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Eagles use big plays to rout Redskins

Nov 12, 2006 - 9:22 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Thanks to a trio of big plays, Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid still is perfect coming off a bye.

Donovan McNabb threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Donte' Stallworth and Correll Buckhalter reached the end zone on a wacky play in the first half as the Eagles coasted to a 27-3 victory over the Washington Redskins in a matchup of NFC East rivals.

Cornerback Sheldon Brown also scored on a 70-yard interception return in the third quarter for the Eagles (5-4), who improved to 8-0 under Reid following their bye.

"It's a good win against an NFC East opponent," Reid said. "I was happy with some of the things I saw. Do we have room for improvement? Absolutely. I feel good about how the coordinators put together a game plan and how the players executed."

Reid said he let offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg call a lot of the plays.

"Marty's track record is proven," Reid said. "If I'm in a rut, I feel very comfortable turning it over to him and it gave me an opportunity to see both sides of the ball and evaluate it a little bit more."

Brian Westbrook rushed for 113 yards on 22 carries for Philadelphia, which stopped a three-game losing streak in a contest played in a steady rain.

The Redskins (3-6) lost Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis to a broken right hand in the first quarter.

"My best guess is that it may be something that you have to put some screws in or something," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "I haven't talked to anybody yet, so don't hold me to that."

After David Akers' 37-yard field goal opened the scoring midway through the first quarter, McNabb and Stallworth extended the lead to 10-0 with 3:24 left in the first quarter.

McNabb used a play-fake to freeze safety Sean Taylor, who Stallworth ran by. Stallworth finished with six catches for 139 yards.

"The coaches called that (play) at the perfect time," Stallworth said. "I think that the way it worked out was exactly the way we drew it up."

McNabb struggled with his accuracy at times and completed just 12-of-26 passes for 222 yards.

"It doesn't matter what my stats are as long as we are winning," McNabb said. "We've lost ballgames where we've had over 500 yards of total offense and the other team had just barely over a hundred."

Less than five minutes into the second quarter, the Eagles used a fortunate bounce to extend the lead to 17-0.

"The way things have been going early on in the first part of the season, it's good that we finally had something bounce our way," McNabb said.

McNabb completed a 20-yard pass along the right sideline to wide receiver Reggie Brown, who had the ball jarred loose by cornerback Shawn Springs. In stride, Buckhalter grabbed the ball out of mid-air and raced 37 yards to the end zone.

"I thought I made a good play and popped the ball out and the ball went back to (Buckhalter) for a touchdown," Springs said. "It is just how things have been going on around here."

Nick Novak kicked a 32-yard field goal with 4:50 left in the first half to pull the Redskins within 17-3.

Last week, Novak kicked a 47-yard field goal on the game's final play to lift the Redskins to a wild 22-19 victory over Dallas. But the Redskins were unable to build on that win as they matched their loss total from last season.

"I think we'll fight to the bitter end," Gibbs said. "That's what I want us to do and I think that's what our players want.

"As I look around that locker room, a bunch of those guys were with us when we went 6-10 (two seasons ago) and then they turn around last year and they were with me when we made it to the playoffs. I think that group with their character will fight."

Betts, who took over in place of Portis, rushed for 83 yards on 20 carries. However, Mark Brunell offered little in the passing game, completing 16-of-31 passes for 132 yards and an interception.

"Ladell stepped in there and did real well," Brunell said. "Ladell will always do that, (but) the passing game needed to be better. We needed to be more efficient and that wasn't the case today."

Akers kicked a 25-yard field goal with 9:14 left in the third quarter to make it 20-3.

Brown sealed the win less than three minutes later, stepping in front of a pass from Brunell and racing untouched down the right sideline.

"It was Cover-1, man coverage," Brown said. "Basically, your job is on the receiver. The ball was actually thrown behind the receiver and I just broke at the right time.

"This is one of those games that we can build off of. We played four quarters and we hadn't really done that the whole year."

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