- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2005

If ever there was a time for the Redskins to beat the Eagles, last night at the Big Ugly in Landover was the night.

Washington was unbeaten at home. Philadelphia, the four-time NFC East champion, had been pounded in its last two road games and was distracted by yet another Terrell Owens-generated crisis.

Fiery linebacker LaVar Arrington, who wasn’t even used by assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams in Denver four weeks earlier, was back in the starting lineup and served as the defensive captain.

After quickly falling behind 7-0, the Redskins had the resolve to score on their next possession and less than nine minutes after that, they took the lead. And when the Eagles tied the game in the third quarter, the Redskins came right back to retake the lead. That’s the kind of resilience we hadn’t seen from the boys in burgundy and gold since the Clinton Administration.

And with some good fortune, the Redskins put an end to their embarrassing losing streak of seven straight games to the Eagles overall and five in a row to the Philadelphians in Landover.

Q: First, the Redskins ended their losing streak in Dallas. Now, they beat the Eagles, who’ve owned them like my mortgage company owns my house. Are we all the way back?

A: Have you forgotten the 36-0 Massacre In the Meadowlands so soon? Beating the Eagles was critical psychologically and for position in the NFC East race, but they haven’t been playing like the team that dominated the division the previous four seasons.

Don’t plan on watching your heroes in playoff games just yet. They’ve still got to play the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles again plus the Chargers, Rams and Buccaneers.

Q: How much did the Redskins pay the replay officials? I’m not used to all the calls going our way.

A: Now, now. Graciously accept your good fortune as payback for all those years of bad breaks since coach Joe Gibbs retired in 1993.

Q: Was that LaVar Arrington starting, or was I dreaming?

A: Not only did Arrington finally replace Warrick Holdman in the lineup, but he played most of the game. It’s where No. 56 should have been all along.

Q: How did the Redskins survive without their top defensive lineman, Cornelius Griffin?

A: Given how little the Eagles generated on the ground, pretty well.

Q: That 56-yard touchdown by Reggie Brown sure made the Eagles look like they can survive without T.O., didn’t it?

A: As well as T.O. played last year, the Eagles won both of their NFC playoff games when he was on the inactive list with a broken leg. But Brown only had three short catches after his touchdown until the closing minutes, and Philly is in last place in the NFC East at 4-4.

Q: What happens to T.O. now?

A: Hard to say what the Eagles will do with Mr. “It’s All About Me” for the rest of the season, but coach Andy Reid doesn’t take much guff from his players (see Trotter, Jeremiah and Simon, Corey).

T.O.’s fist fight with ex-teammate Hugh Douglas outside the locker room on Wednesday might have been the last straw. With T.O. turning 32 on Pearl Harbor Day (that’s appropriate), look for him to be playing elsewhere in 2006.

Q: Donovan McNabb, the quarterback whom T.O. once was desperate to play with, just kills the Redskins. Why can’t they tackle him?

A: McNabb is always very elusive, and against the Redskins it’s like he’s covered in grease. They’d have a better chance of catching a leaping, naked Nicollette Sheridan. Oh, sorry, I forgot T.O. did that. Make that a better chance of catching a leaping, naked Eva Longoria.

Q: What was the deal with the socks on Clinton Portis and Sean Taylor?

A: C.P. loves to play dress-up, and his former U. of Miami teammate is always happy to do something to tick off the authorities. Maybe Portis and Taylor felt it had been too long since they had been fined by the NFL.

Q: So where do the Redskins go from here?

A: Tampa. … Seriously, after traveling to Denver, Kansas City and New York plus facing the Eagles at home in four of the last five games, the upcoming meetings with the Bucs and Raiders will seem like breathers.

But the Redskins aren’t good enough to relax against anybody left on their schedule, with the possible exception of Arizona.

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