerffel was 6-of-9 for 57 yards with one interception and four sacks.

Spurrier said Matthews will start next week's game at San Francisco, but his quarterbacks' performances were so weak that he hinted he might rush first-round draft pick Patrick Ramsey along.

"We may practice Patrick up a little bit,'' Spurrier said. "We'll see how close he is to being ready.''

The result creates a four-way tie in the NFC East. All four teams are 1-1.

Spurrier showed a range of emotions, from wiping away tears following a moment of silence for Johnny Unitas to lots of face-rubbing and head-scratching and even duck-like lip-pursing as the offense went awry. For the record, he wasn't wearing his trademark visor because it was a night game.

The Redskins opened in the no-huddle offense for the second consecutive week, but every play in the opening drive was either a run or a short pass to a running back. Matthews was completely out of sync, and the offense didn't cross midfield until the final drive of the half.

Spurrier went for it on fourth down twice, once on fourth-and-1 from his own 38. Stephen Davis ran for 10 yards on the play, but Matthews was intercepted by Troy Vincent three plays later.

The sure sign that things weren't going right: Spurrier gave cornerback Champ Bailey his first offensive touch since 2000 on a pitch reverse, but Bailey fumbled after a hit by Carlos Emmons. The Eagles converted the turnover into a field goal.

The Eagles, meanwhile, were an offensive thing of beauty on the first drive. James Thrash got cornerback Fred Smoot completely lost on the first play and caught a pass for a 33-yard gain. Todd Pinkston caught a 26-yarder over Darrell Green, and McNabb capped the six-play, 80-yard drive by scrambling outside of Pro Bowl linebackers LaVar Arrington, Jeremiah Trotter and Jessie Armstead for eight yards into the end zone.

On the second drive, McNabb rolled out and suckered Armstead into leaving Duce Staley alone for a 22-yard reception. The Redskins eventually forced the Eagles to kick a field goal, but Arrington jumped offside on the attempt to give the Eagles a first-and-goal that McNabb converted into a 2-yard TD pass to tight end Jeff Thomason.

McNabb didn't stop at halftime. He hit Thrash with a 39-yard TD pass to Thrash early in the third quarter to make it 30-7.

Dorsey Levens had a 47-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

The pepper spray delay came with 6:38 remaining. The Eagles players scattered from their bench onto the field. The players and fans in the stands on that side of the stadium were holding their noses with concerned looks on their faces in a time when people are so worried about security.

After a brief conference between referee Bob McElwee and a uniformed officer, play resumed after a delay of eight minutes.

"Whenever you see your teammates coming out on the field and pretty much grabbing their throats or covering their nose, it's a pretty tough situation,'' McNabb said. "I've never been a part of anything like that.''

Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson said a Prince George's County police officer intervened in a fight and that a "small amount of pepper spray'' was used to move the fans back. The cooling fans on the Philadelphia bench helped spread the spray quickly. No arrests were made.

Game notes


Hugh Douglas got his 41st sack as a member of the Eagles, moving him into fourth place on team's career list. ... Eagles running back Brian Westbrook left with bruised ribs in the second half. ... Green's punt return was the second longest in Redskins history. Bill Dudley ran one back 96 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERPHIWSH
wsh12:29
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
147
THIRD QUARTERPHIWSH
phiTD10:14Touchdown
Drive info: 2 plays, 45 yds, 1:58
297
phi10:14
Drive info: 2 plays, 45 yds, 1:58
307
SECOND QUARTERPHIWSH
phiFG5:27David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yds, 0:00
207
wshTD12:29Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 1 yds, 0:50
146
FIRST QUARTERPHIWSH
phiTD8:30Donovan McNabb, 8 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 3:23
60
SECOND QUARTERPHIWSH
phiFG0:04David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 30 yds, 0:52
237
FIRST QUARTERPHIWSH
phi8:30
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 3:23
70
SECOND QUARTERPHIWSH
phiFG7:05David Akers 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 72 yds, 4:00
177
FIRST QUARTERPHIWSH
phiTD0:54Touchdown
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yds, 4:16
130
FOURTH QUARTERPHIWSH
phiTD10:10Dorsey Levens, 47 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 88 yds, 16:40
367
FIRST QUARTERPHIWSH
phi0:54
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yds, 4:16
140
FOURTH QUARTERPHIWSH
phi10:10
Drive info: 9 plays, 88 yds, 16:40
377