The Philadelphia Eagles handed the Washington Redskins an embarrassing defeat 59-28 on Monday Night Football. This was one was 28-0 after the first quarter in favor of the visiting team, and then 35-0 early into the second quarter before the Washington offense came to life. Redskin fans could be heard booing throughout the stadium as the Eagles built up a 45-14 halftime lead. The man orchestrating the Eagles scoring drives? Michael Vick.
Donovan McNabb may have gotten the headlines today for agreeing to a 5 year/ $78 million dollar contract extension with the Redskins, but it was Vick who stole the show on this night.
To say that Michael Vick has improved as an efficient pocket passer is a gross understatement. Known as a quarterback who took off early if he couldn’t complete a pass to his first read earlier in his career, Vick displayed excellent patience in the pocket against the Redskins on Monday Night. He even waited several seconds longer in the pocket for his guys to become open up field. Vick completed 20-28 passes for 333 yards and four passing touchdowns. He also used his feet efficiently, running for 80 yards and two rushing touchdowns. In the process, Vick became the first player in NFL history with 300 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, four touchdowns passing and two touchdowns rushing in a game, quite an impressive feat indeed.
With the win, the Eagles moved into a first place tie with the New York Giants atop the NFC East division with a 6-3 record. They will meet up in a first place showdown in Philadelphia, 8:30pm ET next Sunday night on Sunday Night Football. It should be a dandy.
Here are five things that grabbed my attention recently:
Lucky Dogs: The Jacksonville Jaguars have to be considered one of the luckiest teams in the NFL despite their mediocre 5-4 record. Why? For the second time this season, the Jaguars pulled off a stunning last minute defeat of a divisional rival at home. Jaguars’ kicker Josh Scobee nailed a 59 yard field goal through the uprights as time expired in week four, which gave the Jaguars an unlikely victory over the favored Colts. Fast forward to last Sunday and the desperation heave by David Garrard which was knocked into receiver Mike Thomas’ hands after it hit off Texans cornerback Glover Quin’s hands for a 31-24 Jags victory over the Texans.
Dallas gets their first win under interim coach Jason Garrett: The Cowboys 33-20 victory over the New York Giants had to be one of the biggest upsets of week 10. Up until the victory over their divisional rivals, the Cowboys had been lackluster with their effort and execution on the playing field. Many people attributed this to former Dallas coach Wade Phillips’ lax personality. Interim coach Jason Garrett may be what the doctor ordered for the underachieving Cowboys. According to media reports, Garrett had the players practice in pads and held longer than usual meetings to get the players acclimated to his coaching style and it paid huge dividends on Sunday against the Giants. Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, while Dallas rookie cornerback Bryan McCann returned an Eli Manning interception, 101 yards for a momentum changing touchdown. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones had to be thrilled on how he team responded to his mid-season coaching change.
Donovan McNabb’s new bloated contract extension: I know I wasn’t the only person that said, “What were they thinking?” Just when you thought they were done overpaying players, they did it again. Don’t get me wrong, I like Donovan McNabb as a quarterback and as a person, but $78 million over 5 years (40 million which is guaranteed) is just way too much money for a quarterback past his prime. The Redskins are not at fault for giving McNabb the extension; however one has to think the Redskins organization would have been better served by waiting out the season before throwing out such large money at an aging quarterback. McNabb, 33 will be 39 years old when the contract is up. The Redskins are a few years away from being a serious contender in the NFC in my opinion and by that time, McNabb may be on his last leg like Brett Favre.
Brady and the Patriots get back on the winning track: No team on Sunday had a more impressive victory in my eyes than the New England Patriots beating a good Steelers team in Pittsburgh 39-26 on Sunday Night Football. You could tell the Patriots wanted this game very badly after a 34-14 embarrassing loss against the upstart Browns in Cleveland last Sunday. New England jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back. Tom Brady was masterful against the Steelers always tough defense. He completed 30-43 passes for 350 yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He’s 6-1 in his career against the Steelers including the playoffs. You have to hand it to Belichick and Brady, they know how to respond after a loss. New England is 25-2 after a loss since 2003. Even more impressive may be the fact that the Patriots are 15-3 against the NFC North division.
Laker announcer Joel Myers says the Mavericks should have kept Steve Nash: After watching veteran point guard Steve Nash torment the Lakers for 21 points and 13 assists in a 121-116 Suns victory, FSN/Lakers play by play announcer Joel Myers said that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a mistake by not keeping Steve Nash in Dallas. I like Myers as an announcer, but I couldn’t disagree anymore with him. Mark Cuban did not want to match the Phoenix Suns 6 year/$63 million offer, so Nash signed with the Suns in the 2004 off season. While Nash is renowned for excellent passing and shooting skills, he’s a sub par defensive player which is not acceptable in the NBA playoffs because then a team has to compromise its defense scheme for the sake of one player. Nash has been able to flourish in a wide open system in Phoenix which gives him free rein, whereas in Dallas, his main responsibility was to get the ball in Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki’s talented hands. If you compare the Mavericks and Suns regular record season wins since Nash left Dallas in 2004, you will see that the Mavericks have won more games 350 to 338 for the Suns. Even though Nash won back to back MVP awards in the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 NBA seasons, that success has yet to translate to a NBA finals appearance for the Suns, while the Mavericks came up two games short in 2006 NBA finals. If you ask me, I think the Mavericks have done just fine without Steve Nash.