- The Washington Times - Monday, October 6, 2008

PHILADELPHIA | Walking out of the Washington Redskins‘ locker room after Sunday’s 23-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Chris Cooley clutched the football he caught for his first touchdown of the season, part of a career day for the tight end.

But the game ball wasn’t for him.

Cooley intended to sign the football and award it to receiver Antwaan Randle El, who threw the pass Cooley caught for an 18-yard score.

The play came in the third quarter and capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive. Earlier in the possession, Randle El caught a 16-yard pass from Jason Campbell on third-and-9. Three plays later came his turn to throw.

Randle El rolled right with the football. Cooley was working in the flat around the 5-yard line.

“They told me all week to look like I was blocking and then come out late,” Cooley said. “El saw me twice, and they thought it was going to be a reverse the whole way.”

The Eagles challenged the play, saying Randle El had crossed the line of scrimmage. But the touchdown was upheld.

When the Redskins quickly discovered that Philadelphia’s pressure would make going deep to Santana Moss virtually impossible, Campbell began working the intermediate routes to Cooley.

Cooley’s eight catches were one short of his career high, and his 109 yards eclipsed the 105 he amassed last year at Green Bay.

Moss went without a catch for only the second time with the Redskins. He was the intended receiver just once.

“I was able to lay a block that took out two guys for a big gain, and that’s what I want to do as a player,” Moss said. “What’s most important isn’t how many catches I have but getting a win.”

Campbell sets mark

Jason Campbell threw 29 straight passes without an interception, extending his streak to 175 and breaking Joe Theismann’s club record of 161.

The Redskins haven’t turned the ball over on offense in any of their five games this season.

Suisham stays hot

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.

Triple fizzle

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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