- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2004

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

For the first time in 13 seasons with the Washington Redskins, coach Joe Gibbs is a double-digit ‘dog.

The Philadelphia Eagles are favored in Sunday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field by 11 points — the first double-digit point spread against Gibbs according to the Gold Sheet, a handicapping service run out of Los Angeles.

The previous largest spread in favor of a Gibbs opponent was 91/2 points, which came in the final contest of his previous run with the Redskins, an NFC divisional playoff loss at San Francisco on Jan.9, 1993. The Redskins lost 20-13 but beat the spread.

Not even during Gibbs’ 0-5 start in his first season, 1981, was he an underdog by more than nine points. But if Washington (3-6) loses this weekend to the Eagles (8-1), the Redskins could be an even bigger underdog Nov.28 at Pittsburgh (8-1 pending Sunday’s game at Cincinnati).

“I told our team, from here on out we’ll probably be a real underdog,” Gibbs said after last weekend’s loss to Cincinnati. “It’ll be a real test each and every week for us.”

The Redskins have been double-digit underdogs nine times since Gibbs retired. The most recent instance came during Marty Schottenheimer’s 0-5 start in 2001. On Oct.7, after Schottenheimer lost his first three games by a combined 112-16, the New York Giants were favored by 13 points in a game Washington lost 23-9.

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