Mark Brunell saw Santana Moss. He didn't see Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown.
Brunell's third-quarter pass to Moss, which would have given the Redskins a first down in Eagles' territory, was picked off by Brown. He sidestepped a tackle by Brunell and raced 70 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles an insurmountable 27-3 lead.
And with that, a Redskins season of great expectations seemed to wash away at rain-soaked Lincoln Financial Field. Washington is 3-6 and in last place in the highly competitive NFC East.
In the topsy-turvy NFL, the Redskins could still make a late-season run at the postseason, but after the 27-3 loss to the Eagles, playoff possibilities seem remote.
Late in the first quarter, the Redskins suffered a blow when Clinton Portis suffered a fractured right hand. Portis left the game and did not return. Team officials will announce his status on Monday. It's expected that Portis will require surgery and he could be sidelined for 3-4 weeks.
On Jan. 1, 2006, at Lincoln Financial Field, the Redskins celebrated a five-game winning streak and a playoff berth. Now, the team faces some serious questions.
To help answer those questions, head coach Joe Gibbs said the team would review game film closely.
"We need to take a long hard look at everything," he said.
On offense, the Redskins moved the ball into Eagles' territory six times, but came away with just three points. With the exception of a 43-yard pass to Brandon Lloyd, Brunell struggled to get the ball downfield. He finished the game 16-of-31 for 132 yards, to go along with the interception.
With Portis sidelined, Ladell Betts took over the running duties and he showed promise, finishing with 83 yards on 20 carries. Betts also led the team in receptions with four catches for eight yards.
Defensively, the Redskins yielded an 84-yard touchdown in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the defense was the victim of a fluke touchdown when an Eagles player snatched a fumble mid-air and raced 37 yards for a score.
On special teams, kicker Nick Novak was 1-of-2 on field goals, missing a 48-yarder. He is 3-of-7 on field goals since replacing injured John Hall in Week 6.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard first, using versatile running back Brian Westbrook in the run and the pass. He picked up 18 yards on the ground, then one play later, he caught a 17-yard pass from quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The Redskins' defense stopped Westbrook on a 3rd-and-1 play at the 20-yard line, and the Eagles settled for a 37-yard field goal by David Akers.
Meantime, the Redskins' offense drove into Eagles' territory on its first two possessions, but could not capitalize. On the second possession, with the Redskins at the Eagles' 27-yard line, Brunell was flagged for intentional grounding. The offense was pushed back out of field goal range, and eventually punted.
The Eagles took over at their own 16-yard line. On the first play, McNabb threw a deep pass to wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who was open after darting past Sean Taylor into the secondary. Stallworth raced untouched into the end zone for an 84-yard touchdown, giving the Eagles a 10-0 advantage.
The Redskins responded by driving into Eagles' territory again. On the drive's second play, Portis picked up nine yards, but he suffered a right hand injury and went into the locker room for examination. It was announced later that Portis had fractured his hand and he would not return to the game.
Betts took over the rushing duties and picked up a first down. On 4th-and-4 at the Eagles' 35-yard line, the Redskins opted to go for it. Brunell converted on a short pass in the flat to Betts, a 6-yard gain.
The Redskins were thwarted again, though, when Brunell's 3rd-and-11 pass sailed past Brandon Lloyd. Novak came on for a 48-yard field goal attempt, but his kick was just outside the right crossbar.
The Eagles took over possession and used a quick-strike offense to score again. On a 3rd-and-15 play, McNabb found wide receiver Reggie Brown for a 20-yard pickup.
On the tackle, Shawn Springs jarred the ball loose from Brown's hands and the ball popped up in the air. Running back Correll Buckhalter was there to grab the fumble, mid-air. Buckhalter skipped through a tackle by Taylor and raced 37 yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 17-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, the Redskins moved into Eagles' territory again. Brunell connected with Lloyd on a 43-yard pass down the left sideline, giving Washington the ball at the Eagles' 17-yard line.
The Redskins could not convert a 3rd-and-6 play, as Brunell's pass to Moss was incomplete. So Novak came on for a 31-yard field goal attempt, and this time he converted, cutting the Eagles lead to 17-3.
By the time the third quarter had started, the rain picked up and the ball appeared slippery for ball-handlers.
The Eagles took the second-half kickoff and marched downfield, with McNabb completing three passes to Stallworth, including a 7-yard pickup on a 4th-and-4 play at the Redskins' 25-yard line.
On the next play, Westbrook caught a 13-yard pass from a scrambling McNabb to the Redskins' 2-yard line, but the ball appeared to slip loose from Westbrook's hands. The apparent fumble was recovered by Lemar Marshall.
Referees ruled that Westbrook was down by contact, but it appeared he fumbled the ball before he was touched by a Redskins defender. The Redskins challenged the play, but replay upheld the ruling on the field. Gibbs and assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams were noticeably upset on the sidelines.
The Redskins' defense stepped up, though, keeping Philadelphia's offense out of the end zone on three attempts. The Eagles settled for a 25-yard field goal by Akers and a 20-3 lead.
Midway through the third quarter, with the game slipping away, the Redskins began to abandon the run and mount a comeback via the passing game.
That's whenBrunell threw his ill-timed interception. It came on a 2nd-and-10 play at the Eagles' 35-yard line. Moss ran a short out pattern, but Brown stepped in front for the pick.
The rain poured harder, and even though there were 23 minutes left in the game, a comeback was not in the offing. The Eagles held the ball for the final 9:23 of the game, as Westbrook finished with 113 yards on 22 carries.
#### -- PRE-GAME COVERAGE
The Redskins travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 12, in a key NFC East matchup at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
The Redskins are 1-2 in NFC East play this year, having just defeated the Dallas Cowboys 22-19 at FedExField last Sunday. The Eagles are 1-1 in the NFC East.
The Redskins-Eagles game will be broadcast on FOX. Locally, WTTG-FOX 5 will televise the game. Dick Stockton will call the play-by-play, with color analysis from Daryl Johnston. Tony Siragusa will serve as the sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast on Triple X ESPN Radio (94.3, 92.7 FM and 730 AM). Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary from Redskins legends and NFL Hall of Famers quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and linebacker Sam Huff. Bram Weinstein will serve as sideline reporter.
The Redskins are coming off a dramatic 22-19, last second victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 5 at FedExField.
Philadelphia coming off a bye. On Oct. 22, the Eagles lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-6 at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the third consecutive loss by the Eagles.
The Jaguars rushed for 209 yards in the game and dominated the line of scrimmage. Meantime, Brian Westbrook rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries and Donovan McNabb was sacked for times. He completed 18-of-34 passes for 161 yards.
#### -- PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||18 Donte Stallworth|
|LT||60 Chris Samuels||72 William Thomas|
|LG||66 Derrick Dockery||79 Todd Herremans|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||67 Jamaal Jackson|
|RG||77 Randy Thomas||73 Shawn Andrews|
|RT||76 Jon Jansen||69 Jon Runyan|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||82 L.J. Smith|
|WR||85 Brandon Lloyd||86 Reggie Brown|
|QB||8 Mark Brunell||5 Donovan McNabb|
|FB||45 Mike Sellers||38 Thomas Tapeh|
|RB||26 Clinton Portis||36 Brian Westbrook|
|DE||99 Andre Carter||58 Trent Cole|
|DT||96 Cornelius Griffin||98 Mike Patterson|
|DT/RE||95 Joe Salave'a||97 Darwin Walker|
|DE||93 Phillip Daniels||90 Darren Howard|
|SLB||53 M. Washington||55 Dhani Jones|
|MLB||98 Lemar Marshall||54 Jeremiah Trotter|
|WLB||57 W. Holdman||51 Matt McCoy|
|LCB||22 Carlos Rogers||26 Lito Sheppard|
|RCB||24 Shawn Springs||24 Sheldon Brown|
|SS||40 Adam Archuleta||37 Sean Considine|
|FS||21 Sean Taylor||20 Brian Dawkins|
|P||4 Derrick Frost||8 Dirk Johnson|
|K||3 Nick Novak||2 David Akers|
|H||4 Derrick Frost||8 Dirk Johnson|
|LS||71 Ethan Albright||88 Mike Bartrum|
|KOR||46 Ladell Betts||34 Reno Mahe|
|PR||83 James Thrash||34 Reno Mahe|
|REDSKINS 2006 STATISTICAL RANKINGS|
#### -- NEWS & NOTES
- A Redskins' win over the Eagles would:
-- Give the Redskins three consecutive wins over the Eagles and two consecutive wins at Lincoln Financial Field
-- Give head coach Joe Gibbs an all-time record of 20-10 vs. the Eagles
-- Give head coach Joe Gibbs a 3-2 record against Andy Reid-coached teams
- The Eagles are the third team coming off a bye that the Redskins will have played this season.
- Philadelphia is an NFL-best 7-0 in post-bye games since 1999. With last Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins are 6-2 in post-bye games.
- Redskins safety Troy Vincent played for the Eagles from 1996-2003 and had five consecutive Pro Bowl berths from 1999-2003. Redskins wide receiver James Thrash played for the Redskins from 2001-03. And Redskins linebacker Jeff Posey played with the Eagles briefly in 2001.
- Special teams coordinator Danny Smith coached special teams in Philadelphia from 1995-96, then switched to defensive backs coach from 1997-98. He coached in Philadelphia under Ray Rhodes, who was the Redskins' defensive coordinator in 2001.
-- FAMILIAR FACES ON THE EAGLES
- Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter played for the Redskins from 2002-03. He was originally drafted by Philadelphia in 1998, signed with Washington in 2004 as a free agent, then returned to the Eagles in 2004.
- Kicker David Akers played for the Redskins in 1998.
- Linebacker Shawn Barber played for the Redskins from 1998-2001. Barber was the Redskins' fourth-round draft choice in 1998.
- Linebackers coach Steve Spagnuolo was a player personnel intern with the Redskins in 1983.