Jan 2, 2006, 11:07 PM EDT
For a moment, with 1:21 left in the third quarter and the Eagles leading 20-17, the Redskins’ playoff life passed before their collective eyes.
On a third and eight play from the Eagles’ 32, Mike McMahon dropped back to pass as the Redskins blitzed. The Eagles picked it up as receiver Billy McMullen was getting behind Sean Taylor and everyone else wearing white. All day long when McMahon was able to step up in the pocket and throw in the middle part of the field, he had been putting the ball on the money. On this play the stepped up in the pocket and put the ball—way over McMullen’s head. All the receiver could to is take a hopeless flail at it and instead of scoring a sure touchdown the Eagles had to punt.
The Washington offense was struggling mightily at the time and would do so again following the punt. If the Eagles were in possession of a 27-17 lead, there is no way that Andy Reid would have had McMahon passing the ball on third and 15 from his own 20. That means, of course, that Lemar Marshall doesn’t get his hand on the ball and do a one-man tip drill to himself. Clinton Portis doesn’t do his spin move and dash 22 yards for a score and the Redskins are left being Rams fans for a night.
But what happened happened and the Redskins were good enough to take advantage of it and pull out the win.