Evening things up
Redskins move to within one game of Eagles at 5-5Posted: Sunday November 25, 2001 4:34 PM
Updated: Monday November 26, 2001 1:13 PM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Suddenly, the Washington Redskins are playoff contenders.
Ki-Jana Carter scored his first touchdown in two years and Washington shut down Donovan McNabb as the surprising Redskins won their fifth consecutive game, 13-3 against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Washington is the first team in NFL history to go 5-0 after starting the season with five consecutive losses. The Redskins moved within one game of the first-place Eagles in the NFC East.
"Coming from where we came from, we're in the driver's seat," Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith said. "I don't know how many people thought we'd win, but we knew it in the locker room."
Washington plays four of its last six games at home, including another matchup against the Eagles on Dec. 16.
Philadelphia (6-4) had won three in a row, including its last two by a total of 64 points. But the Eagles couldn't do anything on offense against the Redskins.
They went three-and-out on their first five possessions, punted on the first seven and didn't get a first down until the two-minute warning of the first half.
Washington controlled the ball for 37:47 and held the Eagles to 186 total yards and seven first downs.
"I can't say that we weren't ready to play, but that's the way it seemed," Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said.
After stopping Philadelphia on fourth-and-3 at their own 35 with 9:25 left, the Redskins held the ball for almost nine minutes before Brett Conway kicked a 32-yard field goal for the 10-point lead with 30 seconds left.
McNabb was 15-of-27 for 92 yards. Duce Staley had 50 yards rushing on 15 carries.
"The atmosphere was electrifying," Banks said. "It was like the playoffs. To get to 5-5 and back to mediocrity -- I'm not saying we're mediocre because we're better than that, but that's what the record is -- there's a lot of football to be played."
Carter, who entered the game when Davis left in the first quarter, gave the Redskins a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run 63 seconds into the second quarter.
Carter broke a tackle by Hollis Thomas and ran up the middle for the TD. He finished with 56 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Selected by Cincinnati with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 draft, Carter never established himself with the Bengals. He dislocated his right knee in the third game of the 1999 season and sat out until this year.
"Everybody wrote me off, but I knew what kind of player I am," Carter said. "I had confidence in myself. I knew I'd get another shot."
A 43-yard field goal by Conway gave the Redskins a 10-0 lead with eight seconds left in the first half. He missed a 37-yarder wide left in the first quarter.
David Akers cut it to 10-3 on a 49-yarder with 4:05 left in the third quarter. On third-and-2, McNabb overthrew tight end Chad Lewis, who was wide open, forcing the Eagles to settle for the field goal.
McNabb was erratic throughout the game. He overthrew receivers three times in the first quarter, bounced a pass to Lewis on a third-and-2 in the second and threw behind Freddie Mitchell on a fourth-and-3 in the fourth.
McNabb, the NFL's fourth-leading rusher among quarterbacks, didn't run the ball until the opening drive of the third quarter. He finished with 39 yards rushing on three carries.
"There were plays to be played and I didn't make them," McNabb said. "A lot of people can take the blame for today and I'm one of them. I played nowhere near as well as I'm capable of playing."
Notes: Banks has won four of six starts since joining his fourth team in four years. ... Eagles DT Corey Simon left the game with a mild right knee strain in the first quarter, but he returned on the next possession and finished with two sacks. ... In its first two possessions of games this season, Philadelphia has 13 punts, five turnovers and just two scores. ... Eagles RB Correll Buckhalter, the team's leading rusher, got just 5 yards rushing on four carries in his first game back following a one-game suspension. He had a big hit on Michael Bates on a kickoff return in the third quarter. ... Neither team had a turnover.