With three field goals in the first half, Shaun Suisham extended his streak without a miss to seven. More impressively, Suisham’s kicks came from 41, 48 and 50 yards.
“Anytime you’re 3-for-3 over 40 yards, it’s a good day,” said Suisham, who went just 1-for-3 from that distance this season before Sunday’s game. “And they turned out to be big kicks.”
As running back Clinton Portis said, “Suisham was on point early and kept us in the game.”
Springs, Washington sit
The Redskins listed cornerback Shawn Springs (calf), linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring) and left end Jason Taylor (calf) as inactive, leaving the defense to play without three starters. Fred Smoot, H.B. Blades and Demetric Evans started in their places.
Coach Jim Zorn had expected Washington to start. Springs’ calf, strained last week in Dallas, didn’t recover, though Zorn had held out hope until Sunday morning.
On offense, Jon Jansen started a second straight week for Stephon Heyer (shoulder) at right tackle. And though Zorn said Friday that Malcolm Kelly would be listed as inactive, the rookie receiver did play.
Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who sprained his right shoulder, was the only player on Washington’s postgame injury report.
Emblematic of the stark contrast between Philadelphia’s success in the opening quarter and Washington’s total dominance of the final three periods, Philadelphia’s answer to the triplets disappeared after the first 15 minutes.
In the first quarter, primary Philadelphia weapons Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson combined for 206 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles built a 14-0 lead behind Westbrook’s 9-yard burst through the heart of the Washington defense and Jackson’s 68-yard punt return down the sidelines.
Over the final three quarters, McNabb connected on 10 of 17 passes for just 115 yards. Playing with a high ankle sprain, Westbrook managed just 43 yards of total offense during the last three quarters and only 84 on the game, a far cry from the 150-plus yards the DeMatha product had averaged in the previous four meetings between the teams. And Jackson was never heard from again after his impressive punt return, posting just one touch on a reverse for 5 yards over the final three quarters.
“Any time you face an offense directed by Donovan McNabb with Westbrook in the backfield, you’ve got your hands full,” said Washington cornerback Fred Smoot, who replaced injured Shawn Springs in the Redskins’ secondary. “For the most part, I think we kept those guys in check after the first quarter.”
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